Leaders Must Introspect by J. Ajithkumar SignUp
Leaders Must Introspect
J. Ajithkumar Bookmark and Share

Yes, leaders must definitely introspect at various stages in their political life. This is highly advisable especially in liberal democracies. Most of the so-called leaders in our democracies come to occupy their positions by shear accident and not because of their in-born qualities, qualifications and hard work. As an example, we can see dozens of such leaders in India who have occupied highly important positions in the power hierarchy merely on the basis of loyalty to high command, family connections and thick skin. There is no harm when they hold party positions, but when they come to power they are affecting the lives of millions of ordinary people in the country.
Leaders in democracies must understand the qualities required to be in power. First of all they should have the innate qualities of leading from the front. Then they should be service minded and willing to do hard work to attain the knowledge for governing others. And most importantly they should be highly articulate in explaining their stand and opinions to others. Those who have failed in maintaining order within his or her own family cannot maintain the law & order in a country of millions. The same holds good for all other aspects of governance. How can someone who has failed in basic studies determine the fate of millions of youth? And how can someone who is shy to face the media have the capability to pilot the massive juggernaut of governance by persuasion?
It is good that many educated individuals are coming into politics in liberal democracies like India. But it is equally important that they introspect often in their political career, especially when they are thrust into key positions of governance by shear luck. They should ask the following questions. Do I have the capacity, knowledge and capabilities to handle this portfolio which is affecting the lives of millions or billions of my countrymen? Should I stick onto this position because there is no one else claiming the post? Am I doing justice to my country and myself by controlling the destiny of our nation? I am sure most of those in power in liberal democracies like India will have to quit if they are truthful to themselves. Democracy can become the best form of governance if and only if such introspections by its leaders are made mandatory.

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Comment Dear Ajith, Excellent thoughts.Ministers were very responsible in the first decade of our republic. There was always some amount of introspection. I recall an incident of 1956. There was a major train disaster (Ariyalur) in which the entire train fell into a flooding river and got washed out. Lal Bahdur Shastri was the Railway minister. He promptly resigned owning "moral responsibility". I was youn boy then and just could not fully comprehend why he had to resign. It is nearly five decades since then .. Today I cannot comprehend why our ministers cling to their positions in spite charges of corruption.

11/09/2013 23:07 PM

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