What are people really remembered for?

A conversation with my friend this morning started when he asked me how I felt about Michel Jackson’s death. My obvious reaction was that the world really lost a great artist! And my friend(let us call him AK), surprisingly, looked taken aback. He was expecting me to instead bring up the controversial scandals Jackson was involved in his later years, which in all honestly, never even occurred to me. And from there the argument began!!

Even though I am aware of allegations against Michel Jackson, only thing I cared about was his music. Even though I am not someone who idolizes celebs or anyone for that matter, I do have my list of people who I admire. I was never really a Jackson fan but I really like his song “the good earth” from his last album. So his song and the last concert he was supposed to do are the only things that come to my mind when I hear his name now. Ak’s argument was the public’s perception about him changed because of his death. People, who accused him till yesterday for all the so-called wrong things he was involved in, forgot all about it and spoke no bad about him anymore! The name which had almost become kind of a household swear word had suddenly become a legend. I said it is true! Wasn’t he an icon all along? Not only because he was such a great star but also because he worked and made it happen.

Some people may not really agree with me here (like AK who didn’t give in till the end)but I would still stand by what I said. Celebrities are who they are because of their admirers – from Hitler to Gandhi to Madonna to Amitab Bachchan – everybody had their share of good and bad phase but when it comes to what they are known for, is by what they really gave the world. Everyone emphasis and remembers them for the really significant thing they did that had a lasting impact on the world. Let me also add that the impact could have been in a good way or bad. So you see when someone speaks of Hitler today, massacre of Jews is what first comes to mind on the other hand Gandhi is known for being the advocate of non-violence. That doesn’t mean they did not face criticism or did anything wrong. How then would Jackson be remembered for anything besides his invaluable contribution to music?

AK would still not buy my argument, his point was – had Hitler won the world war II, he would have known as a hero instead (now you know why his name is kept anonymous 😛 )!! I would like to know one person who supports Ak’s point!! No that ‘m a closed rigid person who is never open to others’ points of view & get into an argument only with an aim to win it. Any argument which starts with such a statement as that would pretty obviously be already won by the opponent (which was me in this case)! 😀 But I, in all fairness did give him a chance to support his statement for which he replied something which I really don’t even remember anymore (didn’t find it convincing enough to make any mental note :P).

So here I throw the question to audience –

What is the one thing that would be remembered about a famous person for a long long time?

Can anyone logically convince me to buy AK’s argument about Hitler?

My subway destination (I would appreciate any appreciation for my dedication for blogging 😛 :D)

Good night people!  Would look forward for different views!



  1. The question asked by you is very pertinent. A person is famous if he has done good for the society (like Mahatma Gandhi) and notorious if has done bad things for the society(like Hitler). Unfortunately the people remember both famous and notorious persons. When we remember Rama we have to remember Ravana also.

  2. I’m sort of torn between you & AK here. While I totally agree with what you said about MJ, I also concur with what AK says about Adolf Hitler. In fact, the latter is already a hero for me as he made his country one of the biggest forces to reckon with in WW II. As you stated, every one has done something good, and some bad.

    But you are spot on, people tend to focus more on controversial aspects of others instead of remembering them for the positive ones. Just goes to show how we humans love to pull each other down. We seem to be no different from dogs fighting over a bone… 🙂

  3. Well I am the AK she was talking about. And well i agree with my statements completely 😛
    I just believe that History is always written by winners. And the losers side of the story is never documented and often forgotten.

  4. I agree with AK…strongly!
    Good and bad in our perception…
    Had Ravaan won the war he would have been the hero and Ram the villain…
    Stalin was nominated for noble peace prize because he was on the winning side…Germany was made to sign unfair treaty because they challenged British imperialism and were defeated in WW1…enough for any German to fight back…that’s what Hitler did…that poor guy had a hard childhood, all he wanted to be was a painter….yes, he had his bad side…so did Roosevelt and Churchill…but they were heros only because they won after unfairly taking many innocent lives….
    history is biased 🙂

    1. History is definitely biased except that people still weigh the good and the bad,victorious and the defeated ones, but the best part is – both extremities are remembered for long for their own reason!

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