LEADERS OF TODAY
A century in the life of a nation is miniscule very small before in dependence we had great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose, Bal Gangadhar, Aurobindo Ghosh, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, Sarojni Naidu, J. B. Kriplani, Madan Mohan Malviya, Vithal Bhai Patel and many others. A leader is one who leads the nation. They did it. They were respected by the people all over the country. When they started movements against the British people followed them in large numbers. They were ready to sacrifice their lives for the nation. They remained behind the bars for years together. This was rather the second generation of leaders. As they were bolder and fought for independence they were rather tortured by the British.
Bipin Chandra Pal, Mahadeo Govind Ranade, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Keshab Chandra Sen, Surendranath Banerjee, Chidambaram Pillai, Bikhaji Kama, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhaya, Annie Besant, and Ishwar Chandra Vidhyasagar, Dadabhai Naroji and many others belonged to the first generation of leaders. They worked with many limitations and in a way requested the British Government to give them at least dominion status. Except for Bhikhaji Kama who was exiled most of them were never behind the bars. But all of them made efforts to improve the condition of women. They did social work and worked sincerely in the field of education.
The history of the post independence leadership is rather a chequered one. Some of the leaders like Rajendra Prasad, Nehru, Jay Prakash Narayan, J. B. Kriplani, Lai Bahadur Shastri, Vallabhbhai Patel, Raja Gopalachari, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, and Ambedkar worked as a link between the pre and post independent India. But after the death of Lai Bahadur Shastri a new era of leadership started with Indira Gandhi. She was responsible for many corrupt practices culminating in Emergency. She kept the Parliament and even Supreme Court – the seat of highest judiciary under her thumb. She was assassinated by two of her body guards who were Sikh. It resulted in the massacre of 10,000 Sikhs in the country. Rajiv Gandhi, her son too met the same fate at the hands of a live bomb in the South.
Since then the pattern of leadership has undergone a great change. Two types of leaders have sprung up. One is the regional ones as in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Some of them indulged in corrupt practices. But many of them are sincere. Still some of them give more importance to their states rather than to the nation. They have rather a notion of a sub nation within the nation. Their loyalty is rather divided between the two.
In most of the states leadership today is based on castes. Political
Parties too are formed on the basis of castes. Elections are contested on the basis of castes. It has given rise to criminalization of politics too. The whole of Hindi belt, Maharashtra, Orissa and to some extent even Gujarat
suffers from this malady. Of course Bihar tops the list. Militant leaders rule the roost in the seven sister states of the North East from Assam to Arunachal on the one hand and up to Tripura on the other. The most affected are Nagaland and Manipur.