Strategic leadership for the future of India

brihaspati
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Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 09 Jan 2009 05:23

The idea for this thread comes from persistent laments in many threads about the lack of desired leadership, or desired qualities in a leadership seen to be necessary for India. However I see no thread to specifically concentrate on this issue, which is surprising if the lack of appropriate leadership is felt to be such a persistent itch.

In the whine thread here was an interesting exchange :

Ramanaji wrote

Chandragupta wrote:
I wish we had a young dictator who was a hardcore nationalist, suave and incorruptible. Who would execute every single corrupt babu & politican in this country, who would bring back every single penny that belongs to India, from the swiss banks, who would parade the Amar Singhs, Yadavs, Lalus, Patils, Deshmukhs, Antulays & Achutanandans of this country, on the streets, naked, tied and with their faces blackened with keechad. Who would give the utmost priority to the armed forces of this country & make up for the negligence of all these years. Someone behind whom the youth of this country will rally behind & work for the prosperity of India. I wish.


we had one. He was called Sanjay Gandhi. To satisfy his demands, school teachers used to send children for nasbandi, policemen would round up late night movie goers for the same.
Muncipal corp officials used to dig up perfectly good pavements and plant tree saplings, and demolish building calling them encroachments.
Dont whine too hard or it might come true. Only the 1977 elections finshed off his rein of terror. Proving the usefulness of elections vs dictators.


"Strategic Leadership" is an often touted expression in management. Here is an interesting excerpt from the Special Confference of the Strategic Management Society, held Dec 12-14, 2008 in Hyderabad. http://www.isb.edu/SMSConference/PanelSynopsis.shtml

Panel 1: Innovation as Strategy-The Indian Story

Kohli noted, “ Ours is a story of entrepreneurship. 15-20 years back, we just had the aspiration, a burning desire. We aimed to be flexible, ahead of times, break old paradigms. And all we had was a weapon called ‘speed’ - of thinking, of execution, and of employee passion.” He said that innovation, for his company, was a survival issue and not a romantic journey. And thus began the Airtel journey towards becoming the lowest cost producer in the world of telephony, and one who gave the lowest tariff - that was the new model. “We listen to the market and change,” Kohli let the audience know.

Shaw mentioned, “In our business, innovation is not just about about high risk and high reward, it is about managing that high risk, about addressing the probability of failure.”

Panel 2: Globalisation of Indian Inc.

Panel 3: Strategy and Leadership-India in the 21st century

In this panel, speakers explored the unique dimensions of strategic leadership in India.. The high velocity of change in the Indian setting, unique elements of the Indian environment, and key attributes of culture have engendered a different model of strategic leadership.

Panellist Analjit Singh said, “The Indian style of management leadership, when compared to the developed counties, has one differentiating factor - the extent of coordination required by the CEO’s, and the need of getting into the trenches.” He also noted that family business is still very under-researched, and that Indians are very family oriented and so leaders have to find out efficient ways of involving families and manage the interface of families.

Ramalinga Raju in his presentation said, “I believe value-creation in its essence is a transformational process. Business is all about identifying transformational opportunities that creates something of significance. At Satyam we believe, all are leaders and nobody is a follower.” :mrgreen: (definitely - what a value created! :mrgreen: )

“The central problem that India is facing is that of poverty, and it cannot be resolved by just volunteering or giving occasional advices. Fairly early, I decided that that’s a task I am going to address to, but as a professional,” said Vijay Mahajan.

Speaker Neeraj Bhardwaj added, “In the 21st century, there are going to be major technological changes in India. Global integration will be the bigger order of the day.” He pointed out that there are similarities between both the Western model and the Indian models in strategic leadership and in the way leadership translates strategies to deliver results in India.

Panel 4: Multinational Innovation in India

....This panel aimed to showcase India as an innovation laboratory for western Multi National Corporations; and share some of the successes and challenges. that their Indian subsidiaries have faced in driving these innovations.

Visscher commented that Indian society was “million times better networked than any other country.” “Give people access to the most interesting work available in the industry to retain talent,” he added. Thyagrajan noted that brands last longer in India than anywhere else, with some brands existing for over 40 years now. When moderator Bala called India a chaotic democracy, Shivakumar said that “chaotic or volatile we don’t have a choice, we have to deliver.”


Substituting the obvious management terms and entities of businesses and companies or rmultinationals, with groups, forces and ideological positions within India we can easily see that, very similar concepts can come up for discussion in our national life.

(1) Innovation as Strategy-The Indian Story : how should the future leadership of India innovate? how should we innovate to get future leadership?
(2) Globalisation of Indian Inc. : What should be the future strategy of leadership in this arena as applicable in the field of international politics? what type of leadership do we need? How do we create/prepare/get them?
(3) Strategy and Leadership-India in the 21st century.. The high velocity of change in the Indian setting, unique elements of the Indian environment, and key attributes of culture have engendered a different model of strategic leadership...The Indian style of [...] leadership, when compared to the developed counties, has one differentiating factor - the extent of coordination required by the CEO’s, and the need of getting into the trenches.”....that family business is still very under-researched, and that Indians are very family oriented and so leaders have to find out efficient ways of involving families and manage the interface of families. ( :mrgreen: so relevant :mrgreen: )

... value-creation in its essence is a transformational process.... is all about identifying transformational opportunities that creates something of significance....all are leaders and nobody is a follower.” :mrgreen: (definitely - unique representation of what current leadership strategies mean by value creation :mrgreen: )

“The central problem that India is facing is that of poverty, and it cannot be resolved by just volunteering or giving occasional advices. Fairly early, I decided that that’s a task I am going to address to, but as a professional,”.....

all important issues for the future strategic leadership - please do post all you want from your future leaders, how do you think such leaders can be found or trained or brought up, and what strategy should be followed by them in various arenas India as a nation will be expected to perform - internally as well as internationally.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby samuel » 09 Jan 2009 05:45

How does Indian society prevent the rise of people who otherwise would be nationalist leaders?

I think that's because the citizens of india do not ask strategic questions that open up avenues for realizing a vision for india that most auto-rikshaw drivers can articulate..."Mera bharat mahan"

S

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 09 Jan 2009 06:11

I think that's because the citizens of india do not ask strategic questions that open up avenues for realizing a vision for india that most auto-rikshaw drivers can articulate..."Mera bharat mahan"


Is it a fault in us then, the common citizen? Because we do not have a clear vision, we do not get leaders with clear vision? But if we had a clear vision of everything and knew what to do, we would not be needing leaders at all - would we?

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby samuel » 09 Jan 2009 06:23

Most Indians I've met have a vision for their country I mean. Usually, the vision is straightforward, e.g. mera bharat mahan. If that is all was sufficient to get there, yes, no leaders necessary. To help us get there, a lot of ground work needs to be done. People need to ask strategic questions. They are questions that usually reveal something about what is blocking from realizing vision. Questions such as, what can I do to improve X are one kind of example. The answer usually produces a direction to head in, usually a small step. When such small steps are taken by millions of people, the conditions are created for someone to rise and lead to articulate the shared dreams and the path to get there. Such people could be called leaders, and some of them could even be visionary.

So, it is the failure of the citizen, you and I, to take those small steps that facilitate the conditions for leaders to rise that prevent their rise. It is just too stacked against otherwise, but other kinda leaders may rise, oh just look at the parliament of India for them.
Last edited by samuel on 09 Jan 2009 06:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby gandharva » 09 Jan 2009 06:24

How does Indian society prevent the rise of people who otherwise would be nationalist leaders?


THE FOREMOST FAILURE: SPIRITUAL
THE SECOND FAILURE: CULTURAL
THE THIRD FAILURE: MENTAl

This triple Hindu failure on the spiritual, cultural, and mental levels prevented Hindu society from evolving and pursuing policies which were imperative in the unprecedented situation, and which would have saved it from the permanent scourge of a malignant fraternity embedded in its very heart.

http://www.bharatvani.org/books/siii/ch9.htm

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby shiv » 09 Jan 2009 06:34

brihaspati wrote:
I think that's because the citizens of india do not ask strategic questions that open up avenues for realizing a vision for india that most auto-rikshaw drivers can articulate..."Mera bharat mahan"


Is it a fault in us then, the common citizen? Because we do not have a clear vision, we do not get leaders with clear vision? But if we had a clear vision of everything and knew what to do, we would not be needing leaders at all - would we?


In this context "Strategy" itself is the ability to see the world like a chessboard in which one is able to clearly recognize one's own nation as the King that you are playing for and the other pieces are allies or enemies depending on your interests.

By definition "strategy" requires education and knowledge of the world. It also requires the ability to rise above small sub-interest groups (state, language, community) and look at the nation as a whole.

This automatically rules out 95 of Indians. But that does not worry me so much as the fact that strategic leadership is absent from possibly over 90% of our elected parliamentarians.

Education is vital for strategic leadership. That education is not even required to become a leader in India. It is not surprising that our leadership lacks strategic thought. he ability to lead a small group such as bunts or Gujjars to gain electoral victory is NOT strategic leadership. but the people who do that are expected to guide India's strategy.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby enqyoob » 09 Jan 2009 06:43

Its a good thing that the Kyoto Protocol does not (yet) have a section on forum threads. :mrgreen:

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 09 Jan 2009 08:13

Less developed countries allowed higher rates of emission. India exempt from framework. Unkil playing catch me if you can. :mrgreen:

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby enqyoob » 09 Jan 2009 08:30

:mrgreen: (sorry)

brihaspati
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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 09 Jan 2009 08:55

This automatically rules out 95 of Indians. But that does not worry me so much as the fact that strategic leadership is absent from possibly over 90% of our elected parliamentarians.

Education is vital for strategic leadership. That education is not even required to become a leader in India. It is not surprising that our leadership lacks strategic thought. he ability to lead a small group such as bunts or Gujjars to gain electoral victory is NOT strategic leadership. but the people who do that are expected to guide India's strategy.

Shivji, an important observation. But I am thinking of M.K.Gandhi, no public election winnings as far as I know. Probably not quite comfortable with elections - supposed to have thrown tantrums when Bose was elected to the top chair over his nominee - Bose did win a municipal election, and never again stood for public elections. Indian public must have been less educated then, but that did not prevent large sections from following these leaders. Right or wrong, they managed to mobilize large groups of Indians on visions of nationalism, and they did not derive the source of their leadership capabilities from public elections. Is there an underlying factor here? maybe people were not yet that absorbed into the electoral process? Maybe they valued individual qualities more - like integrity, sincereity, honesty (none of the three have any allegations of "vanishing funds" for example), all sufficiently qualified to earn their own keep, and their monetary and personal life quite transparent? Did Indian society have different sets of ideals and expectations?

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby AKalam » 09 Jan 2009 09:11

Leaders have to be groomed. First the best raw materials have to be collected from all over the country based on demonstrated academic achievements and/or standardized tests lets say after grade 7 or 8 and then these students should go through a grooming process. There is a fundamental flaw in today's education system, it concentrates on bookish knowledge, but it is not enough for future leaders. From the best materials, the very best should be separated from the second best. The very best should be groomed for top leadership and the 2nd best should be groomed for next level. Both groups should spend their early years in Dharmic traditional schools, with traditional materials such as Veda, Ramayana, Mahabharata to inculcate the greatness of past great leaders such as Ram, Ashoka, Shivaji et al. Of course they should also be taught all necessary languages such as English, Hindi and any native mother tongue. From middle school, the two groups will have separate paths, the very best will start spending 1 year each in different important countries, such as, China, US, Russia, Turkey, Arabia, Japan, Germany etc., whereas the 2nd group would mostly become area specialists by becoming resident students in one particular country or region, learning their language, culture etc. Finally after high school, they should continue their university education in a similar way. Traveling during their study breaks should be emphasized. After graduation, they should be posted in large Indian MNC's in similar way, the first group in a rotating manner and 2nd group in their respective region of expertise. The idea is to let them walk and live among the people of the world and understand them, not from books but from real life and also to understand how the wheels of the world actually run, in different countries and regions. It is not going to be cheap, but a state as large as India, I believe has the resources to afford this kind of experiment.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby John Snow » 09 Jan 2009 09:19

"Leaders are not groomed, only followers are"

"Leaders, bloom, thrive based on conviction and unwavering commitment to the cause"
Spinster

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby SaiK » 09 Jan 2009 09:29

need to start a "strategic leadership academy" on the lines of NDA somewhere on lakshwadeep islands or andaman /diu. perhaps, only such bachelor/ettes given key positions.. but, the wresting the control from baboo hands is more important.. needs constitutional changes how we choose policies.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Rudradev » 09 Jan 2009 11:03

The greatest leaders are thrown up by the greatest adversity. (I'm talking about "digvijaya" leaders, of course... I'm assuming that Siddhartha Gautama isn't in the running here).

Look at Mohammed... psychopath, fascist, alleged child molester... but what a hell of a leader, forging a handful of perpetually-infighting desert rabble into the nucleus of one of history's great empires! His very name carries with it the impetus of dread, more than a millennium since he walked the earth.

By contrast, in lands like our own where all was plentiful for the greatest part of our history, adversity is an aberration to which we're unaccustomed... and leaders come into their own reluctantly, in the most ad-hoc of circumstances, for the purpose of keeping such adversity at bay as long as possible. Eventually, they hope, the engines of that adversity will run out of steam and the hard times fade from our collective consciousness. Leadership is only required "until then".

Shivaji is known to have been an ascetic at heart... at one point, legend has it that he slipped away from Raigarh and sought out Sant Ramdas, confessing an unbearable compulsion to renounce the material world and take up the ochre garb and begging bowl. Ramdas counseled him to return to his dharma.

Consider M.K. Gandhi, for that matter, and the extremes of personal deprivation he practised in his lifetime.

Would such leaders have ever emerged on the soil of our subcontinent, but for the most tremendous (and exceptional, on the Indian historical scale) adversity that its people were subjected to in their times? Would we have had an MK Gandhi if it weren't for the British genocide of Indians via decades of manufactured famines? Would Shivaji have abandoned a cushy life as the son of a Bijapur noble and taken up arms against two of the subcontinent's greatest empires, had he not spent his formative years fleeing with his mother from village to village, watching his people slaughtered or sold into slavery by rampaging Muslim armies?

By contrast, groomed leaders in the mold of foreign templates have by and large been disastrous for our civilization. Yes, Nehru was responsible for industrialization and the IITs... but think what that man could have done, had he been blessed with a little more vision and cursed with a little less narcissism! Nehru came to power commanding the sort of inspired, beatific, once-in-a-century popular mandate that would have made Saint Barack Obama look like Mike Dukakis by comparison. He could have led ANYWHERE, and hundreds of millions of Indians would have followed unquestioningly. He did not need to cull his nation of ideological resistance by enacting the mass slaughter of potential dissidents, as did Stalin or Mao... our parents and grandparents would have marched the longest road or taken the greatest leaps at his merest word without any hint of coercion. Instead, he surrounded himself with self-serving sycophants and flatterers, nucleating the essential culture of what passes for "leadership" in our country today. Chhee!

I believe that it is the ad-hoc nature of such leadership, so endemic to our national character (ad-hoc in the sense of "make the adversity go away so we can get back to life as it was before") that defines the sort of leaders we've had for most of our history. Their philosophy was always, "accommodate, compromise, and ensure at whatever short-term cost that we might tread the path of least long-term destruction". Hence, the Brahmins and Kayasthas who collaborated with Muslim rulers in Northern India defined the outer edge of Indian Dhimmitude.... learning Persian, finding service as Munshis and Darogas with the Mughal imperials, out-shayiring the shayirs. If the architecture of our Dhimmitude was dictated by Islamic principles, its craftsmanship was entirely Hindu in nature... a syncretion reminiscent of many Mughal monuments!

Of course there were also defiant Brahmins who bestirred their gods from menaced temples and struck out for the pockets of Hindu resistance in the hinterland, but they ended up as much on the margins of the subcontinental chessboard as those pockets themselves. Of course there were the Dadoji Kondadevs and Guru Gobind Singhjis, but these were by far the exception rather than the rule. The political character of Indian leadership was defined chiefly by the collaborating caste-Hindu; he who won the confidence of his foreign overlords by mimicking their outlandish ways, he who was traditionally vested with the authority of ideological stewardship to strike compromises on behalf of the Hindu polity. And strike them he did, by ensuring that for most of our post-Mohammedan history, the Hindu polity remained divided along caste lines, thereby remaining readily governable by even a small minority of foreign monotheists. This worked well for the Mohammedans, who gained mastery over almost all the land and treasure India had to offer, plus as many slaves and laborers as they might need to work it for them, without needing to expend their energies on the slaughter and conversion of more people than they'd ever seen anywhere else in the course of their expansion.

This was primordial Indian Accomodation... the cultural precursor of the "Accomodationist" viewpoint I have described in one of my blog articles. This was the grand bargain struck with the Muslim overlords, which ensured the survival of the Hindu polity and the preservation of its ancient ways to a greater extent than those of any other pre-Islamic civilization from Morocco to Bengal... but at a fundamental cost.

This model of leadership-by-compromise, initiated by the Shayir-Pundit, was of course recapitulated under the British by the Brown Saheb. We give Macaulay too much credit when we imagine that he invented the idea of a native collaborator fashioned in the conqueror's image. We had prototypes of those running all the way back to Todar Mal, and likely even further.

Nehru, of course, was the ultimate Brown Saheb. I've given him enough grief on my blog, though, so I'll move on.

However, it should be noticed that the Accomodationist policy he instituted derives from the same pedigree of simultaneous arrogance and servility as established by caste-Hindu collaborators several centuries earlier. On the one hand, it is utterly condescending towards the Hindu polity, warning its members to forego any aspirations towards realizing a Hindu Political Identity if they know what's good for them. On the other, it begs the indulgence of totalitarian foreign ideologies, applauding any behavior from their followers short of actual destructive violence as evidence of their best intentions. This is the central tenet of the accomodationists’ philosophy… survival is paramount, so confronting intolerance is not an option; instead, the intolerance of others must always be embraced and accomodated with a proportional degree of compromise on our own part. No wonder these morons steadfastly glorify Akbar as “the Great”… comfortable dhimmitude under the aegis of Jalaluddin’s Mohammedan mastery is the highest aspiration they have!

In this era of renewed Indian prosperity, the curse of plenty has taken hold of us once again. We’ve reverted to the idea of great leadership as being that which holds discomfort at bay by making the necessary compromises. We’ve buried the dead of Mumbai in our minds and are on our way to beatifying the lone surviving killer instead, savouring his life experience as a human-interest story for feel-good popular consumption. As long as the brownie points we earn protect us from being nuked so that we can continue to enjoy all the money that most of us are still making… the future is as good as guaranteed. Why should we ever need another kind of strategic leadership?

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby ramana » 09 Jan 2009 11:27

I think I had posted before that Indic mind listens to /yearns for ascetic leaders. The idea of tyagi is very firm from Lord Krishna down to Mahatma Gandhi.

BTW the secret of George Washington was also his spurning office repeatedly- first as Commander and then as President beyond two terms. The people knew they could trust him as he was ever ready to spurn power.

The whole tyag concept got twisted with INC dynasty leadership which clung to power in modern times. JLN onwards hanging on till death and so on.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby RayC » 09 Jan 2009 13:09

Strategic Leadership, I presume, is not National Strategic Policy organised by dynamic cabinet leaders or am I wrong?

I ask this, since I do not understand what is Strategic Leadership. I only understand leadership at various levels and organisations and at the highest level, I think it is just National Leadership since they are entrusted to formulate both internal and external leadership keeping geostrategic and geopolitical perspectives in view!

I am tired of gobbledygooks and fancy words that mean simple things: In the Army, we had ''time and space" till some cute chap did a course in the US and then he started using "spatiotemporal environment" making chaps run for their dictionary and then forgetting what was the main issue being discussed!!

Having seen this world for 62 years, I am convinced that if someone knows what he is talking, he can say it in plain words!

Since we are so keen to quote the US as the last word, this is what they say of Strategic Leadership:

Strategic Leadership: Framework for a 21st Century National Security Strategy is the product of over three years of discussions and debate on everything from fundamental assumptions about the nature of the international order in the 21st century to U.S. policy toward the Middle East. At a time when the United States truly must rise from the ashes of a failed foreign policy, this report breaks away from such traditional concepts as containment, engagement, and enlargement and rejects standard dichotomies of realist
power politics versus liberal idealism. It starts from a set of U.S. national interests as old as the nation itself and asks how we can safeguard and pursue those interests in this 21st century world. Without pretense of answering all questions and addressing all issues, the report offers bold and genuinely new thinking about America’s role in such a world.
http://iis-db.stanford.edu/pubs/22204/S ... ership.pdf

So, what is Strategic Leadership?

If explained, we can start.

Let us not delve in woolly woolly thoughts and so esoteric that one does not understand where were are to go!

I concede that intellectuals understand what they write in very high fautin' academic terms, but then this is a forum that has all types!

Help!

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby shiv » 09 Jan 2009 19:42

RayC wrote:So, what is Strategic Leadership?



Going into "scratched record" mode - here is my take

Two words there

1) Strategic
2) Leadership

I will leave out "leadership" as self explanatory.

"Strategic" is the ability to think strategy. This cannot be explained simply but I will try.

A man with a shotgun aiming at a flying bird needs to quickly imagine in his mind's eye where the bird will be in the air at some future point in time and aim for that point.

Aiming for a desired effect at a future date, taking as many variables into consideration is "strategy". So one definition of strategy would be the ability to accurately aim at a moving target to be reached at a future date.

What would the "target" be for India, and at what date would be two pertinent questions to define strategy for India.

A target for India would have to be a national goal. Such goals clearly exist for civil India, but I do not see a concomitant urgency in backing up those civil goals with the necessary military power and robust (honest, just) governance required. This is due to both abject ignorance and condemnable corruption among our leadership.

In addition, my personal "punga" with strategy in India is not the lack of national goals, but a degree of "naivete" - perhaps even stupidity in my view, shown by the leadership with regard to known culprits like Pakistan, China and KSA. India has shown wariness with regard to the US, but has been terribly naive about Pakistan.

I believe that the "naivete" about Pakistan has certain psychological roots, including Indian suspicion of its own Muslims and a political inability to address Indian Muslims without thinking that they want bribery, sops and a misplaced feeling that all Muslims will be happiest (and not riot or run to Pakistan) if they are compelled to be 400% Islamic, pray 5x times daily and go to Madrassas. I think these are active mistakes that have been made in India. Indian politics has attempted to make Islamic poster-boys of Indian Muslims rather than citizens by dealing kindly but firmly.

Just my view.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby sum » 09 Jan 2009 20:19

Sorry if OT but this is the current crop of "leaders" we have:
Adamant Soren says he won't quit

Defeated in the Assembly by-poll, Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren has said he will contest again, thus virtually ruling out immediate resignation. :x :x

The Congress, meanwhile, indicated that Soren should quit after losing an assembly bye-election saying the verdict of the people should be honoured.

"It is (defeat) a setback for the (UPA) government. The verdict of the people should be honoured," party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.

Sad.... :cry:

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 09 Jan 2009 20:52

Hats off to Shivji, again, for putting it in simple terms.

Strategic Leadership is a term frequently used by so-called business leaders. But it already is adpatable to military/geo-political scenarios as quoted by RayCji.

A simple starting point for "strategic leadership" in Indic context is a long-term, and India-wide clear perception of obstacles and objectives, and a long term commitment, will and capacity to carry out necessary steps. To a certain extent this does mean a difference in scale of thinking and operations, duration, compared to just "leadership" - leadership which simply thinks in short-term, localized, tactical terms - like our illustrious revolutionary Mr. Soren, perhaps. Just "leadership" looks at issues on a reactive basis, on a day-to-day basis, on an immediate local basis, cannot see or identify core problems or is not willing to solve them fearing the costs. Just "leadership" does not take any real initiative to solve fundamental problems thinking of pain and hardship or initial reverses and difficulties.

Examples of modern period past strategic leadership would be Abraham Lincoln, Gandhiji, Kemal Ataturk, Winston "racist p**" Churchill for Britain during WWII, Ho Chih Min for Vietnam, (there can be others....).

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Rudradev » 09 Jan 2009 22:16

I realize it is part of BR "Mohammedanism" to imagine that we think of everything here first. :mrgreen:

A little self-congratulation now and then is fine, but it shouldn't get in the way of our recognizing historical realities.

To wit, we didn't invent Indian nationalism, or even the notion that such nationalism requires a pan-India perspective and long-term vision as ideological precursors.

I went to an ICSE school, as probably many others here did as well. I remember growing up with an unmistakable degree of exposure to nationalist ideas... in school lessons to a very large extent, but in the popular media as well, which back then consisted of some TV but also a grood deal of print.

I grew up in the era of the very first "Mera Bharat Mahan" television spots; kids' magazines like "Target" from Living Media, "Tinkle" and "Amar Chitra Katha"... all of these were designed with the intent of instilling and promoting certain ideals among the young people of India that are critical to the development of a "nationalist" perspective. National Integration was a major theme. So was awareness of our history, culture, and the essential character of Indian-ness underlying our diversity. Let's note for a moment that, in those days (the '80s) the media was entirely Indian-owned and Indian-operated, and that the GOI exercised a considerable degree of control over it.

At school, the message was more diffuse. Mine was a Christian institution, as were many of the ones considered "prestigious" in those days. History, especially Indian History, was rife with the NCERT's ill-conceived Thaparite propaganda. From the 8th Standard onwards, we became encouraged in social studies classes to "think critically", which was in fact cover for conditioning us towards the adoption of an internationalist liberal perspective.

Even at this stage, though... all the way through high school, in fact... Hindi lessons in particular continued to extol the themes of national integration and cultural unity. Every year there would be some lesson on Kashmir and how Kashmiriyat transcended Hindu-Muslim differences, representing a microcosm for India. There were stories about the bravery of Sikhs fighting World War II, the valor of Rana Pratap, poems about Rani Laxmibai, and fictional parables of self-sacrifice and virtue that paralleled the ideals of the freedom movement. Of course the slant was Congressi... this was the Rajiv Gandhi era. Saadat Hassan Manto's satire on Partition, "Toba Tek Singh", featured prominently in our Hindi literature class. Themes of women's rights and poverty were also visited, in line with the Congress' then socialist outlook. But all in all, it was nationalism through and through... quite unlike the sort of perversity that Pakistani textbooks are filled with, but geared towards inculcating a nationalist perspective nonetheless.

So why do I recall all this? Only to point out that our government(at least up to the 1980s) was not falling down on the job. In fact, I don't know how many of us would be BR-ites today, had we not been brought up on a diet of soft-nationalism messages during our formative years.

The meme is definitely there. What we lack is the machinery to express it adaptively as a civilization.

To apply Shiv's analogy, we are trained to use the shotgun, and willing to use it to feed ourselves and our families. We are also skilled enough, once we know what the objective is, to anticipate the motion of our target and fire our weapons accordingly (though to me, that is more a tactic than a strategy).

The problem is, and has always been IMHO, identifying the objective. As I've said in my previous post... we've been, for most of our history, a land of plenty. What need was there to go outside? Food grew easily, the earth was endowed with resources for the taking. Kings maintained order and dispensed justice; when they went to war, they had the luxury of choosing to conduct themselves in a principled manner, because it was rarely if ever a desperate struggle for the control of resources. Priests, philosophers, scholars, scientists and intellectuals established great centers of learning and contributed vast knowledge to the human canon... secure from the violence of man or nature. Traders came, we welcomed them, everyone turned a profit, everyone was happy. Why did we have to conquer, kill, convert or otherwise dominate anybody else? Who were the enemy? Hunas, Sakas, Satavahanas? In the big picture, such foes posed no existential threat at all; it was the easiest thing to move over a little bit and accomodate them, because there was so much extra to go around.

Even after the real dangers started to present themselves, beginning with the advent of Mohd Bin Qasim, we adhered to strategies in which accomodation was the objective. Please move in next door and take whatever you need; if you must, move in to my house and take my property because I can easily go and find some more; the important thing is that you leave us in peace as we have left you-- that was the objective.

For a while during and after the 17th Century, when the Marathas and later the Sikhs realized that there was not going to be any peace achieved through accomodation, things changed. The objective became survival, and the ousting of the Muslim predator was the only available choice. For the most part, other than a few pockets in the Gangetic plain and Bengal, this was achieved throughout the subcontinent... but the achievement was soon undone because the impetus to survival, on its own, is purely reactionary. No adhesive, no common vision, no unity of purpose existed to hold the Maratha coalition together against Abdali, or the Gangetic and Punjabi people together against the British. Some inchoate (though severely flawed) version of such an adhesive began to emerge in 1857, perhaps for the first time in Indian history... but it was not enough.

M.K. Gandhi, at long last, inspired the Indian people with what could have become a coherent and unified basis for envisioning future objectives... but the British seized upon the opportunities offered by Allama Iqbal and Jinnah to subvert it. On Direct Action Day, it became obvious that we had come full circle... we were back to defining our objective in terms of accomodation once again, M.K. Gandhi most intently of all.

An awareness of the big picture, of the grand sweep of Indian history and so on is no doubt a crucial ingredient to the evolution of such objectives in future. However, we at BR aren't the first ones to have realized or aspired to this. Gandhi, and even Nehru, had as formidable an understanding of India as one could ask of any "strategic leader"... and yet, the best they ended up offering us was accomodation all over again. That is what our Vajpayees, Advanis and Manmohan Singhs offer us today.

Perhaps the question is, apart from this business of "perception", what ELSE will the epigenesis of "strategic leadership" in the Indian context require?

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby JwalaMukhi » 09 Jan 2009 22:26

There are many interests represented in the Indian Polity, among which Indian interests are also competing. As a reflection of these fissures, the Indian establishment (babucracy) possibly also mimics the same setup.
A quick snapshot of competing interests of the present scenario.
1) Panda/Dlagon interests: Well entrenched in the red brigade of India.
2) Russian interests.
3) Saudi/Islamic interests:Example- Azmagarh constituency.
4) American interests.
5) Western interests.

Samuelji has put a diagram in other strategic thread about India's connection in the world at present scenario. The job of the Indian establishment is extremely difficult given these competing interests, that is the reason there is lack of response, for the war imposed on India as exemplified by Mumbai attacks. In fact, the Indian establishment has to cater to these competeing interests and muzzle Indian interests through an amalgamation of these interests. Not the best solution; as each constituency cries foul if its interests are seen as being compromised.

For example, the russian interests, helps in defence supplies, and the entanglement with russians has been better with respect to geo strategic interests, but India has paid heavy price in terms of economics. The Russians will not work with cross purposes in geo strategic domain but will create havoc in developmental and economic domain.

The Dlagon interests is upto to no good, other than creating problems for the Indian interests in terms of both geo strategy and artha.

The american interests helps in catering to economic needs and benefits, but certainly is not amenable for geo strategic interests. In fact, the american interests work at cross purposes of Indian interests in geo strategic domain.

So any action taken by India, is hamstrung by the constituencies that try to muzzle the interests they carry or scuttle others' interests.
All those interests need to be considered and to some extent catered to in real world politik and diplomacy. However, to accomodate all these interests, it seems the Indian interests has seen to be scaled down, rolled back and compromised.
Indian establishment needs to let know where to draw the line and tell others to get off, when promoting Indian interests. This in simple terms needs cojones in a leader, which Snow garu keeps emphasizing. This is where Indira Gandhi knew where to draw the line and juggled geo strategic, survival instincts with economic and other interests.
So the deseparate need is for leadership/establishment who/which actively promotes Indian interests in such a muddled scenario.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby samuel » 10 Jan 2009 03:30

Before they invented radar, shooting an aircraft going merrily along its path required strategy. After they invented radar, the Kalman filter, a "dumb" least squares algorithm did it.

There are two endpoints here. One, the absolutely obvious and at the other end, the unpredictable. Strategy is about reasoning in the middle ground for optimal solutions to objectives that an organization or nation may face. Implicit here is a) there are many potential outcomes, b) there are many available actions available, c) it is non trivial to understand what future outcomes of current action is.

That is, in the presence of
1. Nonlinearity of the process.
2. Uncertainty in perception and knowledge
and
3. Dimensionality of the space of possibilities.

Solutions that efficiently find the most optimal possible path is strategy.

If you are dumb but very quick, simply walking through the all the options might be ok, like Blue gene. If you are dumb and slow, trusting in a path might be for you. If you are smart and slow, you'll find other dumb and quick ones to help you and if you are smart and quick, you'll never want to be a leader.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby ramana » 10 Jan 2009 03:34

I posted in the War clouds thread...

ramana wrote:I have had a revelation a little while ago. Going back over the whole history of conflicts etc, "Victory is not about winning battles, but the enemy losing them and giving up!"

Yes TSP will attack here and there by themselves, with British help and US help and PRC assurances but as long as India holds together and gives the decisive final blow there wont be victory.

And now is not the right time.



Holding together right now is the best strategy.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Rudradev » 10 Jan 2009 05:53

ramana wrote:I posted in the War clouds thread...

ramana wrote:I have had a revelation a little while ago. Going back over the whole history of conflicts etc, "Victory is not about winning battles, but the enemy losing them and giving up!"

Yes TSP will attack here and there by themselves, with British help and US help and PRC assurances but as long as India holds together and gives the decisive final blow there wont be victory.

And now is not the right time.



Holding together right now is the best strategy.


Yes, but in our context, this is likely to become another rationalization for accomodation.

Namely, if we "hold together" and play a 100% defensive game while Pakistan attacks us, we are in effect accomodating Pakistan's prerogative to attack and kill Indian citizens (it doesn't matter in what terms we justify this to ourselves or have international interlocutors justify it to us... "it was done by non-state actors", "TSPA is trying to provoke a war so don't give them one", "Address the root causes of Muslim discontent", etc. etc.) The end result is the same, so the essential strategic objective we have chosen is the same. We're fighting for a stalemate despite having the capacity to win overwhelmingly.

To us, we're "holding together" for long-term survival by making short term sacrifices and compromises... the age-old accomodation strategy. To the Pakis, our willingness to accomodate shows that we are weak, we are ready to buckle, we are afraid to fight, and that their strategy of jihad is paying off.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby AKalam » 10 Jan 2009 08:33

The ideas I presented earlier is related to what the Japanese tried during Meiji restoration period, to instill the Samurai spirit rooted in their indigenous culture among its new elite and at the same time create an elite that knows how the world works from overseas education. The NRI and Overseas Chinese did not play a small role in the current phase of rising economies in India and China.

Visionary leaders are of course born, but the rest of us can be good managers and for that I believe we need to walk the earth and talk to people (Guatama BUddha and Gandhiji did the same I believe) within the country and in other parts of the world, instead of getting all of our reality from books, electronic media and internet. It is not cheap, but it may be good investment for the brains that show promise.

Each country situation is unique and solutions are different, but Korea and later Asian Tiger economies followed something close to the Japanese model and China also has followed an export driven model. For India, a post consumer sustainable development model with emphasis on knowledge economy could bypass the wasteful mass manufacturing and its harmful environmental impact IMVHO.
Last edited by AKalam on 10 Jan 2009 09:27, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby John Snow » 10 Jan 2009 08:58

Strategic Leadership is a term frequently used by so-called business leaders. But it already is adpatable to military/geo-political scenarios as quoted by RayCji.


Its the other way

Unless you say tha Business is conducted on war footing! :mrgreen:
while Shiv garu did good explanation of "Strategic" with assumption of Gun in hand that is operational strategy, resources are in hand, objective is clear and in sight.

We need to go back a few steps back to get to the "strategic"

"Need to subjugate or disable an object moving or stationary , near or far away"
(Strategic) Vision statement

How do I make this happen ( Strategic planning and paning)
who when what (with what,when,who resources)
Who.....
1) 2) 3)

When ......
1) 2) 3) time or relative dispostion of dependent/ parallel or series of actions

what............
1) 2) 3)
**********
Seriously I forgot my emoticon

My guru is Tenali Ramakrishna the Vikata Kavi ( Or shall we say Ananda Vikatan :mrgreen: )
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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 10 Jan 2009 09:12

AKalamji,
true indeed. But you can see that the leaders you mention, limited themselves in talking to not all the people of the world or over "great distances" but intensively to people within the region they wanted to mobilize. Did Gautama talk much with the commons before he obtained Bodhi? Scant little are known, and what survives could have a great deal of reconstruction/propaganda in it. Some have even suggested that the key was Sujata's question and intent in asking "that" question. Before Bodhi he appears to have concentrated on the intellectuals - after Bodhi he went around mobilizing people. Gandhiji definitely started out from his own internal debates - and there are keys to this in his autobiography and his writings. He does show an early keen sense of dignity which extends from an intense self-respect to collective self-respect (his iconic expulsion from first class in SA) which expands into leading a collective burning of racial identity permits and eventually more. In each case they start out from intense personal searches and land up in finding the answer in mobilization of large groups of people. I guess it is that personal search, and that which leads to answers in the collective mobilization (some searches may lead to ascetism or the individual fulfillment path) - is an essential factor in persistent, long term, strategic leadership (driven is perhaps another modern word - :) ).

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 10 Jan 2009 09:17

John Snowji,
One of the business leaders who happened to be in that not yet 1-month old Strategic Leadership meeting at Hyderabd was Ramalinga Raju who in his presentation said, “I believe value-creation in its essence is a transformational process. Business is all about identifying transformational opportunities that creates something of significance. At Satyam we believe, all are leaders and nobody is a follower.” If that is not evidence of doing "tha business on war footing" what is ? what an identification of "transformational opportunities" creating something out of nothing and back to nothing again? :mrgreen:

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby John Snow » 10 Jan 2009 09:34

you spoke Satyam.

( that is why I get impatient with the so called leaders of this era who are more of Bakwas and power (grabber) pointers :mrgreen: , I worked in India during Seth NP Godrej, Ross Perot in EDS, etc etc who are no bull all deliver kind of leaders....)

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 10 Jan 2009 09:56

Rudradevji,

your comments about Gandhi being part of the accommodation brigade reminds me of an analysis I did once (led me to a lot of trouble though - grave doubts about my class loyalties! :mrgreen: ). Two of the communist stalwarts of India got quite confused when they started to deconstruct Gandhiji : Hiren Mukherjee in Gandhiji and E.M.S Namboodiripad's The Mahatma and the Ism. I think their observations and the sources of their confusion could be quite relevant for our topic.

Both show in historical detail Gandhiji's reluctance to take up worker's and peasant's demands, his opposition to strikes and non-payment of rent to landlords, his retsriction of mass movements which he himself had helped ignite, his pressure tactics aimed at bargaining rater than fighting ti the finish, etc. Mukherjee hold these calling off of mass movements responsible for immediate growth in communal tensions (a remarkable coincidence indeed - but predicted by Hoffer). E.M.S on the other hand points out Gandhiji's differences with the "bourgeoisie", and his differences therefore with both moderates and extremists, and at the same time his acceptance as a leader by both sections which he attributes to Gandhiji's ability to arouse the mass as also his ability to restrict the mass in favour of Indian bourgeosie.

Significantly, however both see in Gandhi qualities that seem to go beyond the class character of his politics. Mukherjee sees in him "the soul of our land", his strength in a combination of mysticism with a vivid practical sense "the most formidable of all combinations". He sees the greatest contribution in Gandhiji's "fearlessness". While Mukherjee picks on specific qualities, E.M.S takes a more political approach until he reaches Gandhiji's last years, where "the Mahatma stood alone, adhering to his principles, neglected by the Congress which wanted power at any price".

This leads necessarily to the recognition that Gandhiji cannot be understood entirely in terms of class interests (my comment, not EMS's and source of trouble, :mrgreen: ). E.M.S in his chapter on "Meaning of Gandhism", characterizes Gandhiji as an idealist not only in the philosophical sense, "but also in the sense that he kept before him certain ideals to which he clung till the end of his life". It was this idealism "that played a big role in rousing the hitherto slumbering millions of the rural poor". E.M.S here concedes that it was Gandhiji's "reactionary" views that "enabled him to form a bridge between the mass of peasantry and the sophisticated representatives and leaders of the modern national democratic movement". It was this idealism also which isolated him from the "bourgeoisie". "It is when we examine this growing gulf between him and his colleagues in the last days of his life that we come to a really objective all-sided assessment of Gandhiji, the man and his mission. For this growing gulf was the manifestation of the reality that Gandhiji's insistence on certain moral values had once been helpful to the bourgeoisie, but became, in the last days of his life, a hindrance to it". (E.M.S)

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby abhischekcc » 10 Jan 2009 10:41

brihaspati wrote:John Snowji,
One of the business leaders who happened to be in that not yet 1-month old Strategic Leadership meeting at Hyderabd was Ramalinga Raju who in his presentation said, “I believe value-creation in its essence is a transformational process. Business is all about identifying transformational opportunities that creates something of significance. At Satyam we believe, all are leaders and nobody is a follower.” If that is not evidence of doing "tha business on war footing" what is ? what an identification of "transformational opportunities" creating something out of nothing and back to nothing again? :mrgreen:



So much MBA Jargon in such a short statement. No wonder Satyam was f***ed so royally.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby AKalam » 10 Jan 2009 13:13

Brihaspatiji,

Actually you are right, great leaders did not have to travel much, their intense personal journey or drive was the key, as you say.

I have also another theory that a true genius, a true paradigm shifter, is not born everyday, when they are, they transform history. If we look at history, it is full of such individuals, in fact, all of history seems to be a depiction of the deeds of such individuals and their impact on human society, some could be brilliant military tacticians, or others could be messengers of love and compassion or others could be originator of fantastic, seductive and attractive theories for the masses, which were ultimately corrosive and destructive and yet others were a mixed bag. It seems that its all a matter of dumb luck, but I do not believe in luck, I think we can and should try to maximize the probability of success.

The way we can maximize the chances of creating these geniuses is to make sure that a maximum number of population get sufficient basic nutrition (chemical free organic food if possible, as it is being produced cheaply in Cuba for example), from the time they are in womb till all their developmental phases, as well as sufficient tools to educate themselves. In other words, I think its possible to make "organic" farming of human beings using natural and traditional method (starting with indigenous values), at the same time using the most modern tools and technology that helps the quality of end product. If we can increase the number of these products, then our possibility of finding talents and geniuses among these products will also increase.

Travel today is possible because of aviation, a luxury that became available only from late 20th century, so I mention this to utilize it as a part of the available tools of education, because the world today is a global village, when we make a product and sell it in local or export market, we are competing on a world stage, more than ever, so the importance of understanding the world, first hand.

What I described above, is what the education system already tries to do, to nurture talents and take the cream and let them study in IIT for example. This is kind of the elitist view, that there should be meritocracy. The rich always emphasize travel as part of the education for their children, with good reasons. One of the most amazing open minded individual I have seen, is my friend from Banglore, the self taught Naturopath, he traveled 110 countries. This is a little extreme, because this is his hobby, to visit as many countries as possible. What I personally prefer is to pick a particular culture and immerse in this different cultural frame of reference so as to learn to see the world through their eyes.

The other view is that, since today there is technology available to collaborate (such as the movement of open source software development) and take votes more efficiently and quickly, there should be flatter organizational structures, be it politics in a country or in a for profit corporate entity, without much emphasis on exceptional leaders.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_governance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_democracy

A balanced approach could take advantage of both extremes, the genius of visionary leaders (groomed or ungroomed) and the decision making empowerment of the members of any organization by making them as flat as possible, whether its a corporate entity or a country. Such a flattened organization, as a natural evolution of human organization, can be much more efficient and empowering than a communist society in maximizing their creative problem solving ability, minus the emphasis Marx and his followers placed on disruption of existing social structures and eliminating the value systems that hold these societies together and are an integral evolutionary part of these societies.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 10 Jan 2009 20:22

AKalamji,
There is no doubt that representative democracy was/is an interim form of expression of popular will in government. As communication speeds increased, the forms of the state changed. We need representative leadership simply because, we all do not have the time/inclination/expertise to take up roles in day to day government, or get involved in communicating our decisions to the organs of the state.

As communication technologies improve, there is potential for greater direct involvement of the people in decision-making. Already the pressures towards this are evident within some countries of EU, where referendums can be initiated by the people and have a limited recognition legally. Of course, political parties and politicians are very very unhappy with such direct expressions of the popular will. I think it is very similar to the insistence of theocracies of all the so-called religions to stand in between as the intermediary between "supreme power" and the people. But as technologies improve, demands and pressures for more direct forms of democracy will increase.

Increasingly, I think, the number of leaders and representatives that we need is going to decrease. Moreover a lot of the decision making and administrative processes will become routine and automatic, with increased digitization and will no longer need the actual decisionmaking capabilities of a representative leader. The future of leadership therefore will have to think in terms of this changing paradigm - and it will be more about setting agendas, providing ideas, and being able to motivate people to accept such ideas rather than being one-man(or one-woman) substitutes for entire groups of people. Leaders are likely to be more producers of memes, rather than actual executors of those memes - the real executors will be the direct decision-making by the people.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby sureshm » 10 Jan 2009 20:40

Only people who have a solid (Marxist) perspective on all matters-politics, history, economics, war, terrorism, pretty much everything-can become great leaders. At the end of the day, it all centers on the workers, who happen to be the majority in EVERY nation. Hence, a leader who caters to that majority is what we need, NOT leaders who're only available to the rich and the elite.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 10 Jan 2009 21:25

Only people who have a solid (Marxist) perspective on all matters-politics, history, economics, war, terrorism, pretty much everything-can become great leaders. At the end of the day, it all centers on the workers, who happen to be the majority in EVERY nation. Hence, a leader who caters to that majority is what we need, NOT leaders who're only available to the rich and the elite.


No one doubts Marx's contribution to sociology. But politics, economics, war, terrorism - pretty much everything - is a different ball game altogether. This is not the place to go into details of why's and hows's of Marx's errors when it came to practical implementations of his theory of "dialectical materialism". I will only stop here very briefly with three major countries in Asia where "Marxism" was seriously tried out - Russia, China and India. Whats crucial for the leadership question, all three countries show that the practical implementation of Marxism in the form of various flavours of communism have reproduced the very "elite-rich-dominance" patterns everywhere. There is a reason for this, but it points to factors that are not so transparent in Marx's own writings.

There is a specific structural-organizational form of the communist movement that leads to concentration of power in a hierarchical elite and reproduction of the very power-elite structures that the communists start out officially to break down. Just study the actual partcipation of "workers" in communist party decision making in all its forms - the best time for "workers" is possibly at the very beginning - when the "party" is struggling, from there it is all downhill. In fact, my experience suggests that all of the "reactionary traits" survive deep underneath a veneer of "progressive thoughts" - and comes out under very subtle indications. Just study choice of marital partners, choice of allies in internal party struggles, behaviour under criticism, handling "funds", and all sorts of rationalizations of what are essentially age-old ruling elite tactics.

Moreover, in trying to disassociate from the "native cultural roots" - the farther the better the Marxist - on top of the very traditional attitudes to power and dominance, creates a peculiar sense of alienation and vulnerability. The leadership is almost always on the "edge" ideologically, and at least for India this has led to serious contradictions where the country's interests have been concerned.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby sureshm » 10 Jan 2009 22:59

I will only stop here very briefly with three major countries in Asia where "Marxism" was seriously tried out - Russia, China and India.


Workers never controlled the means of production in the aforementioned countries. Hence, they weren't Marxist. They were state capitalist.

There is a specific structural-organizational form of the communist movement that leads to concentration of power in a hierarchical elite and reproduction of the very power-elite structures that the communists start out officially to break down.


Reason why Trotsky's vanguard idea has to be implemented.

Moreover, in trying to disassociate from the "native cultural roots" - the farther the better the Marxist - on top of the very traditional attitudes to power and dominance, creates a peculiar sense of alienation and vulnerability.


What's wrong with such disassociation? It's in the nature of things to change, hence tradition has to be abandoned, or, we'd still be stuck in the past, and no progress can be made. This clearly explains why India has never been able to succeed at anything, it's due to the baggage of the past, of tradition.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby JwalaMukhi » 10 Jan 2009 23:20

sureshm wrote:
Moreover, in trying to disassociate from the "native cultural roots" - the farther the better the Marxist - on top of the very traditional attitudes to power and dominance, creates a peculiar sense of alienation and vulnerability.


What's wrong with such disassociation? It's in the nature of things to change, hence tradition has to be abandoned, or, we'd still be stuck in the past, and no progress can be made. This clearly explains why India has never been able to succeed at anything, it's due to the baggage of the past, of tradition.


Well when one is not grounded and moored to what is important, then one will get there because whereever one arrives is the destination.
When one cannot safeguard what is valuable and cannot discern what is important, will always advocate and blame their inability to comprehend on tradition.
When one does not stand for anything, will easily fall for anything and everything.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Rahul M » 10 Jan 2009 23:44

This clearly explains why India has never been able to succeed at anything, it's due to the baggage of the past, of tradition.

:roll:
care to expound on this ?

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 11 Jan 2009 00:03

this is probably going more in the general direction of another thread - or two - "future strategic scenario..." and the "Red Menace". I will still not go into the specifics of Marxist doctrine, and you are raising questions that need long polemical debates, which typically end in long-lasting hatred by the one who loses :mrgreen:

As far as leadership is concerned, there is no Marxian analysis of why tavarisch Bronstein had to go into exile from the USSR, and why tavarisch Jugashvili presided over his exile. :mrgreen: If you say, it was the peculiarities of the Bolshevik party and not the personal influence of Lenin which structured the party which created conditions for Trotsky's defeat - and all those ramblings about incompleteness of the "Russian revolution" and not extending it to the "world revolution" - you are unknowingly giving tradition/past existing condition/ a significant place. The fourth international's theoretical outpourings have not provided any substantially new understandings. The main failure in all flavours of Marxian thought is the the inability to apply their understanding of the question of power to themselves. Power, the insistent, paranoid search for power and dominance appears to work irrespective of whether you try to dub it a "dictatorship of the proletariat" or not. Since communism (all practical implementations, including the Red Army built primarily by Trotsky, which had to turn against its earliest and pivotal supporter in the sailors at Kronstadt) always leads to authoritarian rule, and always regenerates essential elite forms it originally claimed to displace, communist leadership cannot be the way forward. If you really want to debate this - as to why I think Marxism fundamentally cannot go beyond this reactionary slide, I am willing to take this up in the "rhetoric or dialectic thread" or the "red menace thread".

A complete break with all traditions, all past, all cultural roots is impossible. If you look at the early Marxist writings, you will see it saturated with Judaeo-Christian memes and motifs, more obvious if you read in original German. Engels was less careful than Marx, so I am sure you would be pleasantly surprised. If you look at the Marxist leadership, you will see that they did not depart much from tradition in their personal life. With regards to India, whether it is useful to make a complete break with the past or traditions belongs perhaps to a different thread - maybe the "dialectic and rhetoric" or "future strategic scenario thread". If you wish I am willing to discuss it there.

The key to your misunderstanding is what you say about India's apparent (to you) inability to "succeed" - this is usually the first line of propaganda handed out to Indians by the revealed traditions as well as European origin ideologies. To establish this you have to first establish what the parameters of "success" are, and whetehr even according to those parameters India was actually "unsuccessful" in the past. The reason this sort of propaganda survives is because of suppression of detailed and authentic history of India, and sometimes blatant misrepresentation. I do have a feeling that you have not given effort to know the history of India in depth, studying it from both sides of the propaganda. Apply the dialectical method of "thesis, antithesis and synthesis" (you can start with claims of both the Left and the Right in history) and then come to your own conclusions - all the time taking care to search out and read original sources and narratives.

My experience, even in experienced people I have met here in this forum, is that many who think they have found the answers in the claims by non-Indic ideologies and in being as far as possible from "Indic" culture/traditions, do not realize that many of their "liberated" beliefs actually have been toyed with and discussed before within Indic traditions. It is better to know the full story before you delight in disinheriting yourself.

Since this is a leadership thread, I would suggest trying to start understanding the basic motivations for personal power and dominance underlying all "Marxist" leadership - in the earliest debates between Marx and Bakunin over "anarchism".

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Rahul M » 11 Jan 2009 00:13

Only people who have a solid (Marxist) perspective on all matters-politics, history, economics, war, terrorism, pretty much everything-can become great leaders.

they also make great un-paralleled killers ! :mrgreen:


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