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यद्ददाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जन: |

Yogeshvar Krishna in Bhagwadgeeta
Walk to talk!

I am aware that almost everybody on this platform must have learnt in the institute leading to enviable degrees and accolades, and in it you must have learnt a lot on “Leadership” too. Some of you, who are now engaged in training people or are facilitating different corporates and business processes, must be advising how a Leader should be. It’s good always that way. 

If we scan the Indian history of post-independence period, we shall observe that the economic and financial progress of the country does not depends upon only the Governor of Reserve Bank of India, or Finance Minister, but also and primarily on the Prime Minister, who works as a Captain and is at the helm of affairs. A captain of a cricket team or a sailing ship plays a very important role in steering the team and vessel to a desired destination, without any obstruction, difficulty or hindrance.

Now, coming to various leadership roles in the society, not only the position performing leadership roles in industry, it is utmost important to bear in mind that though they are doing everything as an individual, its reflection and impact invariably affects the society and people at large. Those who are performing those leadership roles might not be aware and conscious about it, but still consequences will take place anyway, without their knowledge.  

Let us look at few examples for this. Some years ago one Hindi film actor (Either Mithun Chakravarty or Sony Deol…I am not sure.) was doing an advertisement of ‘Bagpiper’ alcohol (It might be whisky. I am not sure because I am not alcoholic.) The said actor must be getting lot of money for doing that ad. One day his son after returning from school asked him “Papa, my friends in the school were saying that your father is a Bagpiper. What is it Papa?’ When he listened that from his child, he felt awkward and ashamed to reply his son. Immediately, he terminated that contract with the ‘Bagpiper’ Company.

These days’ three civilian National Padma Awards winners, namely, Ajay Devagan, Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar are issued notices for advertising some chewable product. Sometime back even Bharatratna Sachin Tendulkar was criticised for advertising some products and many people on social media trolled him. Whether it is player, film actor, stage performer or professionals like a lawyer, doctor or a teacher, who holds   respectable position in a society or has ability to influence, should be always conscious of their public demeanour.     

This important ethical and moral precept was known in India that is Bharat, at least 7000 years ago. Latest Carbon-Dating done by Marine Archaeological Exploration, of submerged Dwaraka off Gujarat coast claims that the salvaged parts found are at least 10000 to 12000 BC old. 

[Reference: https://nopr.niscpr.res.in/bitstream/123456789/38461/1/IJMS%2016(1)%2022-30.pdf ]

The said precept is found in Shrimad Bhagwadgeeta, in Chapter–3, in two relevant Shlokas (Stanzas) as under:  

कर्मणैव हि संसिद्धीमास्थिता जनकादय: |

लोकसंग्रहमेवापि सम्पश्यन्कर्तुमर्हसि ||२०||

A king like Janak (Father of Sita) was very exemplary, outstanding and illustrious king and still to demonstrate and project before his subject, and put forth an example of ideal and responsible King, he carried out all his duties responsibly, meticulously as per the Dharmshastras (Law).

Yogeshvar Shrikrishna further told Arjuna,

यद्ददाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जन: |

स यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते ||२१||

Whatever great and famous people do (As they are conspicuous in the society.) common people follow them, imitate them, as a role model. Even in the advertisement world, what such influential people do for promoting a new fashion or advertising a specific product, invariably impacts the public minds, especially younger generation, Generation Z, like using a newly coined word “Rizz”.

Arjuna, when he was hesitant and unwilling to fight the Mahabharat War, not because he got frightened or got intimidated by the army standing in opposite side to fight with. Arjuna was acclaimed warrior in archery and he, himself asked Shrikrishna to take his chariot in the middle of both the armies (सेनयोरुभयोर्मध्ये रथं स्थापय मेsच्युत ||२१|| and यावदेतान्निरीक्षेsहं योद्धुकामानवस्थितान् | कैर्मया सह योद्धव्यमस्मिन्र्णसमुद्यमे ||२२|| Bhagwadgeeta: Chapter-1), as he wanted to see who all generals with the gallant army are there on opposite side. He, not out of fear of war, but out of imminent disastrous consequences flowing from such devastating and horrifying war, was avoiding the war.

The logic and reasons Yogeshvar Shrikrishna was providing and emphasising upon was ‘When your all efforts do not yield fruits and you are left with no choice, then pick up your arms and weapons and fight against the injustice meted out to you.’ The loud and clear message from this, in terms of ‘Leadership’ is that ‘Walk a Talk’. Yes, the same we talk regularly in modern management science.  

Yogeshvar Shrikrishna succinctly in articulated language told Arjuna that whatever course of action you will choose today, it will be observed, noted, recorded in public memory and remembered in the history of mankind and followed by society and its members, in times to come, by the posterity. So, this decision of yours ‘whether to fight or not’ is not limited to you only, as an individual, because, you are representing Pandavas, rightful claimant of the rule established by law (In olden days Dharmshastras were recognised as Laws; and it was not only ritualistic things, as wrongly understood). Therefore, take a long term view, consider future generations, not of you only, but as a Head of Hastinapur, Bharatvarsh as a Nation, in which you have taken birth and you are descendent of Great Emperor Bharat. (This is one of the reasons why India is called Bharat.)

Similarly, every person, individual, whoever is performing pseudo or quasi  Leadership roles, by choice or compulsion, planned or by accident, knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or unconsciously, should always remember that his position in the society entails upon him to act righteously, responsibly, consciously and without forgetting ever the logical consequences of his behaviour.  Therefore, Walk a Talk!   

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