Where is the First Lady
Stabroek News
March 12, 2002

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Dear Editor,

Public sightings of the first lady have indeed become rarer than a video release from Osama bin Laden or a press conference with Dick Cheney. If this were a school she would have been summarily expelled for repeated and prolonged absences. If it were a job, a few letters of warning then a terse dismissal notice.

But then again, it is a job of sorts, being the wife of the supposedly most powerful person in the country. Surely Mrs. Jagdeo was aware of this when she signed on, that concomitant with the privileges and authority that attended her was a minimum of duties and obligations she was expected to fulfill. And while there is no law compelling her to be at her husband's side during public appearances, propriety and even good political sense dictates so. Worse yet, her absence merely serves as fodder to the snickering set that the marriage is a sham, nothing more than a hastily cobbled together PR exercise while both the President and Mrs. Jagdeo pursue quite separate agendas in their own private affairs.

Is she hopelessly paralyzed and nerve struck by the pitiless glare of the public eye? Or does she in some noble rebellion, refuse to partake in the forced gaiety, the well rehearsed hypocrisy and the inane chatter that is an occupational hazard of the political class?

Yours faithfully,

Rajiv Pooran