Political style, such as leadership style, is unique to every politician (what a negative aura the word has!). Mannerism, Sensibility, Intent and Charisma define the style of a political leader. Ten years of Congress regime has left India with a huge leadership deficit, as most of their so called leaders were either Political Managers or Political Administrators or merely (for lack of a better word) Political Agents!
Hariman, in his book “The Artistry of Power” identified four distinct Political Styles — Realist, Republican, Courtly, and Bureaucratic — all having significant literary exposition and political effect. Though Hariman carried out his analysis in America, the styles and their social and moral consequence applies to India as well.
I am personally Impressed by the Political Style of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra (having worked very closely with him). He is the “eternal nice man”, who is all set to change the face of Maharashtra. I personally want to declare that in the fast changing phase of the Indian political scenario, I feel that it is his Political Style and methodology that will define the politics of tomorrow.
Interestingly, I shall not categorise him in any of Hariman’s styles (though most people will categorise him as “Bureaucratic” owing to his emphasis on institutional procedures and rule-book approach). I feel he is a great combination of Charisma, Integrity, Sensitivity and Righteousness — perfect for a political leader of his stature. Hence I would call his political style as “Statesmanship” — because such people have the will to distribute power and resources, build relationships and make decisions based on whats best for the nation and its people.
Ironically, he was known to be the underdog who was once made the party president in the absence of a better choice (so the world thought!) He very smartly outshone his competitors due to sustained efforts and consistent focus (remember, the turtle who won the race from the hare). For people who know him closely, he is the simpleton who least craved for the CM’s chair. Truly, the one who never sought power but had authority conferred upon him by others who valued his judgement.
He is the kind who will never make an effort to grab a headline (unlike the likes of Mr. Kejriwal) but will certainly make heads bow and hearts swell. And I am sure, slowly but steadily he will take Maharashtra up the ladder.
He made headlines when he moved the then Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria 15 days prior to his tenure ending, but never aimed at taking credit of the high-profile Peter Mukerjea arrest. He took the bashing and apologised on national television in the case of (again assumed) VVIP Racism but never ever spoke about how he and his government, and of course his set of lawyers, worked day and night for the Yukub Menon verdict with empathy and finesse.
His style of politics is not only motivational but highly infectious. I meet at least a dozen people on a daily basis who are connected to him on SMS, he replies to every message that lands in his Inbox (Wooosh!!) Go to Nagpur and every single person you will meet is related to his “Deven Bhau”. With his simple demeanour, he can work with a range of people regardless of political party or opinion with a focus on coalition and persuasion.
For me, he personifies “Sthit-Prajnah” the way Krishna signifies it in Geeta Updesh; someone with a conscience to reject the lures of the political arena, someone who glorifies character and stays “Shradhha- Saburi” in good times or bad. A true Karm Yogi in action.
With a man of that character on the helm, the state is surely in Good hands. Needless to say, but like people have blessed his signature scheme – the Jalyukt Shivar and his relief Fund has grown over 23 times in the last one year.
The man with his sustained efforts (a daily regime that starts at 6:30am and ends at 3am) will make a mark and his name will be penned in history books in big, bold letters. Till then, he is and will remain every Karyakarta’s (like me) Unsung HERO !