And finally the “Lotus” blooms !!

The final results of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections have been released by the Election Commission of India. The results were published for the 543 member Lok Sabha by the Election Commission of India on their website.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alone could secure 282 votes. And the final tally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the alliance that went to the polls together, is 336. These numbers have never been achieved by the party and the alliance in the past. These numbers are historic and set a new benchmarking. The Congress Party could, however, secure only 44 seats. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) could make the final tally to 59 seats. The other parties together account to 145 seats.

And to form a government any party or formation needs 272 seats.

And finally the “Lotus” blooms !! The miracle of the Narendra Modi (NaMo) leadership is that it has given the BJP a nation-wide sweep and has also increased their vote share to a new mark. The BJP vote share has gone up from 18.8% in 2009 Lok Sabha elections to 31% in 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. On the other hand the Congress’ vote share has decreased from 28.6% to 19.3%.

Please visualize the above data in a Datawrapper Chart. You can also view the same data in the Google Spreadsheet.

The people of India have given their verdict and they have also given an opportunity to the BJP and NDA under the leadership of Narendra Modi (NaMo) to bring development and give good governance. And all this has to be proved objectively with enough empirical data and figures. And if the leadership is able to do all this with enough objectivity then nobody can stop NaMo for the second term as PM. Indeed, the challenging times are ahead.

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Amartya Sen Vs. Jagdish Bhagwati

Amartya Sen and Jagdish Bhagwati, world’s two prominent economists have come forward to express their opinion on the kind of economic vision the country should have in the changed political power at the center. Both the economists are India-born Americans. Amartya Sen, however, claims that he still holds Indian citizenship and is also coming to India to cast his vote.

Amartya Sen has his own apprehensions on the Modi-led government. His biggest concern is the safety of the minorities and the issue of secularism. Well, these issues require a deep insight and open debate on a global platform. What do you mean by minororities? What about the Hindu minorities in Bangladesh? What about the Hindu minorities in Pakistan? What about the minority Hindu Kashmiri Pundits who have been deserted from Jammu and Kashmir? What about the minorities in the US and other parts of the globe? A much bigger question is, if you divide the humanity between minority and majority how will you protect the minorities from the majority? The oppression of the minorities will prevail in some form or the other. And this is prevailing for millenia and the whole history is a witness to this stigma. This kind of division is a stigma on the entire humanity. If the whole humanity is divided beween poor and rich then how poverty can be eliminated? Just think !! If you create a pyramid out of a society on these lines then there will only be a conflict in the society in some form or the other. Just look up in the heaven? Do you find a pyramidal structure anywhere in the cosmos? Nowhere. You only find a circular structure among the planets, stars, and galaxies. The pyramidal structure prevails only in the societies. If you want only an economic growth then the pyramidal structure is okay. Then you will have huts alongside skyscrapers. Then you will have poor among the rich and the super-rich. And when the pyramid grows with the economic growth the gap between the rich and the poor, and the gap between the majority and the minority will also grow. So how will you remove the division and the conflict? This needs a different approach altogether. Those who eat only bread and butter have no idea about Jhunka Bhakar. A pyramidal structure is a symbol for prosperity with conflict, and a circular structure is a symbol for prosperity with peace.

In the same way, when you divide the society into different religions, how will you then attain to peaceful coexistence of these religions? This is a far bigger question. And if the religions become vote banks then the problem will further get complicated.

Amartya Sen had come very heavily in July 2013 against Modi. He said at that time that he didn’t want him to become PM because he didn’t have secular credentials. You can read his views and opinions in a TOI news here.

There are always two paths – Prosperity and peace is one path, and Propserity and conflict is another path. And these two paths can never go together. And every society has to choose. The western society has chosen only growth. And as a consequence the society has grown in material abundance but there is no peace. There is conflict alongside growth. There is no peace in the prosperity. On the other hand the eastern society has chosen only peace. And as a consequence there is only poverty. This society looks peaceful on the circumference but it is not true peace. Prosperity is outside and peace is inside. And this requires a continuous balance. And Enlightenment is an art of balance of these two – prosperity and peace. And this is possible at an individual level and collective level, and hence requires different mind-set and a different culture.

Jagdish Bhagwati on the other hand has a faith on Modi-led government. And he is ready to help, guide and advise the Modi-led government in the future. In an interview to TOI he says, “The Gujarat model is not just about creating prosperity. It is also about using the wealth that is created, to increase social spending. Personal social responsibility works in Gujarat. Narendra Modi’s own life, where he dedicated himself to social service, is par excellence the essence of Gujarat’s approach to wealth – create it but avoid self-indulgence. Corporate social responsibility is meaningless if the corporation is making losses.”

Every economic growth model requires a holistic growth model. Economy, Education, Environment, Ecology, and Enlightenment are not five different compartments. They all are different components of a healthy and peaceful society. Prosperity has no meaning without peace, and peace also has no meaning without prosperity. Economy has no meaning if there is no environment to live. Education has no meaning without an ecology to lead a meaningful life. And what will you do with Enlightenment when you don’t have food and clothes? What is therefore needed is a holistic approach in everything. And this is possible with a far bigger vision.

I suggest that the Modi-led government if comes to power, should not only seek expertise from outside but should also seek expertise from inside. In India there are many great economists. India’s economic problems are unique and different, and I don’t think we can bank only on an outside expertise. We should also insource this expertise from within India.

Education, Economy, Environment, Ecology, and Enlightenment are the five major components of a healthy society – a society that is prosperous and peaceful. All these components are inter-related and inter-dependent. The society should aim at seamless integration of all these components. And all the people in the society should continuously strive towards churning these components. 

Plato on People and Politics

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” Plato

Plato is so pertinent in the above observation. The elections are round the corner all over India. A new leadership and a new government is in the offing. The people of the country must participate in large numbers to choose best of the leaders. Please always remember that there are only two choices: One is to lead, and the other is to get led. And the only answer is “Better Management” and “Better Leadership”. And all this is possible by choosing good leaders. 

What do you want? Do you want an inferior to lead you? If you go by the statistics and information available with the Election Commission, about 30% of the elected representative to the parliament and the assemblies have criminal records. Some have even heinous criminal charges. And the above trend is increasing and not decreasing. And if the same trend continues, a day is not far when we all are governed and led by criminals. Can we really hope this to happen? What kind of ecosystem we are creating for the present youngsters and for the new ones to come in the future?

Please also note that excercising one’s vote is not only a right but also a great responsibility. If the people are not wise in choosing their representatives, then only inferior ones will rule and govern the people and the country. All power is of the people. All power is for the people. And all power is by the people. The highest power lies with the people. And the responsibility of the government is just to serve the people. It is, therefore, rightly said that the Constitution is OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people. This is the true power of the democracy.

Life Leadership Program

Life is a mystery and it can never be defined. It can only be lived and experienced. We can learn the life leadership lessons from great people. Life throws many challenges and may give rise to many leadership roles. And some major leadership roles are: Technology Leadership, Business Leadership, Political Leadership, Social Leadership, and Spiritual Leadership.

Business Leadership:

A value that benefits only a few and not many. “A value is a difference of the cost of output and input.”

Richard Branson says, “I wanted to be an editor or a journalist, I wasn’t really interested in being an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going.”

Business Leadership is to create a value in the form of products, services, and solutions, and share these values for an exchange.

Technology Leadership:

A leadership that creates a technology that leverages the power of the above values. “The technology is neutral. It absolutely depends on us as to how we use the same.”

Technology plays an important role in the life and growth of people. The technology is neutral and it all depends on us as to how we use the same. A knife can be used to cut an apple or one’s own hand. And it can also be used in an operation theatre by a doctor to save the life of a person.

Political Leadership:

A leadership that allows the use of power to create the above values.

This is what Jimi Hendrix says, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

The whole purpose of a Political Leadership is to move the power to the people. And eventually, all power is for a prayer. All desire is to move towards divinity. And all energy is for Enlightenment.

Social Leadership:

A value that benefits many and not only a few. “A value is a difference of the cost of output and input.”

The whole world is one family. And everything is interconnected. There is nothing that lies outside the existence. The whole existence is a one unity. And this philosophy has been called by the ancients as Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

Spiritual Leadership:

A value that benefits everybody and everyone. “A value means now there is no difference and no gap.”

Spirituality has to be a social revolution. The mundane has to be spiritual, and the spiritual has to be mundane. It is not that what you do at home and the office is mundane, and what you do in the Ashram is sacred. Every mundane act has to be a divine act. This is Spiritual Leadership.

Leadership means to create a “value” that benefits the whole of humanity. And a leader is one who “shares” this value with the world. The value differs in each case. The value chain moves forward. It is just like how the raw gold moves from the state of a raw gold to the state of a 24-carat gold on the value chain. Spirituality is, therefore, an inner value chain. It is a process of moving from an ego-center to a conscious-center. The conscious center has a beginning but no end. It is endless and infinite.

Leadership Poll

Each person has his own liking for a particular leadership role. “Leaders are born and are not made”, is an old adage. People can be trained to become great leaders. A good leader is one who can create other great leaders. This is a new adage that is in. Leadership Poll is just to check and know your liking for a particular leadership role. Please choose your own true choice.

Awaken the “Absent Leader” within You !!

Are you an “Absent” Leader? May be you are too busy to know your leadership style. And may be you perceive that you are not an “Absent Leader”. An Absent Leader is one who is too busy in his own cocoon and has no time to get in touch with his people. He creates a silk envelope around him and is surrounded by sychophants. He sits in an ivory tower and is not in touch with the reality.

In the ancient Indian times this type of leadership was seen in Dhritarashtra, the blind king of Hastinapur and Bhishma, the grand old man who had sworn to serve the Kuru Kingdom. The king was not only physically blind but was also spiritually blind. He was giving a blind eye to all the wrong actions of his son Duryodhana. He was not able to take any action on the wrong actions of his son. He was suffering from Putramoha (gross attachment to his son). Physical blindness is not a big handicap but spiritual blindness is a big handicap. Bhishma was a man of strong morals and ethics. He was a man of strong characters. But he too was suffering from “Rashtra Dharma”. He had sworn to protect the king under all circumstances. These were the handicaps in the way of able leadership. And such circumstances slowly pull the leader into an “Absent Leader”.

Mahatama Gandhi brought in the metaphor of “Three Wise Monkeys” to convey the Principle Centered Leadership to the people of India. And these three monkeys are: See no evil, Speak no evil, Hear no evil. And the “Absent Leadership” in India gave altogether a new dimension and paradigm to Gandhi’s Principle Centered Leadership. And the three wise monkey’s of Absent Leadership are: Don’t See, Don’t Speak, Don’t Hear. In fact the Absent Leadership has added a fourth wise monkey to the three. And the fourth wise monkey is “Be Absent”. The fourth monkey is awesome. The fourth monkey metaphorically means, “Don’t be present and be absent”. The Absent Leadeship follows the Ostrich Philosophy.

What is the solution then? The only solution is: Right Mindfulness. Right Mindfulness is not being Full of Mind. It is being mindful to the absent mindedness. Right Mindfulness can awaken the sage commnader within you. Right Mindfulness is a powerful meditation technique that brings an order in a chaos. The ancients have practiced growth and prosperity along with harmony.

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” Lao Tzu

Leadership means to create a value that benefits the whole of humanity. And a true leader is one who shares this value with the people. Political Leadership means to give power to the people. It is an action to move the power to the people so that the common man has all the power. And this way it becomes a distributed leadership. As of now what happens is that the politician discounts the power and through his action and administration he passes on only a discounted power to the people. This process is very dangerous to true democracy and meritocracy. And if this is not checked from time to time, it may lead to an absolute power. And we all know that the absolute power corrupts absolutely. This absolute power could lead to the eventual death of a democracy. And meritocracy shall remain a far cry.