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Saturday, February 19, 2005

keeping the flock intact

The newspapers and TV channels are full of the latest capers of the elected representatives of the people who are on a ‘group holiday’, whatever that may mean.

In kindergarten classes, primary teachers have to undergo rigorous training in how to keep a bunch of noisy and mischievous children under control. Sweet talks, inducements and punishments, in that order are supposed to be some of the remedies to control such characters. At times, they are marched to a local children’s park (if available) or the school garden, made to sit under the trees and share their ‘lunch’. Head counts are imperative – once on the outward journey and a second time on the return journey. In case any child goes missing, the responsibility is that of the teachers who would be hard put to explain the same.

Simultaneously, children are cautioned by their guardians never to succumb to temptations and take any objects from an unknown person. The unknown persons would most certainly be having ulterior motives for dangling delicious carrots at the end of the stick! Children are also told regularly to check the greed factor, be they of animate objects or inanimate ones. Examples are invariably quoted to drive home the point.

Right from childhood, the teachers, the parents and the elders keep preaching that desires for the imaginary bring untold miseries on a person. The elders say that one has to live within his means, be contented with what he has acquired, control the urge to become all possessive and learn that there is immense happiness in sharing.

Such thoughts are supposed to be indicative of the maturity of a person.

When we elect a person to represent us in decision making forums like the Legislative assemblies and the Parliament, we expect them to adhere to these basics. They come to these august bodies on the emblem of a certain political party and, at a later date, do not think twice about changing loyalties thus putting tremendous burden on their mentors. These poor mentors have no other alternative but to herd the group to some faraway holiday resort and cut off all communication links so that they do not get a chance to succumb to dangling carrots.

Earlier they used to be taken to undisclosed destinations!

Replay of the kindergarten scenes speak of their immaturity.

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