Sunday, May 9, 2021

Our leaders

All of us are aware that because of what has been happening in this part of the world, our society has come under multiple pressures. These pressures range from individual to all forms of collective. It affects family, peer group, institutions, schools, organizations, and even faith based relationships. Everything comes under strain. This is something that has been witnessed by other stressed societies as well. There is no need to explain it away as a particular trait of our society. A wholesale and generalized condemnation of any society is a fit device to generate more ills than treat them. As members of a living society we must point out the wrongs that are deepening in our society, but the same must be done with grace, and focus. There are methods, and ways of analyzing what is going wrong with any society. This analysis, world over, follows scientific methods. It involves breaking down a problem to its components, identifying the contributing factors underlying the persons and groups involved in it, and also critically studying the ideas and concepts that are at the root of the problem. After doing such an analysis, practical and specific policy steps are taken at different levels. This is the way these evils are rooted out, and defenses are raised against any further invasion of such evils. Our community based organizations, and the leadership at different levels, should sit down to understand this method, and employ a disciplined approach, rather than issuing generalized statements that often do more harm than benefit. If a society in a conflicted situation is subjected to deep divisions it has a long term danger of slipping into irretrievable violence. This is a sensitive matter, and must be dealt with a matching sensitivity. It is better that community actors get together at all levels and break brains on this problem, taking help from professional knowledge, and using skills that are needed to face such issues. At the same time, there is a need to understand that leaders are leaders and deserve admiration because there is a huge difference between the role and status of a leader and that of a common man. Moreover, it is after many sacrifices that one becomes a leader and more importantly every nation has a leader to follow. Good leaders remain calm, composed and steadfast to the main purpose. Storms, emotions, and crisis come and go and a good leader takes these as part of the journey and keeps a cool head. Common people are prone to emotional misuse. They have common sense which can never help them in negotiating the nuisance of emotional blackmailing. However, the age-old custom of fan following still continues. Everyone, this way or that way, gets hypnotized by the leaders. And it is quite ironical that people often criticize their own leaders. Why? And they have no sound answer. It has become everybody’s cup of tea now to pass judgment on the leaders of various socio-religious-political parties and various other organizations or unions/associations. Even the leaders who lead people at national level are not spared. Criticizing leaders every now and then suggests that the leaders are ordinary hence prone to criticism. A question arises here: “If the leaders are ordinary and have lost their credibility, how credible are the people?” The leaders are what the people around them are and the people are what their leaders are. We cannot excavate diamond from an iron ore. If the people are ordinary how can they expect that their leaders will be like that of Gandhi’s stature? Actually people have become most unpredictable now and they do not stick to one position or posture but remain changing their outlook as frequently as one changes his costumes. As is the society so are the leaders. Common place people have common place leaders whereas upright people have upright leaders. People make societies and the same societies put forth leaders. The stuff comes from the society not from the heavens; therefore as are the people so are the leaders. It is basically a matter of introspection. a