May 1, 2012

May this day [121/365]

Yesterday, the 30th of April, was the International Honesty Day.
Today, the 1st of May, is the International Worker's Day (also known as Labor Day)

Across the world today, what we are seeing is a crisis of ideals and morals. Employees stealing from their employers, Employers undercutting their employees, and corporations cheating their communities. There is a shocking dearth of honesty and integrity. This morning was no different.

Woke up to a headline which described how the Indian President went on an official trip with her grandchildren. (The high flying news here)

While it is true that she has been the least favorite and perhaps the most forgettable person to have occupied the highest seat in the Indian government, what is also shocking is how she has been the most corrupt too. But can you really blame her? 
She is only doing what every other civil servant does. 
She is only doing what your local MLA or cop does - They use their official vehicles for everything from shopping for groceries to picking up the in-laws. So like Pepsi used to say 'Nothing official about it'

Her stint at the Rashtrapati Bhavan is the fuzzy stuff that you dream about but want to forget in a hurry. In what can be described as a utterly shameful act of wasting the public exchequer, she is the most traveled Indian President in history. She will be one of the few Presidents who will be forgotten with a flourish. With her current term ending by the end of this month, I doubt if we'll ever get to see a prez with the acumen and caliber of  APJ Abdul Kalam.

With the kind of autocratic power that women like Mamata, Jayalalitha seem to be wielding, I am beginning to rethink how women in power in India has been a good thing. At the risk of sounding sexist, I say women leaders in Indian politics have been over-rated and over-sold.
While female leaders are a wonderful asset in a corporate, politically they are duds. Driven by the men or lack of one in their lives, they become the very monsters they started out to fight.

But here's a toast to the first day of May.
A day that is celebrated across the world, in one form or the other.
May we learn to live and work with honesty and integrity today and every single day here on.

In the meanwhile, here's a quote I read and one I think is very appropriate:
'Lord, give me work for all the days of my life,
And give me life so that I can finish all my work'
Poignant yet true, won't you agree?
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