Leadership for Global Harmony

-Commander VK Jaitly 

We live in a beautiful world. But this world has seen the ugliest of horrific scenes of cruel killings, carnage, loot, plunder and destruction during its known history of thousands of years. Such incidents in the ancient times and medieval periods could be attributed to the ignorance or lack of understanding amongst the leaders of those times. A bit deeper investigation may reveal that all those conflicts, battles or wars had been the result of one of the two elements: The Hatred and The Greed. One of these two or both have been the root cause of any dispute anywhere in the world at any time. And these two elements continue to disturb this world even today in the 21st century when we consider that mankind has progressed by leaps and bounds in many areas of science and technology. Even our higher educational levels, better social understanding and global awareness have not been able to put an end to such bloody local conflicts and fear of even a third world war.

Under such circumstances, I got an invite from an Association of Defence Advisors of African countries based at New Delhi to speak to them on a relevant topic that is current, general and even their spouses should also be able to enjoy and relate with it. So finally, I was requested to give a talk on “Leadership for Global Harmony” where the Ambassador of Senegal was to be the Chief Guest and total gathering was expected to be about 40 defence officers with spouses from 15 African countries. The topic continues to be current and so highly relevant while we keep reading news about Boko Haram, ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammad or Kim Jong Un of North Korea.

I started my talk by paying my tributes to some of the Global Leaders who stood for Global Peace throughout their lives. The audience joined me in naming such stalwarts that included Nelson Mandela, Mahatama Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Julius Nyerere and a few others. The Leadership of Narendra Modi came in for great praise for the way he had taken initiatives to improve relationships with the immediate neighbouring countries and also had struck a very delicate balance in managing excellent relationship with Russia, China, Japan and US at the same time. Some of them don’t see eye to eye with each other. Modi’s call for “सबका साथ, सबका विकास“ meaning “Embrace All and Development for All” blunted his worst critics. His philosophy of “Opportunities for All and Appeasement for None” has endeared him to the masses from all castes, creeds and religions in India.

One thing common about all these great global leaders is that they were/are dreamers. And they followed their dreams with action. Such great leaders convert their dreams into strong desires and that gives them a direction and then they move in that direction with dedication, determination and discipline. It is also a fact that all such great leaders like Gandhi, Mandela etc. could not ensure world peace even during their lifetimes. Yes, they did fail. But they kept on trying. They kept on giving the message of world peace and global harmony and its importance for co-existence. According to them, “Winners are not the ones who never fail, but the Winners are those, who never quit.” And these great leaders never gave up. They were not quitters. 

Today, as leaders, be in the corporate world, politics, social service, military service or any civil service, let us dream of a World with Complete Harmony. Let us dream of a world that is best described by Guru Rabindra Nath Tagore in these lines: 

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake
Today, the humanity needs the Leadership at all levels and everywhere that believes  in respect and dignity for all irrespective of differences of caste, creed, colour, language and religion. We need a leadership that says ‘Yes’ to Collaboration and ‘No’ to Confrontation. We need a leadership that says ‘Yes’ to Co-operation and ‘No’ to Conflict. We need a leadership that says ‘Yes’ to Co-existence and ‘No’ to Chaos. 

It is high time that humanity realizes that all paths lead to the same almighty. It is important that the leadership of all religions re-interpret their scriptures and pronounce that “Respect for All and Hatred for None” is the new dictum for this century and that alone can ensure global peace and harmony. एकं सत, विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति  (Truth is One, The learned call Him by different names). It may be a better idea to embrace Godliness and say Good Bye to multitude of religions. Religions lead to only rituals and lead you on a narrow rigid path claiming your own path to be the only correct one and denigrating the paths prescribed by other religions. While the path of Godliness transcends you to higher levels of spirituality. Godliness proclaims Oneness of the Human kind and in fact all creations of God. It in fact, invokes respect for everything on this earth including all the animals, birds, the forests and all the natural resources. So the concept of Godliness advocates the controlled use of all natural resources just for the basic needs of all on this earth and not for the greed of a few. 
The current and future global leadership will have to pay heed to what great Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” The strong and powerful nations shall have to respect the sovereignty of even smaller nations. The natural resources of smaller countries should not be exploited by the developed and powerful countries. Every country small or big has absolute control over its resources.

Let us say Good Bye to Greed and Hatred and pave the way for a Peaceful World and Global Harmony. The differences could still be there and they should be resolved by the leaders at all levels through Dialogue, Dialogue and Dialogue and there lies the solution to all problems sooner or later. Let us not be the prisoners of past anymore but the architect of the future, the new future, the glorious future.