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Tuesday, 25 October 2016


People of the Year: the patriarch and the political brawler

2010-12-29 19:24

11933.jpegIn all appearances, the expiring year has got two faces of Janus in the eyes of the Georgians. There is no other explanation for the Georgian choice of the People of the Year. What is there in common between Patriarch Ilia II and the scandalous founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange, who were both named to be the People of the Year in Georgia? In the opinion of Sakartvelo citizens, Assange is a man that has much value for the world, while the Patriarch is the most important figure in Georgia. That seems to be symbolic: Georgia often goes to extremes, being unable to find the middle way.


What's there in common between the head of the Georgian Church, Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II, and Julian Assange who is known for anything but a righteous and spiritual life? That's not a task for a common mind. However, from now on, they've got at least one thing in common: they both became the People of the Year according to the Georgian citizens. The Patriarch turned out to be the top person in Georgia; Assange - the top person in the world.

The fact is confirmed by the results of the two polls held by the Kviris Palitra weekly publication. 47,3 percent of the pollees out of 400 respondents voted for the Patriarch. Julian Assange gained six points in the 10-point rating, having outrun the rest of pretenders.

It is notable that Georgia is again unable to determine the side to stick to: Russia or the West. Choosing Patriarch Ilia the Man of the Year means, in fact, that the thoughts of the Georgians and Russians are very close, for in Russia, it was Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia who was named the Man of the Year.

As for Assange, he was not left without the West's attention. He was nearly named Top Person-2010 by the Time magazine, having made way to the main benefactor of the year, Facebook founder Mark Tsukerberg, but the French Le Monde awarded this honourable title to Assange.

Georgia is literally torn apart between two extremes. On one hand, it is admiring the person who is doing everything possible to revive peace between the nations; on the other hand, it is enraptured by a person who literally gave his life for bringing discord between the world politicians.

What is that - manifestation of a hot temper and ability to sincerely and ardently admire both a peacemaker and an outstanding instigator? Or, does it really mean the inability to define who is has got greater value for history? Which way should one take, a peaceful and long one or a bright and scandalous one? Should one restore what one has ruined step by step or become a bright star in the world political skies?

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