Integral Musings | Towards a Holistic Vision

An Integral Approach to management and human development based on the spiritual vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother with an emphasis on its application to various domains of knowledge and life.

Towards Enlightened Political Leadership–M.S. Srinivasan

Can politics become the first choice of the best and not the last resort of the worst?  For this to happen we must figure-out how to build enlightened leadership for directing polity which is the organ of power in human society.  Here comes the importance of ancient Indian polity which can provide some luminous clues for elevating the quality of political leadership.

In this Indian conception, the ideal of political leadership is to harness the highest wisdom, intelligence, emotions and will of the community and make them available and organised for the inner and outer well-being and progress of the collectivity.   An ideal state must represent the best mind, the noblest ideals and the highest instincts and aspirations of the community; it must ensure that individuals with the highest intellectual, moral and spiritual calibre and the greatest capacity for leadership, execution and organisation reach the top levels of the hierarchy or if that is not possible, atleast the wisdom and capacity of such highly evolved individuals are somehow made available to the leaders and masses of the community.

The positive achievements of the of the ancient Indian socio-political order are,

First, by imposing some high ideals and discipline on the ruling class it was able to create a governing organ which is of a much higher mental and moral calible than that of the modern political systems,

Second, by its healthy emphasis on communal freedom  and  autonomy combined with its predominant stress on cultural progress it helped in sustaining and keeping alive one of the most creative, fruitful and  resilient cultures  of the world.

The first lesson we moderns have to learn from these achievements of India is that mass-popularity and charisma cannot be the sole basis of political leadership.  One of the surprising facts of modern society in that while some standards of qualification, experience, skill, ability and the  requisite aptitude are insisted upon for leadership position in  business industry,  commerce,  education and other fields, no such standards  exists  in politics.   We frequently bemoan the poor quality of our political leaders forgetting the fact we ourselves are responsible for it! How can there be sound politics when the products of pure mass popularity become politicians and ministers?   The simple fact –which is unanimously recognised and practiced in other sections of the society — that a leader should have the right temperament and the intellectual and moral calible and ability to provide high quality leadership is simply ignored in modern politics.

One comment on “Towards Enlightened Political Leadership–M.S. Srinivasan

  1. Masahiro
    June 18, 2015

    Very interesting. Everyone soulhd definitely read the full study that 1Flesh linked here. It isn’t very long, and there are many interesting points made about the findings. I apologize if this is too much, but I really got into this article. I’ll break it into a few comments:From the study, the underage conception rate reached an historic peak in 1996, just four years after the launch of a major initiative ( The Health of the Nation ) aimed at cutting teenage conceptions by 50%. So a major national initiative had a goal to cut the conception rate by half, was instead followed by the highest peak of pregnancies! Just amazing.The rates did decline (for 8 years) after that, and then another initiative in 1999 saw a slow decrease, which has since leveled off.The sentences immediately preceding the italicized quote 1flesh posted about cost-effectiveness are: Implicit (and sometimes explicit) in these approaches [of sex education] has been an assumption that access to family planning will reduce pregnancy rates amongst those teenagers who were already having sex but will not cause an increase in the proportion of all teenagers who engage in sexual activity. Standard economic models, however, suggest that the two factors are irretrievably interlinked. [The 2 factors being the sex education initiatives and sexual activity.]So clearly, this assumption is not entirely accurate. And I think from the study, these approaches’ refers to your typical sex-ed contraception lessons. I think it’s time for a change!With regards to family planning take-up’ and abortion, the patterns following the two initiatives is described: In each case, we can see a significant increase in the take-up of family planning amongst under-16s, but no discernible reduction in underage abortion rates. Its true if you look at the chart, the abortion rates seem mostly steady. (It’s the same graph as figure 1, just zoomed in.) The year with the lowest abortion rates is the year immediately following the first initiative, Health of the Nation.’ Since 1993ish, we haven’t seen rates that low. (What is with that spike in 2007?)(to be continued)

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This entry was posted on May 7, 2012 by in Polity and Governance.