Command and do not demand, respectMahatma Gandhi. Jawaharlal Nehru. Sardar Vallabhai Patel. Lal Bahadur Shastri. Kamaraj. What is common to all of them? They were all Indian leaders. They were leaders who were able to command and not demand respect. Millions would be ready to follow them, at whatever time and for whatever reason. They lived lives that can be emulated by anyone. They were totally honest. They were selfless.
Cut to 2020. We do not have a single leader who can even be compared to these great leaders. Yes. Not a single one. We have crooks and selfish leaders. We have leaders who do not want to even give a press interview. We have communal leaders who raise issues concerning Dalits and the minorities and play havoc with their lives. Our economy is in shambles only because we do not have a single leader in the mold of any one of the aforesaid leaders.
Yet, where do you and I go? We need to live a life, particularly based on principles. We need to be selfless and impeachable honest to the maximum extent possible. We should refuse to pay bribes. Yes. we have alternatives. We still have builders where every deal is done only through cheques and also deliver on time, for example. We can buy houses only from such people. We have very honest teachers and Government officials. We should celebrate them. We should emulate them. If we do such simple things, we can Command and not demand. respect from our own family members and our immediate society. The spin-off effect on the wider society will also be good.
Yes. we should keep it simple and stick to basics. We can and we should do it. Respect should be automatic. It should not be forced. We can then emerge as leaders in our own right.