Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hero. And Hypocrites.

Nelson Mandela is no more.

Learnt about Madiba's demise when I just got in to my hotel room in Chicago after a long day at a conference and turned on CNN. Reactions of the who's who of the world were being telecast.

Among other things, President Obama said, " ... The day that he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears.  And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him." And later on, President Obama goes on to say, " ... So it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set:  to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice."

Now it may just have been the incredibly cynical bone in my brain, or it could be that I was dead tired and hungry, but, I remember having called President Obama a hypocrite and a sanctimonious ba*****. And I found myself thinking similarly of other world leaders' - Tony Blair's, David Cameroon's, Bill Clinton's comments too. I mean, really? You want to call the great man your hero, but you don't want to act on the many lessons that his life has to teach.

Madiba's body is probably still on the same hospital bed where he breathed his last. Had he been in a grave, he would be turning like crazy thinking of the gall that these people have. Of calling someone their idol, their hero, their inspiration, and then making decisions, especially in their politics, that are diametrically opposite to what they purportedly believe in. We really are hypocrites of the top order, aren't we?

I am almost a hundred percent certain that there are people in Obama Administration, in the White House, who are pissed that Nelson Mandela chose today of all days to die. Afterall Chris Matthews' interview of President Obama was to be broadcast today on MSNBC, and their audience got distracted a couple of hours before the President was to begin his defense of Obamacare on TV.

Fareed Zakaria said it best, in response to a question from Wolf Blitzer, that it'd be naive of us to expect the current crop of world leaders to learn any lessons from Nelson Mandela's life.

Mahatma Gandhi died, and we still killed each other. Martin Luther King Jr. died, and we still killed. Nelson Mandela has died, and we will continue to kill. So lets drop the act.

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