The very opening para of the TOI, yesterday, pointed as to how, for two long decades, Jayalaitha fought her mighty legal battles and equally mighty political adversaries valiantly. Her courage and charisma as a political leader was legendary. But, her personal battles, including the one involving her health, made her the human that she was!
“When I read these stories about her,” I told my friend Vikram, last night, “I am amazed as to how Jayalaitha could pull on for such a long time… carrying such huge personal burden, yet fulfilling her task as a leader of the masses so successfully.”
“A leader has to be a bullock,” Vikram was quick in responding, “Have you ever seen a bullock cart doing a reverse turn?”
No, I hadn’t. Vikram’s statement made a lot of sense to me. Masses like us have placed our heavy loads on the necks of our leaders… like Jayalaitha. That’s the truth. They have committed to pull the cart for us… And, once the bullock cart begins to move, there is no option for it but to keep going, keep pulling… keep carrying.
Is it true for leaders in other areas of our life, too?
I would like to think so.
It is their willingness and capacity to carry our load on their backs, makes leaders different for their followers. We quite conveniently ignore this truth. Criticizing and condemning our leaders – almost in all areas of life – has become a habit with us. But, if we stop to think about it, it a heavy burden we have placed upon our leaders… We have given them a thankless job!
Almost all political leaders are ridiculed by us as corrupt. The irony is this: The most honest among us are not willing to carry the load of the masses… and, if they do, they won’t be free from the ridicule.
For two long decades, like a bullock, Jayalalitha pulled the cart without doing the reverse turn. She bore her personal pain like a true bullock does…
A true bullock… A true leader!