The facebook post on the Chidambaram temple which is now said to be located on the magnetic equator set me thinking. Astronomers indeed have made their mark in several civilizations as in any other way of life but we know nothing of the astronomer who achieved this feat. History which chronicles the progress and fall of mankind has only eulogised the known and the powerful or influential of the ages. We know of Alexander who wished to rule the world but nothing about his soldiers. We marvel at the idea of Roosevelt to fight depression by investing in infrastructure but know nothing about the persons who played the role of crystallising the idea or implementing it. We eulogise Shahjahan for his love immortalised in the Taj but know nothing of the architect or the workmen. It brings one to the parody of Jaspal Bhatti wherein the professor is willing to hand a Ph. D with the idea of making the student his son- in-law. From times immemorial we have only attributed successes to the powerful but not to the ones who made it. Every nation builds a memorial for the unknown soldier but fails to commend the persons who build it.
The works of Shakespeare are stated to belong to another playwright by some circles but nothing is established. The only thing that emanates from these examples is the fact that there are many behind the scenes who work for the success of this one individual. But does the individual even have the basic courtesy to at least to acknowledge this fact behind the scenes remains an unanswered billion dollar question.
There are many successful icons who dedicate their feats to parents, colleagues, friends, relatives et al but few who would lay the credit at the door of the co owners of the success. The late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam often quoted a nugget of his experience with Dr Satish Dhawan who took on the mantle of facing an aggressive media in the wake of failure but shied away from the arclights in the hour of success thus bringing at least one Kalam to light. How many of us will even eulogise this aspect of Dr Dhawan?
Recently, I was privy to a conversation wherein the successful individual was nursing a grouse against a few who failed to acknowledge his feat. A couple of queries later it emerged these persons were the ones who executed the work albeit at the directions of His Highness. The paradox in the tale further emerged when the workman was called a cynic who could not digest the success of the individual and the socialist world endorsed the statement.
There is nothing lost for anyone to congratulate the feted individual but would the families of martyred soldiers fete a Prime Minister on the victory in war or for that matter if Shahjahan had indeed chopped the hands of his artisans, would they kudo him on the construction of the Taj even if he fed them with his own hands. Even if they do so who merits a better acknowlegement - is it the political head or the gracious layman? Something that people who nurse personality cults require to ponder over.