DailyPost 2043

Is this country in search of a statesman, who looks beyond the ordinary, the sub-ordinary, the day-to-day squabbles, personality clashes, and can visibly see Indian polity, economy, society and international positioning ten and twenty years from now. Statesmanlike attributes which the country has been yearning for last so many decades. Since the emergency days we have found it difficult to find this genre of people, to lead us at different levels of government. There is a general feeling that the people, who have led us thus far, feel elated about achieving the positions, rather than having a concrete vision to direct the affairs of the state and make it happen. A statesman develops a charisma which pulls people and professionals alike to him and his plans and he makes a success of it.

The consistent track record, untainted in any manner, delivery of the highest level, having the capability to look beyond time and space, and make others feel it routine and seamless is the innate quality of a statesman. A statesman makes the extraordinary thought and practice so real and doable and he has the uncanny ability to make things happen endlessly. Statesman has a doable vision and is not a master of pipedreams. Statesman is defined as a person ”who exhibits great wisdom and ability in directing the affairs of the government or in dealing with important public issues.” The quality of governance in wide and varied areas, in a variety of ways, is elevated to a different level. The touchstone of the statesman is to deliver the extraordinary in mundane, which we would have believed, that it happens in the way it has been happening.

Seeing through the systems is a great quality he has and also keeps on creating new and simple tools, which once tried turns out to be very effective. When it comes to handling important public affairs, his talent comes to the fore. His heart, mind, action and solution work in tandem and end in resolution of the issue. Experimentation in the public domain is the name of the game, done effectively and he builds on it constantly. Decision making is a capability which turns out to be his core domain. And the flock instantly follows, and barely anyone questions, it is based on a long track record, credibility and delivery. Very clearly he is above the ordinary and he has been able to do that through hard work, expertise creation, man management, reach a different level of intellect better called wisdom and thus has gone beyond competition.

When democracy becomes political democracy, when political victory becomes democratic governance, where do we find such people. It has been decades into this exercise. When governance becomes adjunct to politics, statesmen don’t get born. Power and statesmanship are made out to be one and the same thing, which has never been the case and will never be. Performance is the second skin of a statesman. The model of cooperative federalism which we have created cannot create statesmen, it can only create leaders who have to keep defending their acts.* Your acts will speak for itself, if it needs to be defended, you are not a statesman. Not performance and statesmanship are antithetical. Only today, the CJI said, non-performance by various wings of the executive leads to burden on courts. The search for a statesman is on.

Sanjay Sahay

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