Saturday, November 17, 2012

BALASAHEB THACKERAY - PASSES AWAY - A good leader - But, India today needs nationalist leaders very badly



INDIA today has a huge leadership vacuum.

Mahatma Gandhi was truly a WORLD LEADER, who transcended just about every barrier that divides human psyche from each other – like, nation, country, race, religion, sex, caste, colour and any other conceivable barrier on earth, of which, there are many more. 

He was admirably,  apolitically Political; He was multi-religious, and therefore no religion could truly claim him or, he could not claim to be of any single religion. He loved the people he fought with –and he did not fight against any one. He fought against practices, habits, prejudices, hatreds – not against people. He wanted power for people – not for himself. I love him as world leader. He was nothing short of it. And, there is none else like him. 

After Gandhi, India had Jawaharlal Nehru as the next, tallest leader in the Indian political scene. Nehru was a truly International Political leader, who could see every international and national issue from an international perspective – and visualize solutions from such international perspective. India may have been a fledgling, poor country when he was around – but, Nehru was richly respected as International leader. If Panchsheel became a failure, It was because of the Chinese, not because of Nehru, who truly wanted a peaceful, progressive world order.

India did not have a truly international leader after Nehru. Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi displayed semblances of National leadership, gaining acceptability all over India, or, at least in most parts of it. They toured the whole of India, struck a chord among the common masses all over India, using English and Hindi both in their conversations, as proved convenient.

But that was the last of any National leadership India ever had. This is my frank opinion. I do not recall any Political leader having ever tried to reach out to the common man in all parts of India. The BJP’s tallest leaders, namely, Vajpayee and Advani were great leaders but they always spoke in Hindi in non-Hindi states also – and were least understood in those states. 

No one else, from any Political party ever tried to strike a chord in the common man’s heart in all parts of India.

So, today, we have Political contenders appealing to small sections of Population - to vote for them. And, they find that, that much of vote is enough to make them win! These are hard electoral realities of today. Only about 50-60% of total electorate actually vote. This is the tragedy of India and this should change. 

As matters stand, therefore, if 3 contestants are in the fray, whoever can get about 25% of total votes wins comfortably. That is real tragedy in a country which boasts of Democracy. Almost no one represents even the majority of actual voters, leave aside the total electorate. If some elected members have polled more than 50% of the total electorate, I think, their names need to be listed separately and they need a Big salute from all.

Electoral Candidates appeal for votes on the basis of caste, or caste groups, or linguistic basis, or religious basis and so on – and if that is not enough –only if that is not enough  - they appeal on a more accommodative basis – like, this group plus that group! And, many in that and this group fall for such carrots. People win on that basis! I do not find any one who appeals on a nationalistic basis beyond all barriers. Forget about international leadership. Even National leadership is totally – not almost – it is totally absent. Very rarely, someone like Sachin Tendulkar may say, I am an Indian first; or, Mumbai belongs to all Indians..and so on. But, he is not a Political leader at all. 

Balasaheb Thackeray was a Political leader. He was, in my opinion, not a Maharashtra leader – but a Maratha leader. His appeal was always to the Maratha Manoos. But, a leader, he definitely was. And, he was a frank, outspoken leader with his own clear opinions on many national subjects – all of which emanated from his Maratha mindset. And, though he was not against any religion in particular, he was a Hindu Political leader essentially. And, essentially he was a good human being too.

We all join his party and his family in condoling his demise.

I always wondered, if only Balasaheb Thackeray was a more Nationalist leader, and if we had more such national leaders across the country, how fortunate India could be!

I wish that – at least two or three National leaders must emanate from each Political Party, and transcend the state, religion and caste barriers totally. They must sing the common man’s song. All of us, you, me and him – all of us – must wish for it. It can happen. It must happen. For India’s sake. For our sake. This division on every conceivable basis of all of us – is just SUICIDAL.

In Congress, Rahul can strive to become a National leader. He may take a few years for it. But, I think, he can. A few other younger leaders in Congress also should and they too can – provided, the Congress High command does not curtail their efforts.

In BJP, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and NM can all become National leaders – but will they? Will they reach out to the masses across all states as effectively as Nehru, Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi did? They can – of that, I have no doubt – but will they? Will Sangh Parivar allow them to?

The communist Parties are prisoners of their ideology – and can’t come out of it. They can’t strike a chord in ALL PEOPLE. 

All other parties are avowedly regional – with no thought what so ever of ever thinking National. Some Parties think of a few people in each village as their vote Bank and refuse to see the suffering of the rest. 

Some Political Parties are based on fighting some imaginary enemy who is exploiting  them – but most of the so called exploiters they talk of are BELOW POVERTY LINE masses. But, these Political Parties too succeed in dividing masses and getting a chunk of the vote bank.

Bhagavad Gita started with the same foolish political ideology of DhritarashtraMe and Mine versus They.  Me and Mine” in Maha Bharat war could not see that “THEY” were never exploiters. Among "Me and Mine" also, most were innocent – and they all  became scapegoats for the Political ambitions of the "ME".

The same thing is happening in India from then, till now. Therefore do I strongly feel that India today needs strong nationalist leaders who think above all religions, castes, states, languages and other barriers.

Will we have a few of them? We need them - to unite us. We need them - to make India truly a united, prosperous, respected republic of India - in the world arena.

Then will come the time - to expect some international leaders too - from India

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