Why do you need leader(s)? Can't we function on an individual basis? How does leadership differ at political level? Where does the solution lie for political apathy?
These are questions. And I don't have the answers. At least, I thought so.
Firstly, whenever the question of assuming a leader and then following him/her comes up, we sense a sigh of relief, for various reasons. The biggest reason could be the anointment of a person who could be charged responsible; if at all something goes wrong. I know that sounds a bit cynical but let's take a chance with cynicism for a change. See, we humans are just like any another animal in groups. In other words, we are a herd and we require steering. And that's exactly where a leader comes in. S/He makes sure the herd is given direction and we are not talking about right or wrong or lame direction here. We are just getting into the mindset of how one accepts another human being as a leader. It could be plain stupidity on the hoi polloi's side or superior intellect on the leader's side, sometimes parlayed by the leader's cronies.
Secondly, individuality is much stronger than leadership. The leaders themselves are individuals at grass root level. The concept of leadership peculiarly pertains to urban life. In rural areas, the idea of leadership is gradually catching up; the reason being family orientation and self-sustenance, be it in life or produce. Villagers are known for working together. They help out each other on agrarian and related issues without conforming to the norm of leadership. Here, a person is designated a job and s/he does it with will. The standard of execution may not be ratified but everyone involved are accountable to each other. The success can be at an individual level, not necessarily at leadership level only. Art can make a good case study for individual progress.
Thirdly, in politics, the concept of leadership changes a bit. Here, the role of a leader gets mysteriously curtailed to the interest of the party s/he belongs to. It's easy to dismiss politics as a corruptible institution but there are some inherent home truths to face too. There is a difference between a politician and a leader. Not every politician can successfully transcend into a leader. The days of Gandhis are gone.
Today we have less of leaders and more of dealers. The alphabet remains put but a little anagram and the meaning changes. We are in for a bitter reality and the funny thing is we don't find it bitter anymore. We are sort of immune to the political idiocy. If a leader in a corporate company isn't performing well, it exhibits his lack of authority over his team-members. The blame could either solely rest on the leader or the members or both. The bottom-line is, all are accountable. In politics, we never get to peek through the veneer of the structure and hence the only person we get to pinpoint is the one at the top – the pseudo-leaders.
Fourthly, participation in political process is the key. We can keep playing the blame game but that won't work, in the long run. Our country is presently what it is today just because our leaders are not what they should be and neither are the citizens. We need to know our enemies before we go to battle. In this case, though, the enemy could be our strongest friend. Yes, I'm talking about our scam-laced politicians. If only we monitor the white-clothed people who flock to our doors before election time, things can improve a lot. If only the politicians realize that we'll not only be looking at their report card but also their progress (or prognosis). We cannot fool ourselves by believing the politicians won't run for office just because he can't run the office. They are worse. It's like a disease and needs cure. And the best part is, it's not that tough. All we have to do is be conscious and use the power endowed on us by the Constitution and use RTI. Yeah, it's easier said than done but someday we'll get tired of saying.
Leaders who can't run the country ruin the country. As simple as that.