His leadership’s problems
I met a dynamic, young political leader the other day. He looked disturbed. ‘You look worried,’ I said. ‘Any problem?’ ‘Oh, don’t even ask,’ he said....
I met a dynamic, young political leader the other day. He looked disturbed. ‘You look worried,’ I said. ‘Any problem?’ ‘Oh, don’t even ask,’ he said. ‘There are lots of problems. But not the right kind. That’s what is worrying me.’ ‘Right kind?’ I said. ‘You promised to remove all kinds of problems and establish a peaceful, harmonious society where everyone lived happily.
What other problems do you want?’ ‘You are right,’ he said. ‘Our job is to remove problems so people can live happily. But the biggest problem now is that people don’t seem to consider anything as a problem. They are already living peacefully without our help. Now that’s a huge problem for us. Makes us look inefficient. ’
‘What do you mean?’ I asked naively. ‘Do you see the daily news?’ he asked. ‘Yes. Rising prices, crime, all sorts of problems.’ He nodded. ‘Yes, so many problems. On top of that we add a few more problems with our leadership. What do you expect people to do when they face so many problems?’ he asked. ‘Protest?’
I ventured. ‘Correct,’ he said. ‘Only if they protest can we do something. But do you see anyone protesting? No. A couple of likes and shares on social media and they go and watch IPL matches or watch viral videos. What is there to solve for us?’ There were tears in his eyes.
‘Are you saying that all your problems are with the people?’ I asked. ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘They have no problem with anything. Rising prices. Ok. Higher taxes. Ok. No money in ATM. Ok. What’s wrong with them?’
‘How then?’ I asked. He was vexed. ‘I don’t know. Every day I create new problems and highlight them for the people. But they are more interested in entertainment. Our term is nearly over and we are looking like we did nothing. But let me tell you it’s not our fault. The people are to blame.
Sorry to say but the quality of people has gone down since independence. Now if there was a big movement like that we would be great leaders too and appear in history books. But what to do, leaders can only be as big as the people.’
‘But why don’t you solve existing problems you promised instead of blaming people,’ I said. ‘Poverty, corruption, jobs. And it’s not like people are quiet. People are voicing their opinion right?’ He nodded. ‘But not enough. All they do is crib a little. We need scale to look big. They are too tolerant.’
‘But you came to power claiming that because we are tolerant we are a great people,’ I protested. ‘Yes, but they should know what to tolerate and what not to tolerate. If they tolerate everything then what is the need for us? At this rate, even if we don’t do anything they will still be ok.
We will not tolerate such tolerance. We want big problems. We do not want them to crib a little and go and watch videos.’ ‘Listen,’ I pointed out. ‘You have been cribbing non-stop even since we met. You’re blaming the people instead of solving their problems. What sort of leadership is this?’ He got angry. ‘Don’t blame us,’ he said. ‘We are leading the people well.’
‘In what?’ I asked. ‘In cribbing and blaming of course. Listen we have social media analytics to back us –that’s what our people like doing and are happy with. Crib and blame. So we are giving them what they want. In fact we are doing all the cribbing and blaming we can. So don’t blame us.’ I started checking for IPL matches and viral videos. I could see no other way to tolerate him.
By: Harimohan Paruvu