Nothing defined the excesses of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines as imaginatively as wife Imelda’s fetish for shoes, which numbered in excess of a thousand pairs. That was possibly the first time footwear attained such notoriety.
The shoe, or rather the act of its throwing, took on a more political hue when former president George W. Bush had a pair flung at him in Iraq, sparking off several such remonstrations.
Now, shoes are again a headline item thanks to WikiLeaks, which has revealed by way of confidential US diplomatic cables that Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati sent an empty jet all the way to Mumbai to pick up her favourite brand of footwear.
There’s no hint about the authenticity of the report, but who’d have thought that going the extra mile for a pair of shoes would end up in a diplomatic missive.