Kanan Jaswal's Blog on Leadership

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I am staging a comeback and am pining for a Lee Kwan Yew

The last time I made a post on this blog was on the 24th April; so I’m back almost after five months. What had become a daily habit then is now an effort. But I know I have to pull myself up to do at least one posting every fortnight otherwise this would lose the character of a blog.

In India we are witnessing the worst acts of terrorism with a shocking regularity; major cities have been attacked with impunity. The perpetrators of these ghastly acts have escaped arrest except for a few successfully hounded down by the police for their involvement in the Ahmedabad bombings. As citizens, I and others are feeling insecure in our own country because those entrusted with the task of securing it have not proved competent enough. The country’s political leadership is looking stymied by the hydra-headed problem and making it more intractable is its fear that any tough measures to counter terrorism would antagonise a particular religious group and that in turn would seriously compromise its prospects in the coming state and national polls.

Why should these so-called leaders be afraid of taking bold steps to protect the life and property of the citizenry? I think they know that that is the primary responsibility of any government worth the name. Why don’t they understand that they can be firm and be fair at the same time? No one would question, much less disapprove of, a Lee Kwan Yew order to clamp down on a few human rights in order to protect human life in general – because the people of Singapore had the ultimate faith in his integrity and fairness. Let our “leaders” learn their first lessons in leadership from the great man; it’s our good fortune that he is alive and available.

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