Imagine yourself riding in a metro or a car … Suddenly there’s a flash of white light and when you get off you’re in a town sitting right beside GANDHI sometime during the struggle!!
Seems strange? Well, I just imagined such a situation. Let’s get into my imagination since you’re already reading this.
TIME TRAVEL is perhaps the most popular, eluded and most impractical fantasies of modern sciences. HG Wells conceptualized it. Many theorists talked about it and several Hollywood shows screened it happen on virtual curtains. But, what if we assume it to be possible and go back in time?
1. My first question is ‘Where would you go?’
2. My second question is ‘Why?’
Now, imagine you’re the King of a very small kingdom. There is no media, no technology, no judiciary. But, in your kingdom, there is minister you have had to select due to insistence of your brother that is corrupt. He is misusing the funds allocated to him by providing goods and resources to richer people rather than poor ones. There is such a small town, where there are a good mix of people from all castes, religions, socio-economic set ups. What if out of 100 jobs and 1000 people in total, we have exactly 47 jobs given to a specific caste A, exactly 24 jobs given to a caste B, and so on with each caste having a fixed no of jobs allowed? Would it not create anarchy? Would it not create discontent in the long run?
Now, imagine that you have another merchant assigned by you to organize the wrestling competition between different kingdoms in your capital. He misuses funds, lacks sincerity, is corrupt and because of his own greed, he leaves you in shame in front of other kings.
All these coupled with the fact that you as a king are not able to address your citizens even once, properly, convincingly. You also have a young prince, who is charming and favorite of the crowds. But, all said and done, he’s merely vivacious. He lacks leadership, boldness, conviction and is still relatively very young, haven’t really seen a war. The question actually that no one asks is ‘Is he really the prodigal king?’
Your queen, which is more dominant than you openly states that it is the prince who shall make a better king in front of your ministers and staff. Thus, although being a man of virtue, you are left as a mere seal and have to wait as a caretaker till you let the prince take up the throne.
The great King Bharata, made it publicly known that he wouldn’t pass on the throne to his son just because he was his son. He actually made a minority caste strong dedicated person as the next king. This act of meritocracy over monarchy, the King didn’t have the power to undertake.
Extrapolating the condition further, what if the king has a minister who once was respected for his work, but over a period of time has deteriorated and his knowledge, credibility have faded. He drinks the whole time, and blabbers anything decent/ indecent against any person whether supporter, opposition or even the King. Should he not be removed or silenced?
What shall you really do now?
If i may just change the situation slightly,
• Your kingdom is now of the size of INDIA
• You have several hundreds of kingdoms making your actual kingdom
• Your corrupt ministers are not merely 2 but, at all levels in several other ministries.
• You are more of an economist rather than a statesman!
Well, Food for thought — That person could be Dr. Manmohan Singh, the 13th Prime Minister of India.
A really good Shakespearean observation by an expert, “The kings of Shakespeare’s histories are, with the exception of Richard III , not bad kings, but neither are they good kings. They are weak kings – which is to say, they are all human beings called upon to bear a superhuman burden, at which each sooner or later fails. Each king antagonizes us by his obvious inadequacies as a leader, yet wins our deep sympathy once his leadership collapses” – Michael Manheim
Julius Caesar was a dictator!
Hitler was a sadist, maverick, dictator!
Lincoln, Churchill were men of strong skins and dark blood. They inspired masses to die for their land.
Akbar was one who united all! Yet, he’s not always loved by people of his community.
Krishna, was the universe’s driver! Yet, he was the cause of his own family’s death.
Ashoka, was once a ruthless killer of men! Yet he’s remembered for spreading law and order and peace.
All the above men were special. Special not because we read the history books. Special because they took tough decisions. Some of them were right, some wrong. Some of them were assasinated, some thrown out of power and some relinquished power for something else. But, they still provocate our thoughts, inspire us, calm us.
Thus, a King is a king because he has to take tough choices, not because he has to be liked by all or respected by all. Sympathy is something that comes as a result of history. The only difference here we have is, the sympathy has started to flow before we declare him to be a failure!!