Hey people,for all those who have turned up to see yet another 'crisp as a cracker' article or a 'sweet as candy' poem from madam shils' desk,this is sure to be a disappointment for it doesnt come from the creator of this blog herself.She successfully lured me,Abishek , a Loyolite, into guest blogging for her after casually reading this article of mine.Don't know if i would do justice to her calibre and class though this one of my favourites.This is how it goes:
(T)HE – MAN CHIDAMBARAM ("give me the power")
P.CHIDAMBARAM, the union finance minister has always caught my attention for reasons more subtle than obvious, especially his personality traits. People, more often than not relate him to presenting budgets, analyzing economic growth, considering the plight of agriculturists, monitoring industrial development and most importantly regulating the nationalized banks and their functioning, I really don’t blame these people for “CHIDS”, like how I would want to call him, being at the helm of the financial affairs of the country is known for his financial brain.
Usually known for his budgets that are characteristically safe and generally effective improvisations over the previous ones with a few additional provisions tailored to meet the needs of the country and aimed at targeting the growing industry in the economy. The cash withdrawal tax that was included in the budget for 2004-05,received critical acclaim when it was initially imposed but has been able to detect a few cases of black money being withdrawn at will, as witnessed by the bank in Chandni Chowk.
But for a man from Harvard to be well versed in numbers or for that matter efficient in managing resources or formulating budgets or even the language that he possesses isn’t really extravagant for those who hail from the Harvard generally tend to be a part of an elite group of people who stand out and get themselves counted with ease. The managerial or financial qualities or attributes probably stem from the intellectual atmosphere out of the top draw at the Harvard. One of the most sought after Universities in the world should be proud to have produced a man as masterful as Mr.Chidambaram
However it really isn’t these aspects of the man that stir me from within. What strikes me hard, what makes me look up to him is his aura, charisma, poise, patience, simplicity, cool as a cucumber attitude, his aggressive intent which so beautifully manifests itself in a courteous, polite and ever so convincing approach and tactful way of putting things across.
First and foremost, a man who’s spent a good part of his life as a student abroad and that too in Harvard, my dream destination, more often than not is clad in his traditional, ever so characteristic white dhoti and white shirt. Not only does it reflect on his respect for the tradition but also his simplicity. For instance, the parliamentary sessions when he presents the annual budgets reinforce the tranquility of the man and his uncanny knack of keeping this under control. The precision with which he presents the budget is admirable. The steady pace which he follows when he reads his provisions and estimates in the budget, his clarity of pronunciation, the simple unassuming look on his face with a smile ready to break out at the corner of his lips are characteristic or typical to Mr.Chidambaram at the Parliament. His focus and concentration are simply unparalleled. But really a stand out is the way he reacts to opposition or unwarranted claims against any provision in the budget. All he does is to put his hand up in the air and tell them to give him a chance to complete and that he would then give their grievances and claims a fair hearing, with the minimum of fuss or unrest.
When you find Ministers at the State Assembly or even at the Parliament getting agitated or reacting wildly to comments or opposition shaping out strongly against them, CHIDS's approach towards the trouble creators is without much doubt conspicuous. A good example of one who adds to the confusion is Mr.Laloo Prasad Yadav, the Railway Minister is generally ferocious and unwilling to compromise and even does not refrain from telling the speaker “Jaane dijiye unko” ,that is, just allow those who are not satisfied with my budget to leave the place. Such an act from Mr.Chidambaram would be far from a miracle. CHIDS proves to be an absolute gentleman not only in his behavior but also in his outlook as well.
Recently, during his campaign for DMK, the Congress alliance, the Finance Minister was in full flow in Tamil. Need I say that it was a delight to see the man in uninterrupted flow of Tamil to reach out to the masses. It was quite astonishing for me to see him converse with such ease in Tamil and also feel so much at home with it because he definitely would not have much time to talk in his mother tongue, being at the helm of affairs in New Delhi, where his Hindi speaking ability would hold him in good stead rather than his very own Tamil. Many people would say it isn’t a Herculean task to talk in your mother tongue even without much practice. I do agree with it but then to use it to good effect, select the right words, make it sound convincing, simplify the language to the level that can be easily understood by the illiterate and impoverished masses yet keeping intact the purity of the language without compromising on the use of ever so pure words, one definitely needs skill. Thus, the man well versed in English is a revelation in Tamil as well
Even while he was campaigning he seldom raised his voice beyond his characteristically prescribed decibel levels. His poise and composure was very much evident through the course of his speech. He looked like a man with a mission. We often witness political party leaders pumped up, literally shouting on the mike, as aggressive as possible with their speech and their animated gestures and actions almost give the impression that they would assault the opposition so badly that they would never oppose them again. Belligerence is the order of the day for these politicians.
In total contrast to this, Mr.Chidambaram was as polite as possible with emotional outbursts almost missing. All he did was to just state the facts against the then Chief Minister and her carefree approach towards the senior politicians, the government servants and even the Union government. He threw light on how ruthless she was with her attitude leading to haphazard action. CHIDS was simply professional and did not let down his gentleman image even while campaigning.
I do know that the man is subject to criticism and has his own share of it. His wife and son always seem to be in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Some people do say Mr.Chidambaram himself is just a high-class suave gentleman with all the unscrupulous ingredients, which make a politician. But I personally find it difficult to digest this for he has never given me such an impression.
TAKE A BOW CHIDS