By Reshma Rajeev & Samran Sing Syiem
The world is moving very fast and things have changed drastically in the last two decades. Many nations are finding it difficult to catch up with the dynamic world. Pardon me if I am wrong, but throughout our academic lives we have only heard, read and written about the developmental status of India as a ‘developing’ country and our country continues to be in the same status. Are we happy that India is still a developing country? It’s about time that India transforms itself to a developed nation. As citizens of India, we long for the transformation (360 development) to happen at the fastest pace possible. What is it that we are doing wrong? Why is our country still in ‘developing’ state after more than 70 years of Independence? What or which are the factors that play a crucial role in making a developed India? To name a few: infrastructure, basic amenities (transport, water, electricity), economic freedom, ease of doing business all have direct or indirect impact on the development of the country, but the most important factors that direct the growth and development of our country are its Leaders and Citizens.
What we lack in our country are inspirational and influential leaders. Leadership is a skill which is learnable and practicable. And therefore every leader can learn the art of leadership. Many leaders in our country have always used manipulation instead of inspiration to gather their vote banks from citizens. The time is up now for us as citizens to fall into the trap of manipulative leaders and look for leaders who can inspire us and lead us all the way to the top. A leader is not someone who reaches the finishing line alone but also takes the hands of their supporters/ followers and helps them cross the finishing line. This article does not intend to criticize or mock the leaders and citizens of this great country but it intends to see a developed and prosperous India. And that is largely achievable when we have great leaders and responsible citizens. We hope this article will be an eye opener to each and every Indian citizen on how to choose their leaders. Also next year is our general elections and all political parties are preparing for their best and triumphant candidates to represent their parties in different parts of the country; therefore citizens and political parties should be mindful and consider attributes like:
Humanitarian Approach: One of the idealistic characteristics a citizen looks for from his leader is the ability to respect every citizen’s value and lend ears to their worries. A Leader needs to consider all races, caste, creed, ethnicity etc. right from the start of their election campaign. Example has been set by our past leaders such as our very own Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther and Nelson Mandela to name a few, for whom humanity came first. These leaders have been able to earn their position in society or throughout the world and their activities such as campaigns, movements aiming at the betterment of all people have been largely successful because they were humane. Their leadership was servant-hood in nature. A leader should always keep in mind that, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” India as a country should be built first and foremost on the basis of humanity.
Leader with “India first” Attitude: The only agenda of leaders must be to serve our country. In order to do that one should love one’s country. Hundreds of citizens are electing a representative with the belief that these leaders have understood what our country comprises of and what is its potential and shortfalls are.Once these factors are understood, he has the responsibility of bridging the gap. This happens only if his love and responsibility towards the country has greater strength and he/she not let power, money or fame overhaul him/her. The duty that leaders fulfil should be aligned with the needs of society which will righteously them pride, satisfaction and respect. The sole purpose of leadership has to be the development of the country from all perspectives.
Leader with a Vision: Whether as a citizen or as a political party we should always buy into a leader with a great vision. Leaders who have the strength, desire and will to achieve their goals amidst difficulties along with the proficiency to make their panel members walk along with them are visionary leaders. Leaders with vision, will earn people’s trust and will be cooperative to promote worthwhile causes, which will in turn make them worthy leaders. Great leaders are good at seeing things beyond which most of us can’t see. One of the best examples of a visionary leader is our former President (L) A.P.J Abdul Kalam who always wanted to build a strong and self-sustainable India. His vision and his trust in the youth of our country has helped India to move to greater heights and has aided India to create a competitive position in the field of Science across the globe.
Leader with an Ideal Team: It’s teamwork that makes the dream work. Leaders themselves can cast their visions upon their team members and it depends on the support and execution of the team members to make the vision of the leader’s work. Good leaders first accept that they would require the help of other efficient leaders to yield successful outcomes that are beneficial for the country. Both the leader and the team members should have the courage and humility to learn from each other and to complete; not to compete with each other. Time and again we have witnessed that there is in internal conflict among leaders and their teams in fighting for a higher position. We should know that “it is not the position that makes the leader but it’s the leader that makes the position”- Stanley Huffty. The potential of leaders is also determined by those closest to them and their inner circle. Therefore it is very important for leaders to surround themselves with ideal team members. Once this is achieved, leaders have to pick the best of the best from the lot and offer them portfolios which are in line with their skills..
Leader with Knowledge: Knowledge alone won’t make someone a leader but without that leaders cannot become one. Knowledge should be one of the deciding factors for all of us in choosing our leader. A leader with knowledge can navigate and give us the necessary directions. At the same time, a leader who only possesses knowledge may not necessarily be a good leader. The knowledge a leader possesses should be applied effectively for the development of our country. If we want a good education system in our country we can only expect it from knowledgeable leaders. (L) Dr. B.R Ambedkar, is one such example, where he utilized his knowledge to create our Indian Constitution. It is because of his knowledge that our Indian Constitution was framed and brings justice to all Indians.
Leader with a competence to adapt to change : India being such a diverse country, the leaders and representatives should have the ability to adapt to our dynamic environment. Adaptability becomes easier when leaders are open to learning. With this fast moving world, a leader should be in equal pace with the changing world and has to make necessary changes if required. People often tend to get comfortable with the present situation they are in and refuse to accept changes, however, leaders have to be vigorous and self-motivated to make the transition towards development easier and smoother for the betterment of our country. We have to either be trenders of change or followers of change. But if we choose to be none, our country will cease to exist sooner than later.
These are some of the important factors to be considered while electing a leader in building, restructuring and transforming India. We strongly believe that it is in the hands of our leaders to take our country to greater heights and put a mark in every field we are into. John C. Maxwell has rightly said, “Everything rises and falls on Leadership.” Therefore for our country to thrive, grow and rise in all spheres we need leaders with the above qualities. It is in our hands to create a new India by wisely choosing our leaders.