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The waves

As the Wind Blows

Location: Chennai, Tamilnadu, India

06 May 2003

Where do you draw the line between the individual and the public figure?

How far the seat of power should overshadow the true individual that you are?

When does a person cease to be the individual and becomes the symbol of the seat he/ she occupies?

Two news stories yesterday triggered off this reflection in me. One was Hasan Suroor’s dispatch from London in Hindu May 6th.

Tony Blair comes under flak for expressing his faith in God – for his frequant reference to God, (he would rather be judged by his “Maker” rather than by his people;”; he appeared at the launch of his party’s general elections clutching a hymnbook; - something like our own VIPs displaying all kinds of symbols of their individual faiths? ) His critics say that he has no business to mix up his personal beliefs and political decisions. He is accused of his justification of his decision to join the invasion on Iraq, saying, he was ready to “Meet my Maker” and answer before God.

OK. If Tony Blair might wonder if he should discard his beliefs because of his high powered seat, closer home a Chief Minister whines that due respect was not given to her during Prime Minister’s visit to the state. According to a newspaper report, she is reported to have said that she didn’t demand respect as an individual, but as a Chief Minister.

Well, where does the individual end and the symbol of power begin?

Post Script:

In my opinion, I think a VIP individual can have his own believes and faiths and desires. But the difference between him and the ordinary folk like you and me is that, since he is the symbol of the post he holds, he has to restrain himself from “displaying” or “exhibiting” his believes etc. So Tony Blair can jolly good look forward to “face his Maker” or hold a book of hymn. - in his private chambers, not on public forums, where he speaks on behalf of his country.


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