The world has witnessed many leaders featured in the chronicles of various countries, including India. Some of them have steadily climbed the rungs of life’s ladder to earn the distinction of being recognised and respected as leaders. While a select few among them retained their perch at the top not only during their lifetime but also after departing, the rest of them vanished into thin air, barring a few exceptions. We have a string of names finding honourable mention in the pages of the history of the erstwhile Princely State of Mysore as well as its expanded geographical entity of Karnataka, as leaders or leading lights in society of their times by virtue of their illustrious track record in various fields of human activity, namely statecraft, philosophy, spiritual messages of lasting value, administration, people’s welfare, agriculture, industry and so on.
Examples of episodes narrated under unforgettable captions such as, “From the log cabin to the White House,” trailing the course of life in the face of hardship by well-known personalities used to be part of school textbooks aimed at sowing the seeds of desire in young minds to emulate past luminaries. That culture seems to have taken a beating in our times.
The world of animals and also insects provides well-proven picture of the members of virtually every species carrying on their routine activities led by a leader in an organised manner. The honeybee, with about 12 species worldwide, living in colonies with one queen, a few hundred drones and thousands of worker bees, has no match in any other species to throw light on the key role of a leader and also leadership qualities. Although endowed with the faculty of intelligence and sense of speech, human beings are in a different class given the boundless distrust, dislike, discord, greed, jealousy, avarice and undeserved ambition creating the common scenario of the leaders among them running at each other’s throat.
In the backdrop of paucity of leaders acceptable to all sections of society in the country currently, particularly in the class of national leaders, the flock of self-declared leaders have climbed the rungs of ladder factoring money-power and muscle-power. Their perch at the top doesn’t last even during their lifetime. Also, the leaders of all hues should be indebted to the media for providing them the ladder to climb the rungs.