Honourific term used to describe accurately the position of Pol Pot (nee Saloth Sar), the glorious Kampuchean leader, who began his tender administration of the suffering masses of Cambodia by organising a major holiday trip (out of Phnomh Penh) into the countryside in April 1975, soon after his disciples the "Khmers Rouges" arrived in the capital. Such was his boundless generosity that even bedridden hospital patients, cripples and heavily pregnant barefoot women were invited to join in the holiday walk.
Then he abolished money. Then he raised the productivity of the rice paddies by administrative order. And that was just the start....
He was definitely "Number One". But he was also just a "Brother" like all the other brothers, humble, humane, knowledgeable without showing off, hardworking, self-effacing, etc.
So modest was he, that Cambodians didn't hear of his name (or nom de guerre) until around the end of his wonderful "Year Zero".
Although he didn't compete with Chairman Mao in feats of swimming prowess, poetry composition or table tennis; nor with Prince Sihanouk in film-making or entertaining press interviews, Brother Number One would always lend a hand washing the dishes, digging irrigation channels, cleaning out chicken huts, cleaning rifles, and authorising vigorous interviews of the many untrustworthy subordinates which the burdens of history had laid upon him.
Hey, Angka says I should work 17 hours each day in the paddy field. I guess that makes a lot of sense, because this was derelict jungle last year and there's not much water nearby. That Brother Number One sure is a clever guy!
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