I just felt like adding a couple of strokes to what I had written earlier about Great Man or Zeitgeist.
A couple of days back, a colleague of mine was relating one of the incidence of life to me. In his school days, he participated in a debate whose topic was whether we can have a leader like Mahatama Gandhi today or not. His stand was “NO”. His reasoning was that there are still a lot of people like Mahatama Gandhi today. What’s not there are the people willing to follow that kind of philosophy. He got that stature because back then, there were people who would follow that kind of philosophy/methodology.
Since, he was not very good at speaking, he didn’t win the debate but one of the judge had rated him the highest for his reasoning.
I agree with him. We cannot have Mahatama Gandhi now. To have Mahatama Gandhi, it takes a person like M K Gandhi and a nation like India striving for independence. Even if we have former, we don’t have the latter.
I was just reflecting on this and got some more interesting conclusions. There are some people who have intrinsic quality to lead. This is regardless of their ideology/methodology. So, at any given point of time, there are goon leaders, spiritual leaders, economic leaders, social leaders, political leaders etc etc. Who gains prominence depends on the “time” and “place”. In a social setup leaning towards anarchy, the goon leaders will tend to rise. Similarly, in a social setup where people are looking for self-actualization, the spiritual leaders will tend to rise.
So, the leaders are always there for everything be it gundagiri or gandhigiri. Who gains prominence depends on where people want to be led to.
It also takes us to another interesting conclusion. It’s foolish to say that India doesn’t have good leaders or it needs good leaders. On the contrary, Indians need a better sense of direction where they want to be led to. The leaders will automagically emerge.
How the people of such a large nation acquire that sense is a topic worth investigating.