Half tigers

Don''t just listen to the shouts on the stage, listen to the whispers off the stage.
Half tigers
File Photo

This week we decided `unanimously' that we won't accept anything less than suicide as the ultimate solution to all our problems. The resistance leadership has been mandated by all the stakeholders to continue with their protest calendar. No objection. Accept my mandate too. But with it I attach a few questions. 

What is the stuff leaders are made of? Is it only your commitment to a cause which we believe is just or it's also the courage to take unpleasant decisions. What are you afraid of? This that you will be condemned as sell-outs and stoned as agents which you know you are not. Do you lack courage to stand up and say the truth or confidence to sit down and listen to the truth? Either way you fail as leaders. How long can you refill this ventilator every week to keep your nation breathing on a support system? Put your hand on your heart and answer this. Do you really believe that by bleeding your own people you can inflict wounds on the enemy who watches it all coldly and sadistically. `Then what do we do' you ask? Does that mean in the absence of an option we resort to self-immolation. 

Leaders lead, they are not led. They are not reporters who seek comments from others. Reporters use hedge words to play safe. `He said', `she said', `you said', `they said' and I said nothing. That is reporting, not leadership. Leadership begins from `I said' and that demands bandwidth which you have proved you don't have. We don't mean you have to be unquestionable despots mandated to slaughter their people. We know you wish us well. We know you are fighting oppression. We know you are victims, like we are all. We don't suspect your honesty, but we suspect your courage. You are half tigers, half pussycats. You take on India and that shows your strength, you give up before a handful of people and that shows your weakness. 

Seeking opinion is good, but opinions can't make decisions. By swimming with the tide you have confirmed yourself as a helpless part of a herd you can't dare to go against it. Presume you have been mandated but if the mandate leads us to fall, will you fall in line.

Have you thought about the move next should the first one fail (which actually has failed). See it and smell it. The boat has a hole and the water is leaking in. Before we sink beyond salvage, save us. Don't just listen to the shouts on the stage, listen to the whispers off the stage which are louder. Those who (seem to) support you actually wash off their hands. They pass the buck on you and you pass it back on them. It's a mutual play-safe tactic that saves you both, but sinks us all. Your job as leaders is to make people accept the truth of the story. Let them not like it, but tell them that how fast you run, you can't move forward in a reverse gear. 

Dear leaders. This hartal genie is four months old. Older it grows, tougher will it be to put it back into the bottle. We fear the day when it will eat its own master. 

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