Updated: Feb 26
How do we know Gandhi Ji? What makes Gandhi the legend he was? How was he different from other world leaders? What were his unique styles of approaching the challenges and his adversaries?
When we remember him, some key traits which come to our mind are -
Non violence/ non aggression
Protest by non cooperation
Non escapist attitude
His principles are hard to follow because results come in slow and we are generally not that patient to wait longer. Neither it's easy to follow him, because our basic instincts prompt us to react with aggression and following him requires lot of self restraint.
Gandhinian style of protest though is not easy but probability of success is high, as world has seen in case of Indian independence.
I had my own Gandhi moment sometime back.
For an international event, many of us participated voluntarily and coordinator was happy to have us all in his team. Like in any other team, this was a balanced team with mix of very strong and mediocre team players. Work started in a cordial environment.
There are primarily two styles of leadership. - Autocratic/Authoritative and Democratic/Collaborative. Most of the leaders tend to follow the former style and in this case our coordinator was not an exception. He soon realized that few of us are a bit strong and thus were outshining him sometimes. Ideally a leader should encourage such members in the interest of wider cause, but most don’t have patience and guts to let others outshine.
Out of insecurity, this coordinator stared pushing back strong members and on that eventful day amidst lively discussions and counterarguments, when some sort of policy decisions were being taken, he got a bit agitated when some members came up with brighter ideas.
In a bid to prove his might and superiority, he abruptly expelled one member from the group and gave an open challenge to all those wanted to leave. It was his way of saying - “My way or Highway”
Whole team was stunned and in a state of shock. To show solidarity, some members also left the group to protest.
Person sent out was a good friend and of course I was personally hurt. Like others I had three choices - (a) to show solidarity with the expelled pal, leave the group myself (b) Fall in line and follow the leader head down (c) stay in the group and ensure revocation of expulsion and get back all.
I chose the last option - stayed back in the group and started non cooperation movement.
Wasn’t performing the tasks assigned,
At every given opportunity, asking the coordinator to apologize and get everybody back for seamless operations.