Corona crisis: Time for innovative leadership

Dr VK Bahuguna

May 4, 2020, 10:47:10   

Today more than 30 lakh people of world are in the grip of deadly corona virus and as on 29th April 2020 more than 200,000 people have died of this pandemic. The virus has not left any corner of the earth unaffected by it. Majority of death have occurred in USA, UK, Italy, Spain, France and China. The Indian death mark is over 1000. The scientists are grappling with this virus and many companies are investing billions upfront to develop the vaccine for corona pandemics. This is the time many analysts are trying to figure out how to get away from this horrendous situation humanity is facing since the Second World War. In normal times leadership is generally discussed only in terms of governance and influencing a large chunk of people to a particular way of thinking. During the past century we missed producing leaders in social and spiritual fields who had a vision of seeing human being as a part of larger cosmic ecosystem. The world needed leaders who could visualise how to find solutions for every body's needs of life. Mahatma Gandhi who was the source of inspiration for freedom from colonialism for millions in the world and who use to say in his best known quote "the world has enough for everyone's needs, but not everyone's greed" was the one such world leader of the last century. Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Junior were among the other leaders who are remembered for providing leadership for the ending the apartheid in South Africa and civil liberties in America respectively.  

Many believe that the reckless killings of live animals in China in hotels and restaurants transmitted this corona virus which is a mutant from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARs-CoV) from snakes and Bats to humans and is now killing people by choking the lungs of oxygen and killing. The unsatiated greed for animal meet from non-traditional sources had disturbed the nature’s balance and corona may be the reflection of setting the clock back by reminding the humanity that ‘howsoever, small I may be I can run havoc and prove your science a silent spectator in dealing with me’. This is also an indication that nature will bring its own way to bring equilibrium among different components of ecosystem. The nature in the past had banished highly evolved civilization like Indus Valley, Mesopotamia, Egypt and many others in the world.
The present scenario of lock down all over the world had thrown some challenges to present civilization to act and think of providing new leadership to the world which is in harmony with nature and cosmic world. We should therefore, also see some of the positives corona virus had done to our environment and learn lesson from this. Any adverse situation always brings some opportunity for the leaders to rise to the occasion and devise new policies and strategies and corona crisis had given us some food for positive thought. The first positives is its impact on the environment as we see the most polluted cities like Delhi now completely clean where people breathing fresh air. The country side gives a very clean and refreshing looks and Himalayan mountain top ridges are visible from far and wide. The wild life coming out all over in urban and rural areas in human settlements is indicating how we have cornered them of life and space. Second, all our rivers have become crystal clean. Third, the countrymen have shown unity barring a few instances to fight this in unison and the bureaucracy and civil society is working like never before. Fourth, it also is showing that Indians have better immunity due perhaps to our food habits, inoculations, culture etc. Our ancient Ayurvedic prescriptions are coming back in use for immunity boosting. The governments world over must treat this as an opportunity for establishing a harmonious world which is in harmony with nature’s fundamental values of respecting all form of living and non living and bring ecosystem back to normal for what we have been eluding so far the sustainable development and specially the global resolve of reaching to the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations in the year 2000. All good leaders will think that way and give able leadership in this difficult time. Let us thinks of producing new leaders by using the present synergy country has achieved and rewrite the norms of our governance, social fibre and spiritual attainments and evolve into a balanced, peaceful society marching ahead silently.
We should produce effective and powerful leaders in all fields, and who have the quality of clear thinking, decisiveness, has courage of conviction, tolerance for dissent and has passion, is humble and compassion in abundance. The effective leaders should first of all equip themselves with all facts about what they are in-charge of. After getting adequate knowledge they first of all plan for action with the involvement of all stakeholders. The leader should not panic nor allow others to get into panic syndrome. One of the most important points for the leader is to be positive in his approach and to create a team of his own to execute his plan. He should the multifarious requirements for his project from various sources and show resourcefulness in achieving success. If he had a large area/sphere /subject under his control he had to lead from front and allow sufficient freedom to his team to innovate and ask questions. He should always be in touch with his people and outside world and keep all in good perspective and motivated. As a old  saying goes "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." The Innovative skills distinguish between a leader and a follower. A leader will not follow where the path may lead but lead others instead and create a road to leave a trail. George Bernhard Shaw once said "life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." So no matter make some mistakes down the road and learn from them show decisive leadership skills and be remembered for your deeds. New India must produce such leaders. 

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