How is Ms. J.Jayalalithaa different from Mr. Giorgio Armani?

One great man and another great woman – Not sure if greatness is common to both, but in her mind, the latter definitely seems confident. I will come to the Giorgio Armani bit towards the end of the article. While I usually refrain from commenting on Indian politics/politicians on TalkingTails, this is a thought that has been brewing in my mind for a bit and a news article (rather, a photograph) compelled me to share my views on how attention-hungry our politicians are.

I can imagine a baby craving for attention of her family members. But that is because the baby has seen less of the world and wants to be seen and heard and create her own identity. But how does one justify Ms. J. Jayalalithaa, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, 63 years old and a successful actress in Tamil, Telegu, Kannada and Hindi films craving for attention?

Of course, the lady in question has been coming up in a lot of discussion of late (as always!) thanks to her laptop to every child in Tamil Nadu initiative. While the initiative in itself is credible and might help take the power of the computer to the masses at a very early age, what irked me about the picture below was that every laptop had Jayalalithaa’s face imprinted on the screen flap – visible clearly to the whole world. It is as if the laptop has been payed for by Jayalalithaa’s private heirloom, rather than state money. Such blatant shows of power not only undermine the impact of the initiative, but also goes to  show how every breathe that many of our politicians take reek of self-propelling behavior. And all this, while they ‘pose’ to be serving the people, selflessly. Note, selflessly.

Personal branding at its scintillating best!

Cut to Milan, Italy. Mr. Giorgio Armani – perhaps an iconic personal brand himself and a living legend. Granted – he epitomizes neo-capitalism and has a clear focus on fashion, monetizing fashion and improving the quality of people’s lives with his artistry in apparel, accessories, jewellery and interior design. He makes it a point to ensure that no advertisements of any of Armani’s brands – Armani/Exchange, Emporio/Armani, Armani/Casa, etc – end up carrying a picture of the man himself. The reason is simple: he believes in the maxim that his philosophy should outlive him and must transcend over time.

Having spent 2 years in Lucknow, I have seen more than enough statues of Mayavati-ji strewn across important crossings and landmarks across the city. Clearly our leaders in general and our 2 leading lady politicians, in particular need to stop believing in:

“The evil that men do lives after them,
the good is oft interred with their bones”

– Act 3, Scene II, Julius Caeser by William Shakespeare

Dear politicians – I am sure the evils that you commit will outlive you. The little good that you bring to society will also outlive you, provided you stop shouting about it into people’s ears!

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One thought on “How is Ms. J.Jayalalithaa different from Mr. Giorgio Armani?

  1. I’ve heard the TV sets that DMK gave away would display a screen with Kalaniyar’s photo before switching to the channel. Brand wars are well and truly on down south! Maybe they should do some contextual placement of brands though, after all, what if one wants to watch the fashion channel and karunanidhi grins at you instead? or you want to skype with your long-distance girlfriend and amma smiles right back?…haha! aiyayo!

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