Tuesday 5 July 2011

What kind of Leaders India Needs?

Written by Anil Singh

We all know that former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam has great faith in India’s youth. He finds them talented, articulate and dreamers; someone who can make India a world super power (economically developed) by 2020.

Taking his faith on India’s young a step further, Kalam Today said India needs a large number of creative leaders to become a developed nation by 2020.

Speaking during a programme organized by the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce, in Calcutta, Kalam Said:

"National economic development is based on competitiveness. Competitiveness is powered by knowledge. There is a need for creative leadership and a creative leader means he should be a mentor."

further emphasizing:

"We need a large number of creative leadership. Knowledge is the primary source of empowerment. Ability to develop knowledge infrastructure is the key factor to develop a knowledge society."

I can sense what former president meant with “creative leadership, where-in leaders take the role of mentors”. I can sense so, as I have seen many talented youth in Uttarakhand. If they understand the meaning of Kalam’s message even partially, they along with the youth in rest of Indian states can achieve the fulfill Kalam’s dream [ but task is uphill, as Kalam says to be a developed nation by 2020 , India should attain and then maintain 10 percent growth in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP)].

By creative leadership, he meant employment generation, rather than expecting Government or Private sector to provide you one. Creative leadership means, thinking creatively to find what an individual can do by taking best use of his/her education, resources and locality. But Dr. Kalam’s thought doesn’t offer bland use of any resource, the use needs to be the best.

Here’s how:

1) Best use of education: For Kalam, education doesn’t necessarily mean schooling; it means anything a person learns from his life. In Kalam’s definition of education; even a hard working but aware illiterate person is educated. Leadership doesn’t need bookish knowledge; it goes much beyond that. If you think, your education has made you stagnant all this while; then think creatively beyond your books, to see what you are capable of, try to unlearn what you have learned all these years. If done rightly, the right path to entrepreneurship will come from within. And some traits in your personality which you never paid attention all these years will feature in your new plans.

2) Best use of resources: For Kalam, best use of resources means wise use. If’s money, it needs to be researched expenses rather than speculative; if it’s environmental resources, then they the use should be sustained (non-wasteful, something which doesn’t deplete the resource and keeps replenishing it). If it’s man power, then it’s respecting people who work with you for you.

Donning the role of a leader cum mentor means showing others the way and help them reach their full potential. For example, if you have done masters in Business Administration and think you can help people in your village sell their produce to right people at right price; so that they can live more comfortably than they are living at present; then you should not stop your efforts at just providing them the right prices. Mentoring means, instead of becoming the sole agency to which farmers in your locality can look up at every time they have to get the right prices for their produce; you should teach interested farmers, how they can find the right people themselves. This way, not only you’ll grow, but others will grow too. This is much like how a franchisee works.

Although Kalam is always quick to underline the need for a Corruption-free society, physical and economic connectivity in the rural areas and stress on micro-finance and small-scale industries; one thing which he stresses most is on the need of a youth, who is capable of thinking beyond his life, education and resources. A young person who is non-complaining, hardworking, passionate, and honest in everything he/she does.

According to Kalam, such countless youths, who will be found in every sphere of life, be it politics, business, social work and so on; will make India a developed nation.

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