Moment the word Neta flashes across my mind I see someone who is dhoti clad, wearing sandals or chappals, a topi, adorning a typical half sleeves jacket folded hands kind of person. What impression I carry of a Neta is my thought of today. I have nothing against the dhoti or topi or any person in particular, but just a typical Neta as I perceive it. You can add or subtract from the long list I mention, so read on.
Neta means only Bhashans to eat free rations. Neta means a person wearing marigold garlands. He has hair protruding out of his ears. Neta means a person surrounded by chamchas, chelas, chapatas. Neta means a person whose secretary, driver and a white ambassador with lal batti follow everywhere. He has a big paunch, a big appetite for everything from notes, to votes, to bribes and ghoos. He likes free food and all the freebees he can get. Neta means VIP culture. Neta means surrounded by body guards, more the body guards bigger the Neta’s status. Neta mean meetings followed by meetings with nil output. He makes only false promises and raises false hopes. Neta means someone who backtracks from his words. He symbolises mudslinging and washing dirty linen in public. Neta means dharnas, loud speakers, andolans, jaloos, yatras, morchas, showing aksrosh for no reason. Neta means fraud basically.
These Netas just cannot salute properly. They often pick their nose in public besides picking faults in everything while in opposition. Neta means jumlas and bak-bak. It also means free foreign tours on sarkari planes and sponsored helicopter rides. Neta means hogging the limelight. Neta ensures traffic diversions. Netas means lines of bouquets which he doesn’t even appreciate or looks at. He will show folded hands and victory signs. Neta means huge shamiyanas, posters, banners, flags, bus loads of vela people in big pandals. Netas mean police bandobast. Neta means sprinkling of water, red carpet and rows of flower pots, Neta means khadi and starched dresses. Neta means dhamki, threats from his goondas and bouncers. Neta means a fleet of cars. For me Neta is actually just a symbolic figure craving for media attention and waiting to give a few bytes. God only knows how Neta’s garner support of the people and get elected. Neta is just a Neta without any meaning of the word.
I do not know how many will agree with me on my typical description of a Neta, which politicians call a leader. For me a leader is a military kind of leader. A leader is trained to lead. He is well educated. He takes quick decisions. A leader is an epitome of honesty. A leader shows unflinching integrity. He has an unwavering loyalty towards the naam of his nation, namak that he eats of this nation and the nishan (national flag) of this nation. A military leader is duty bound to maintain the sovereignty of the country at all costs even at the peril of his life. He takes an oath to protect the country against any external aggression and internal disorders. A leader leads by personal example, his conduct is par excellence, and his behaviour is balanced and mature.
A leader knows how to overcome fear; he instils hope in his men even in impossible circumstances. A leader’s mere presence gives confidence and boosts morale of his men in trying circumstances. Even if wounded he keeps guiding his men till his last breadth. A leader brings with him a sense of pride, honour and discipline. He practices basic courtesies and etiquettes. He shows respects towards women. He stands by his men and encourages team work. A leader is man enough to accept his faults and humble enough to promise to improve. A leader relates with his men, irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, region, language or affiliation. He learns their language, he prays with them, he eats with them, goes hungry with them. He cares for them; he cares for their families and children too. Above all he makes relationships for a life time. He has the courage of conviction to call a spade a spade. He never gives up; he motivates his men in the thick of battle and relaxes with them in peace.
A leader puts the right man, at the right place, for the right job, at the right time. A leader continuously does SWOT analysis of his team, redeploys resources and men accordingly. He takes chances, he is adventurous besides he has foresight and anticipates bottlenecks. A leader takes initiative. He is bold fearless and dauntless. Above all a leader is just and kind. A military leader is compassionate. He trusts in his subordinates, he believes in his command with his life. He is capable of punishing if need arises. Above all the leader remains cool, calm and composed in challenging circumstances. He laughs with his men; he maintains his sense of balance and encourages a sense of humour to keep his team going. He believes in camaraderie. He loves challenges but never lets his men and country down. This Military leader is human, down to mother earth with little or no expectations from Netas. A military leader delivers whenever called for a Neta only delivers speeches.
What do you find in common in the political Neta and a military leader? The answer is a straight, nothing. Just because some Neta, in some dharna brought in “reservations” the consequences of which we are still bearing, do we call him a leader? Yes in the freedom struggle of India I won’t doubt those legendary leaders. They fought for India’s independence. Will you call a Neta a leader because of his ability to do a rail roko kind of an agitation? The consequence is that today at the drop of a hat one can block the railways and put half the country to discomfort and inconvenience.
Just by shouting hai-hai, zindabad and murdabad does it become a yardstick to become a leader? Just by showing posters and banners does one become a leader? Is by disrupting parliament one passes as a leader? What are the qualifications for a Neta to become a leader? Does his family lineage give a licence to be a leader? Does good oratory give a guarantee of being a good leader? Does wearing khadi and a topi of whatever colour give an assurance that he is a leader. If he can polarise the public, can that be a benchmark of a good leader? Well I can keep asking questions there will be no end? I now am convinced our netas are not leaders. These people are good only at nautanki. They become netas with false lures and promises to our gullible janta. They are just netas as a name and appearance, not netas by their work and qualities. Their selfish interests are supreme the nation is someone else’ baby.
A Neta is supposed to be the front runner but in India it means the opposite. How are you Neta’s going to change your shoddy image? I leave it to the netas. One more request to the military leaders who have political ambitions, Sir’s kindly you don’t become “Netas”. We want to see you spearheading this nation to greater heights, with military decorum and precision. Like the BJP wants to see a Congress mukt Bharat, I on the other hand will definitely want to see a “Neta and Netagiri” mukt Bharat? Will I see true “leaders” governing my country in my life time? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
© Noel Ellis