Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Moral authority = Leadership

I am sure this will not be reported in any newspaper.

Yes! Bold headlines will be splashed all over to herald the flag of revolt raised against the BJP leadership by Arun Shourie. There will be charges and counter-charges. Arun Shoruie's fate will be decided one way or other (either Arun Shourie will be out of BJP or RSS will get Rajnath Singh removed - and so some more grist to the mill)

Only those who saw the Arun Shourie interview will perhaps carry this small anecdote in some corner of their minds. And it is too inspiring not to let out in the open.

At one point in time during his interview with Sekhar Gupta on NDTV's program Walk The Talk (Sekhar Gupta, by the way, appeared totally to be in awe of Arun Shourie - which doesn't surprise me at all; India doesn't have many people who are as erudite), Arun Shourie quotes Vinoba on Mahatma ...

In general meetings attended by some 50,000 people, small groups would form and they would endlessly chatter without actually paying attention; basically, indulging in India's favourite pass-time - eating groundnuts and banter. Nehru would first request them to keep quiet. Then he would threaten them to beat with a stick. Silence for a little while and then status quo. Then Patel would motion some of his men who would ask these groups to remain silent. People would perhaps remain silent for a longer time but then back to square one. And then Mahatma Gandhi would enter ... and a hush would fall over the assembly. Complete silence. Imagine 50,000 people! And if someone was still talking, finger on lips by the Mahatma would be sufficient. That was the moral authority Gandhi wielded over the men.

That is the true force behind leadership - moral authority.

It is a pity none of the newspapers would report this anecdote.

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