Leadership

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” – Rosalynn Carter

Speaking to The Hindu about Lal Bahadur Shastri, India’s second Prime Minister, his son Sunil Shastri said, “Once he called all the family members for dinner and said, `Kal se ek hafte tak sham ko chulha nahin jalega. (From tomorrow, no food will be cooked in the evenings.) Kids will get milk and fruits only, others will fast.’ After a week he called us again and explained, `I just wanted to see if my family can sacrifice one meal every day, my larger family (the nation) can definitely stay hungry at least once a week.’ It was in response to the U.S.’s PL-480 pressure. He refused to pay for PL-480 saying we can stay hungry but will not compromise with our self-respect. After this incident he appealed to the public on All India Radio not to cook one meal at least once a week. All dhabas, restaurants and families followed it religiously.”

Lal Bahadur Shastri is fondly remembered as a great leader who preached only what he practised.

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20 thoughts on “Leadership

  1. How I wish it is these qualities that are emulated by all Leaders in all walks of life. It’s also called walking the talk; practising what one preaches; doing what one says. Finally, it is about integrity.
    Thank you. Your posts always inspire and motivate and nudge one to be a better person.

    • There are quite a few such leaders in all walks of life. Unfortunately, such leaders do not talk/write about themselves, and others also don’t talk or write about them.

      Yes, I keep nudging my readers in (what I think is) the correct direction. I only hope that I am not, inadvertently or otherwise, pushed/nudged in the opposite direction!

  2. If only our netagan followed an iota of what Shastriji stood for, we’d have had a different India today!
    This applies not only to the Congress, but BJP, AAP, SP, BSP as well.
    In the good old days, Sunil Shastri and I happened to work together at Voltas. He was as humble as his father.

  3. Wow I remember as a kid of maybe 8/10 years we all had a simple meal at night once a week, may be just tea & toast or milk & biscuits for the adults & for us kids we had cream and banana with sugar sprinkled on top with fresh baked bread. Oh Pro you brought back memories of a beautiful time.
    On the political side I think Shastriji was & is unmatched. The pygmies of today will never match up to a stalwart like him.
    Unfortunately for us Indians one dynasty to keep itself in the public eye at any cost has wiped out the legacy of some of the stalwarts of Indian democracy.

  4. My maternal grandparents worked for Gandhiji’s Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, and as a result, they’ve met some of our great leaders. Grandma used to remember shaking hands with Lal Bahadur Shastri ji and say, “I’ve given him a handshake.” 🙂 I love the man for his simple living and high thinking. India lost one of her most precious gems when he passed away.

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