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The curse of Camelot

india Updated: Jun 04, 2007 23:13 IST
Hindustan Times
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In a sense it is not surprising that the family of French President Nicolas Sarkozy finds increasing comparison with its American counterpart: the Kennedys. The Sarkozys obviously have a lot of lifestyle glue to make such a label stick. Much like the former US chief executive John F Kennedy, Mr Sarkozy is very athletic, loves the great outdoors, dresses flashily, and uses his undeniable charisma to win over critics. In fact, it is no secret that Mr Sarkozy requisitioned the services of American advisors — adept at working the popular masses — to mastermind his campaign. Add to this the French First Lady, Cécilia’s controversial lifestyle and her infrequent appearances beside Mr Sarkozy during the campaign. the Sarkozys have a definitely Kennedyesque dimension to them.

Unfortunately, such close identification with the Kennedy family has also apparently revived public interest in the so-called ‘Camelot curse’ — a series of tragedies that befell the Kennedy family. The Kennedys’ continual misfortunes — including two high-profile political assassinations — are certainly bizarre and cast a shadow on the future of any other clan resembling them.

After all, history is replete with instances of prominent dynasties plagued by seemingly improbable instances of misfortune. From Pakistan’s Bhuttos (the execution of Zulfikar set off a string of tragedies, including former premier Benazir’s two brothers who were killed, and the incarceration of her husband) to India’s Gandhis who have been followed by ill-fortune much like the Furies in a Greek tragedy. So it is a tad worrying that the French are evidently eager to see Mr Sarkozy’s reign as the stuff that urban legends are made of.