Skip to main content

Why Idolize Leaders?

Indians suffer from an extremely bad habit and that is they need no time to be in awe of someone who they feel is a bit capable and extraordinary. It is good to seek inspiration but to be in awe ensures a blind eye to the faults of that person. This is what we as Indians have been known for in our entire political history before and after independence. We have idolized our leaders, over-looking their crimes and mediocrity. Of course, this has ensured that the same bunch of fools keep ruling us year after year! Sometimes, we are in awe of a personality; at the other times in awe of power and position. There is a very thin line of difference between awe and respect (at times we might not even be aware when we cross this line!!). A complete and illogical idolization ruled the minds of Indians especially after the country's independence. So Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and many others were believed to be Gods and worshiped as God. They just could do no wrong. With this practice of idolization comes the tendency of according titles to leaders. So we have a Father of the Nation, Panditji, Iron Man, etc etc ... till today these titles continue and we even name many of our roads and monuments after these leaders. Certainly idolization is a selective exercise. While we revere Gandhiji, our history has ignored Bhagat Singh, Tilak and Azad who made significant contributions for the country. This kind of idolization has presented us with a distorted sense of history whereby we refuse to acknowledge the fact that Gandhiji could have prevented the partition or Nehru could have avoided the Kashmir blunder in the     UN. But where do we have the time and inclination to delve deeper in history? We naively believe what all our textbooks and media passes to us as the truth! Rarely do we question history and our leaders. As a result we have ended up with a distorted sense of historical accounts!

Can leaders not falter? After all they are humans and come from within the society itself. What makes them so special and whys should we idolize them? Treat them like anyone else because they are no different from us. Only because they occupy a power position doesn't make them special. The day Indians stop idolizing their leaders, I believe some of India's political problems may have some scope for improvement. This kind of idolization reinstates the maai-baap status that we give to the state i.e. it is the end of all our problems. This culture has so deeply affected Indian politics that we are just unable to get out of it!!

Let leaders work and behave as leaders, not demi-gods and this is completely in our hands as citizens of a country whose constitution does not discriminate on the basis of power, position and status.

So why should traffic be blocked and unnecessary inconvenience be cause for commuters and travelers when the CM visits the city?
Why should I wait for my MP to visit the constituency for it to be kept clean?
Why should I wait for some heavy-weight leader for inaugurating my program/venture?
Why should I have to wait to meet the Vice-Chancellor of my University and seek an appointment only to be kept waiting for hours??

Politicians ... you are not special ... we the citizens are special...!!! Our idols are wrong ... this nation needs good people to emulate and inspire!

Note: The same holds true when we idolize Bollywood celebrities and super-stars. 


Popular posts from this blog

To Be or Not to Be ... Natsamrat

How often do you get to watch a movie that is not just a three hour entertainment package delivered to you on screen, but more than that? A movie that is a lived experience for its audience. I watched one such movie recently. Of late, the Marathi movie industry has been producing some excellent stuff, with innovative story lines and bold characters. Director Mahesh Manjrekar has been at the forefront of this cinematic revolution. Anytime, I venture in to watch a Marathi movie, my expectations automatically turn sky high because Marathi cinema, over the past few years has actually spoilt its viewers for choice. Last week I watched the Nana Patekar starrer Natasamrat which means 'King of the theatre scene'. Through its trailers and subject, one feels that Natsamrat is a typically serious, art-oriented movie. And that it is. But deep inside, the movie offers a very enchanting story of an old man who once reigned the theatre scene in Maharashtra. With this, it offers ample life le…

Revisiting wounded souls in Pinjar

Film Review – Pinjar (The Skeleton) – 2003

Director: Chandra Prakash Dwivedi

Cast:Urmila Matondkar (Puro/Hamida), Manoj Bajpai (Rashid), Sanjay Suri (Ramchand), Kulbhushan Kharbanda (Mohanlal), Lillete Dubey (Mrs. Mohanlal), Sandali Sinha (Lajjo), Isha Koppikar (Rajjo), Priyanshu Chatterjee (Trilok)
Based on Amrita Pritam’s Punjabi novel “PINJAR” Violent bloodbath, massacres of scores of human beings and refugee exodus were the most powerful symbols of the partition of the Indian sub-continent. Chandra Prakash Dwivedi’s film Pinjar represents the pain of the partition which engulfed three communities of India – the Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. The film is also the story of a family, essentially the journey of the daughter of the family – Puro (UrmilaMatondkar in a major role) and her transformation to Hamida, her loss of identity and her agony. Pinjar is set in 1946 which marked the pre-partition era. Even before the country was divided into two parts, communal rage had spread all over an…

How can the Indian 'right' do it 'right'?

The political atmosphere in the country is visibly charged up after the turn of events in Karnataka last week after the declaration of results. Though there were predictions of a hung assembly in the state, the expected results which saw the BJP fall short of merely 8 seats from a clean majority, took the nation by surprise. What unleashed thereafter was a drama that no one was quite ready for. Things are only heating up for the General Elections 2019 and social media is full of advice on what and how the 'right' side of the political spectrum can prepare to face for what appears to be a mammoth task in front of them -winning the magic number of 272 seats in the Lok Sabha. The political discourse now is bereft of all decency and morality since 2019 is now a war that each side wants to win desperately. However, what transpired in Karnataka is being seen by many as a warning sign for the BJP to not take 2019 for granted. Tons and tons of advice poured in for the right-wing on T…