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Sunday, July 03, 2005

resignation aka emotional blackmail

This is one more game people love to play.

Resignation is a protest of the non violent type, a sort of emotional blackmail, more popular than the Satyagraha and more in keeping with modern traditions.

Resignation was, not too long ago, one of the preferred tools which could be wielded in the office to extract that extra rupee from the employer or an additional perquisite that establishes ones superiority over his rival. It envisaged moving out to greener pastures to try one’s luck. The wives of such persons delighted in fantasizing the complete episode to earn the jealous stares of their neighbors which they cherished till someone else came up with a better one. Alas, the afternoons of sharing gossip of the fellow dwellers have vanished; the vacuum has been occupied by TV serials that also fantasize. Only, they are one sided fantasy – the viewer has to listen to the same story wrapped in different size and color of bottles at different time slots. Alternately, she has to switch channels.

There also be used to be threats of resignation of political leaders – it was a method adopted to ascertain his or her popularity. In those days, there were no electronic polls, no SMS-ing ‘Y’ or ‘N’ to a particular number to arrive at an all-India assessment. It was each man for himself, threats of resignation used to be an effective weapon. If his party considered him to be really indispensable, it would consider meeting his demands.
These threats were very much similar to that employed by the women fifty years back to stress their point of view – they threatened with fast-unto-death type utterances. They pulled out of the dramatics once the man of the house acquiesced to her wishes. Both the sides knew exactly how far each could go, they made defeats look like victories.

Unfortunately, over a passage of time, this concept has also, like so many others, undergone immense changes. The other day we had a veteran leader who returned from a friendly foreign visit and landed among a bunch of friends-turned-foes. He tendered his resignation as a way out of the imbroglio. He was firm in his stand that he will never consider taking it back; finally he retracted it like any ordinary leader. The latest to follow is another one who proclaims to have been with the same party for the last 37 years. He resigns now since he does not see eye to eye with his bosses. We have to wait for the final outcome – probably, he wants a change of scenario or does he want a change of boss? Time only can tell.

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