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Personal thrill, public expense
STORY goes that a little boy asked Santa for a model sailboat, the Prince of Wales received a battleship. That must echo strong when evaluating the hyper-publicised flight President Pratibha Patil took in the IAFs state-of-the-art SU-30 MKI. Sure it took guts, and physical preparation, for the 74-year-old lady to become possibly the first Head of State ~ certainly the first woman of that stature ~ to fly a combat sortie of sorts. True it was a matter of pride for Wing Commander S Sajan and No. 30 Squadron (Rhinos) to be selected to host the President. Yet the history that was made was of the variety that would find place in a book of records (stunts included) rather than any serious chronicle. No doubt it served as an image-makeover for the traditionally conservative personality, but for all that her squadron of spin-doctors may churn out it was a personal joyride ~ with little other relevance. Only the naive would believe it will have any bearing on what must be a …