Daily Post 1547


Be the change you want to see is what Mahatma Gandhi said and did all his life. Lead from the front is the general refrain in the forces. And everywhere else we are told to be the role model and see the change. These are not ideal situations but has been practiced by large numbers first to get independence and then to establish institutions, systems and processes in this country. Most of it we boast of, even today. From IITs to Green Revolution to White Revolution to the famed Delhi Metro is what these people have made out of the opportunities they got or what they created. ISRO is another shining example of what hard work, expertise and perseverance can do. With hardly any big branded IITians in its fold and being a part of the governmental structure, still it became a functional R&D powerhouse, which anyone would envy.

Work done need not have a face. It should happen. Weber’s model of bureaucracy is based on this thought. Your work precedes you. Today we are in situation where you have only faces and no work. The work speaks for you is left in a few professional areas like sports etc. For rest of the world there has been a paradigm shift in the thought process, perception is what matters. Perception management as a discipline and an art started with the US Department of Defense decades back. To best of my understanding there was a bigger purpose behind it and was in consonance with the quality of work.

Today without a face or the chances of gaining mileage nothing will happen. Motivation is publicity. There is a price to everything. This all still means there is something which has been done. Beyond this level, the movement is now to the surreal. Trying to create something which is not there, it can physical progress or a sentiment or a societal change. All this happens with a carefully manicured surreptitious brain washing process which euphemistically has different names– Photo-Ops, Optics, Symbolism and Gestures. Some of these are created with the changing social and political behaviour and some have gained new meaning in the present context.

When you dress, time, talk, get photographed or visit with the only purpose to get a mileage without making the effort or guide or lead or suffer to achieve that objective or goal, is what is called mercenary Perception Management. The life span of this exercise is not too long. It has the uncanny knack of getting unstuck. There are two subtleties in this game, one is doing this at the expense of people who are achieving it or are struggling to a achieve and other is by the ones who have done something great and make efforts for it to get known. There is a world of a difference between the two. In a world bereft of the Mahatma or the Mother, the latter would suffice. The world has become a pic.


Sanjay Sahay

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