Armchair philosophers! Are you interested in walking the talk?
Politics should be a profession for the wise and learned of a society. Plato’s ideal for a society was the philosopher king. The rightful place for philosophers and thinkers is therefore in politics.
Gandhi was a philosopher. Nehru was one as well, in his own right. So were Rajaji, Radhakrishnan and the many great leaders of the freedom movement.
But do such people join politics today? No! We all avoid politics like the plague. Our capable people flee and run for cover at the very thought of politics!
On the other hand, the West has become what it is – wealthy and powerful – because its thinkers did not sit on their haunches, complaining and moaning. Bertrand Russell did his Fabian society thing; Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Edmund Burke did their Freedom thing; JS Mill became an MP to promote Liberty. Marx promoted communist movements in Europe. Heidegger did his evil, Fascism thing. For good or bad, thinkers have determined the history of mankind.
But in India, our feeble thinkers sit and moan in a corner even as they bury their heads in sand and allow their children to abandon India rather than deal with the challenge of governing India. In 1982 when asked about why our politics is so dirty, Indira Gandhi said to IAS probationers: “You only get the right to ask that question if you enter politics; no one has stopped you from entering politics and fixing the problem”. It was a challenge she threw but no one took it up. Meekly these probationers went about being ordinary IAS officers, working under our hopelessly corrupt ‘leaders’. [Note: this was what she said to our 1982 batch when we went to visit her.]
Politics seeks the best possible ordering of our lives. It is the black belt in the science of leadership and philosophy. It is the place where compassion and wisdom come together. What could be more exhilarating and more challenging?
The Freedom Team seeks 1500 leaders, and is confident that there are at least 1500 philosopher kings among the 113 crore people of India. Since it is going to be hard to change the rules of India’s politics, so the Freedom Team won’t jump into electoral politics right away. It will build a common platform and strategy first. And so we want you – if you are capable enough, and humble enough. Join as an equal member. Work together for the shared cause of a Great India.
We seek your ongoing support for this work. Please forward this magazine to your friends and relatives. Help us find the leaders we are all looking for.
[This was part of my editorial in Towards a Great India, 15 August 2008]
If you found this post useful, then consider subscribing to my blog by email: