Sunday, June 15, 2003
Of Musharraf, Prannoy Roy, maturity and chitchat
A journalist has no modesty, but any decent national leader needs to act his part well. Musharraf�s media savvies might help score temporary ups, but loose talk (like it has in the past) can only return to haunt you sometime later. I don�t mean to say that reticence characterizes a good leader, but think about this: even our politicians have already started emulating the general by indulging in retorts and other juvenile squabble while I guess true political maturity has much more Zen values than the otherwise popular devices like patriotism, emotional identification, honour, justice, history, tradition and the like.
I was amazed by the emotional tone of the general while discussing Kashmir. The man sure seems to have imbibed it so deep. I somehow feel this goes beyond simply hurt ego�s and unresolved grandfather�s disputes. I don�t know if any of our politicians, save for a crying Abdulla or a shouting Advani (in the presence of the media), would ever have internalized the issue so deeply. In Musharraf, there seems to be something almost reminiscent of extremist indoctrination that prevents him from being what he always wants to be, and by his own admissions, cannot become: a democrat.
Plus all his (oxy)moronic talk about tailoring democracy and controlled dissent sure makes him a natural ally of Dubya. Why did anybody think otherwise?
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