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Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Lead India - Times of India Initiative

On the 60th anniversary of India's Independence, the Times of India group has started a “LEAD INDIA” campaign to find new generation leaders for the country. This is very significant because, for one, a leading media group in the country has finally stated it openly that we lack good leaders, and for other, it is giving an opportunity to the common man to aspire for something bigger.

The program is an offshoot of the last campaign, India Poised, launched by the group on 01 Jan 2007. Based on the responses from the readers the group identified the governance as being the country's Achilles’ heel.

The group has drawn a parallel with the corporate India. If India Inc can produce so many strong, highly motivated and transformational leaders, why can't the Indian politics?

What is it that we (the youth) lack today? I, very strongly, feel that the youth today is missing out on strong leadership, good moral values, an ideal or true hero that he or she can idolize or find inspiration from! The youth today needs to be motivated in a correct manner so that they are inspired to work towards the progress of the country! Maybe what they lack the most is a feeling of Patriotism towards their motherland, the way our forefathers had felt! The media can play a very huge and crucial role towards this end by portraying or focusing on the people who have made a difference to our country and who continue to do good work.

What better person than Shah Rukh Khan to lead this campaign! I think it is a very apt choice. He is young and energetic and full of spirit and passion! He has worked hard to achieve success on his own. His father too was a freedom fighter and so he obviously understands the importance of freedom in our lives and its effect on all of us! Shahrukh Khan is a good role model for the youth today! He has maintained his dignity vis-à-vis his acting and choice of work, and also is a true family man with good family values that is apparent! Most of the other people of his generation are busy either getting divorced or marrying twice or getting into ‘living in’ relationships!

So, what are the qualities we would want in the leadership today! According to a poll conducted by the Times Of India the qualities that were most sought in a leader are: - Honesty, Efficiency, Ability to inspire, Education, and carry people along.

The next important step is to identify the areas that need to be developed through good leadership! According to me, the first and foremost thing to consider would be farming and agriculture in our country! We definitely need strong and efficient leaders to work out good schemes to help the farmers come out of their debts, and also encourage more people to take up agriculture in a big way to stop the farmers from committing suicides and getting good returns for all their efforts! This way people living in rural areas would begin to prosper and would not think of selling away good fertile land to the ever greedy industrialists who would buy the land and build a factory or something else that would ruin the land and also spread pollution of all kinds in the otherwise beautiful countryside!

Honest and principled leaders could bring about a drastic change in our society by bringing down the rate of corruption in all spheres of life! This would automatically wipe out a lot of dirt and hollowness from our country, and help it to grow stronger by being more transparent in all its dealings! A strong police force, with honest and dedicated staff working to protect the people is the need of the hour! Also, young people to join the armed forces for the right reasons and to be dedicated to the interests of the nation. For this to happen, the government would have to provide more facilities to the armed forces and police force! Therefore, it is true that honesty is a virtue that is the first and foremost requirement of the day!

This is definitely a step in the right direction, taken by Times of India group. And I only hope that there would be more such campaigns taken up by other people or corporate groups to build on this front and hunt out the true leaders of our country! Because, I honestly feel that there is no dearth of talent and true potential in the youth of our country, they are there somewhere and need just the right push to come out and DO something to achieve their dreams and passions for the country!

Jai Hind!


Anonymous said...

It started off on the right note, but maybe we were all sort of misled, and soon it became yet another “competition” - mainly to get eyeballs and advertisement revenues, all the while claiming to meet social objectives.

And Indians, who are so obsessed with “exams” and “who is the first” etc - got bought into it.

If the whole idea was to do social good, why not choose the top 50 or so, and give them a budget? Who cares who is the “best” leader of them all? because after all the “best” is not being decided on “action” but mere “words”…for which we we have no dearth amongst the politicians of India.

The bigger problem is that we are totally ignoring the HUGE MONSTER PROBLEM OF INDIA, and not even debating it to try and find solutions. The monster problem is the totally broken delivery system of the Indian Govt - which by itself could be ignored, if it were not for the “food” it eats. But you just can’t - why? Because thousands of crores of our hard earned (collective) wealth is thrown at it - and the monster gobbles it all, and leaves just crap behind…and asks for more the next year.

Why do we have such a broken system? Here is the recipe for disaster:
1. Job for life.
2. No transparency/accountability
3. Full pay, whether you work or you don’t.

There is no “indian element” in this - you put this system anywhere on this planet and it will produce the same results.

If we are throwing 64000 crores just in the social sector alone in the mouth of this monster - and all we get is crap - should we not be urgently addressing this issue?

What bothers me is that here is a monster in our midst which is causing mayhem; this is the elephant in the room…and we simply ignore it and try to focus on a few ants.

We need to get our priorities right and we need to get a sense of the scale. We are doing this big tamasha for 50 lacs, which is 0.00078125% (yes thats a percentage) of 64000 crores…and we award 64000 crores and more to this monster called the “broken delivery system” of the Indian Govt … without a whimper, without a debate, without anyone asking “what will we get in return”?

What, are we blind? stupid? or is this a “holy cow” that can’t be questioned? so we just have to shut up and accept that the elephant will always be in the room and we will simply have to work around it, with our inane schemes of 50 lacs here, 25 lacs there…whereas crores and crores of our wealth is being frittered away.

Got any ideas to slay this monster? Pls share it with us.

kanwarpriya said...

Yes, you are right. Unfortunately we all got taken in by this "money making" scheme by the news channels and media. Sad state of affairs.
The govt can get away with anything, was apparent yesterday when hordes of the CPI party workers forced hundreds of passengers off a train in Bihar that was going to Kolkatta. They were traveling ticket less, of course! Now, instead of arresting these party workers for causing disruption and traveling without ticket, the police were seen to be giving excuses on their behalf.
Why should this be tolerated? Why ARE we tolerating it?
I strongly recommend that all politicians should have sufficient qualifications when they contest for elections. Every politician should have a graduate degree at least in any field. It is ironical that the govt is trying to eradicate illiteracy in the country, and they themselves are illiterate!

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