Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hong Kong in a Banana Split!!

Recently, I wrote about Hong Kong and something I completely missed out was their political system. And as though to remind me and everyone that it does exist much like it does is most countries, some politicians pulled a mickey (or rather a banana quite literally) out of the hat at the HK Chief Executive's Policy Address (similar to the US' State of the Union Address). As the Chief Executive went through his speech a few legislatures created a ruckus at the end of which a banana was thrown at him, promptly red-carded out of the arena. The banana missed the target, but the legislator later remarked that he had made it point nevertheless. Phew!

In India, we've seen politicians pull out all sorts of stunts in the legislature - from fist cuffs to the most recent 'wads of cash' dumped in the parliament. But to find something similar out in HK, couldn't help a chuckle. First it make me feel a lil better that our guys aren't the only ones who are this unruly, and then I cheekily reminded one of my Chinese friends that at least Indian politicians who traded fist cuffs in a state legislature at least managed to land some on the opponent unlike the ill-directed banana-missile :P

This self-congratulatory mood wasn't gonna last long... after all in a sense I soon realized that my chuckle at the Chinese friend was pretty much a banana on his face. Just like those maverick politicians, for a personal and selfish feel good factor I choose to find a 'positive' and 'we're-better-than-you' factor in the whole ludicrous affair. Such politicians, I am certain, pull off such dirty tricks just to keep themselves in news and not an ounce to register any real public disapproval. These guys must first watch their own back. Acting with decorum, dignity and a sense of responsibility are the fundamental duties of a public servant more so a public representative.

Throwing a banana at the head of your state is by no means a legitimate way to protest. Neither is it a rational and humor evoking one!

For sure, the falling approval ratings of the Chief Executive in HK are pointers enough to say the public is unhappy with him, a banana on his face does add anything to it. Though, it might have given the Chief Executive unasked for banana facial. I am certain, that a sensible and rational Hongkonger never wants to get into such a trash with his neighbour forget the Chief Executive's. I regularly have disagreements - from my colleagues to friends to family, never did I wish a banana treatment for them.

I'm plainly aghast and deeply saddened to see such distasteful acts... I firmly believe - that "Disagreements" and "Disrespect" are not to be synonymous with respect to a political opponent. Disagreements are part of the political arena but and clearly such an incident shows a clear lack of respect. And such a trend cannot result in a healthy and desirable progress... its dangerous and surely avoidable for a wonderful society as Hong Kong as for every sane and civilized society on earth.

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