Private lives and public office


Debating the private lives of those in public office seems to be the flavour of the season.
The two seem as incompatible as chalk and cheese.
Social mores, cultural biases, and traditions are as diverse as the species on this planet. What is acceptable and wouldn’t merit any attention in one part of the world is front page news and a complete no-no in other parts.
There have been Presidents of super-powers caught in compromising positions in office and living on to complete their terms and other country leaders openly flaunting their girlfriends to their nations. Seems just unpardonable in our social context.
Experience has shown that a person with an impeccable private / personal life is not by default also a good administrator or excellent in discharge of his duties in public office.
Conversely individuals with colourful private lives and a history of naughty peccadilloes, have many a times been successful leaders and done good for the masses.
Choosing between the two seems a Hobson’s choice in our context.
Corruption, misuse of public position or inefficiency is more likely to get our public pardon than an act considered to be in the realm of moral turpitude by our norms.
We subconsciously perhaps prefer our leader to be like yogis – renouncing all worldly pleasures and connections to immerse themselves in public service 24 x 7. In today’s material world that would fall in the basket of utopian dreams.
Like in all good marriages, compromise seem the way to weather this conundrum.