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   This business of selecting the man of the year... (December 19, 1986)

This business of selecting the man of the year has become extremely popular. Everybody is doing it, not just newspapers and magazines, but also schools.

Yesterday evening, my two sons, Darryly and Derek, came back from school and said: "Our school is selecting its man of the year. All the children have been asked to make their choice, then, after Mr. Rajiv Gandhi has been selected, the result will be posted to him."

"That is very nice," I said. "I hope you choose wisely and well."

Darryl said: "That is where we want your help, so that we choose well. You must tell us how we chose Mr. Gandhi and why he is our choice for the man of the year."

"I am sure your teachers will not approve if all the children ask their fathers to choose for them," I said. "The entire idea of this poll is to make you think as to who deserves to be the man of the year. Then, after you have thought that only Mr. Gandhi can be the choice, to put it down and give reasons why you think so."

Derek said: "It is going to be difficult for us to say why he should be the man of the year. We are only children and we do not know much. And so many people are saying different things about Mr. Gandhi, some say he has done nothing during the year, some say he has done everything. You have to help us."

"See, this is like your homework, you have to do it yourself," I explained. "Otherwise, how will you ever be able to understand how much Mr. Gandhi means to the nation and how much the nation owes to him."

"Other fathers do not think this is homework, they will be helping their children," Darryl said. "If we do not submit Mr. Gandhi name as man of the year by tomorrow, we may be failed in the exams. In fact, I am sure, we will be failed."

"And you deserve to be failed," I said. "I mean, it is not such a difficult thing to do to nominate Mr. Gandhi as man of the year and give half a dozen reasons why he deserves to be so. Anybody can give half-a-dozen reasons, even Mr. Girilal Jain, though more than half-a-dozen he may find difficult to give."

Derek said: "You say all that now when it is time to select the man of the year, but there have been other times when we have heard your say that Mr. Gandhi does not deserve to be Prime Minister and he has become so only because Mr. Arun Nehru made him so."

"Other fathers do not think this is homework, they will be helping their children," Darryl said. "If we do not submit Mr. Gandhi's name as man of the year by tomorrow, we may be failed in the exams. In fact, I am sure, we will be failed."

"And you deserve to be failed," I said. "I mean, it is not such a difficult thing to do to nominate Mr. Gandhi as man of the year and give half dozen reasons why he deserves to be so. Anybody can give half-a-dozen reasons, even Mr. Girilal Jain, though more than half-a-dozen he may find difficult to give."

Derek said: "You say all that now when it is time to select the man of the year, but there have been other times when we have heard you say that Mr. Gandhi does not deserve to be prime minister and he has become so only because Mr. Arun Nehru made him so."

"I have never said anything of the sort and you should not go about repeating such things," I said. "Though, on second thought, why don't you select somebody else as your man of the year…..say, Mr. Buta Singh."

"Because our principal has already decided to send the letter of the man of the year to Mr. Rajiv Gandhi," Darryl said.

 
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