Jacques Chirac is in the news. He is being tried for corruption charges while in office. This shows an interesting aspect of the French way. While in office, he was immune to a trial. Now he is no more holding the office, he can be tried. There is only one problem, the failing health of Chirac.
I don't remember when I have last seen a picture of Chirac. It may have been over 5 years. At that time, the photograph shown an older man with lots of energy. For the past few days, Chirac's latest pictures are flashed all over the local dailies. The recent photograph shows him as an aging and tired man. A few years can do a lot to a man! That was my take.
My friend has another perspective. He says the power is always in the back of their head which keeps them going. When they lose power, the senility kicks in. He cited the examples of the former presidents of Egypt and Tunisia. Although he has a valid point, there is an uniting factor among the three examples. All three of them await public trial and also public wrath. These are not the right examples to give.
There are many other prominent personalities who have left public office to lead an active life. Bush Sr and his "in-tandem" jump on his 85th birthday is the first incident coming to my mind. Both Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were busy with their foundations after they left public office. At home, there is Metro Sreedharan.They could also have gone this path after leaving the office.