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The Yugpurush- He comes once in an era

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Biswadeep Banerjee
Biswadeep Banerjee
I am a thinker and a rebel at heart. I have worked for Wipro, IBM and now currently with Atos in my 17 years journey of IT career I have a passion in leadership and want to bring back ethics and values in business.

The Great Mother India of billions have produced many brave hearts. This soil is so rich, nutritious and blessed that every generation, every century mother India has always met her true sons. In 21st century, another great son of this soil has returned to take care of his 5000 year old mother. It’s not very often that a man is born to inspire and lead an entire generation, that a man is born to serve his mother, that a man is born to return the dignity his mother once had. It’s not very often a Yugpurush is born.

The journey of Narendra Damodar Das Modi from a humble common man to the head of his country is no doubt inspiring but unlike some of the greats we have read about in the past where their journey to the throne or a moment of glory in their lives was their entire life journey, Modi’s journey did not end there, it seems to have begun once he became the Prime Minister of India.

The more I observe and cultivate Narendra Modi, I feel I am just turning pages of chapters of this mammoth book in my hand, there is no end. The Modi government has just finished their 7 years of administration which they call as “7 years of Seva or Service” and I thought, its now time to put my observations in black and white. I am an extremely keen and sincere student of leadership, being in people management business for over 15 years and recently I have completed a leadership program with Harvard Business Publishing courtesy my organization Atos.

I must say that I have not seen a leader like Modi in my physical lifespan so far. There are so many aspects you have to think about when you try to describe a leader, so many point of views you have to keep in mind but trust me when I am writing this I am so clear in my head because I am writing about this man who has left no ambiguity in my mind through his action day in and day out. So, I pen down below some of the leadership skills that we can all learn from our Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

VISIONARY

People who have seen Modi during his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat always knew that he is a patriot. Rest of India knows now. If you just ask any common man on street that “what do you think Modi wants?“ most of them will answer that he wants to do good for India. There lies the success of Modi to implant his vision in the last man’s mind. Right from the day he became the PM in 2014, he has constantly traveled abroad wearing India, at least the first 2 years. It seems like a son is going door to door to tell how great his mother is. Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore in his book Nationalism denounced Western Nationalism and hoped that India should never adopt the concept of Nationalism from the West.

The Western Nationalism which preached unity of all those who resides within a defined border and those who resides outside are your enemy or in softer terms unequal, this form of Nationalism has always inflicted wars & barbarism worldwide, where no one knew the tipping point when pride became arrogance. Unity of people under one flag does no harm if respect for diversity and human lives remains supreme on your mind.

All men are born equal, there is no inequality. Gurudev also hoped that India will derive its concept of Nationalism deriving inspiration from our 5000 years of civilization and not ape Western Nationalism which is a disaster waiting for it’s time. When Narendra Modi says Nation First to Indians and then he turns to the world and says “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam“ (world is one family), I smile and close my eyes, what a huge relief. We are in safe hands. Everything else, whether it is an ambition of 5 trillion-dollar economy, promoting Yoga, reforms in all sectors, defensive offense, bringing strict laws, reducing corruption, housing for all, digital India, Swatch Bharat, Start up India etc are all mini missions under the umbrella of his larger vision.

DECISIVE ADMINISTRATOR

A master administrator and a great manager. Normally management needs you to work at a tactical level and leadership needs you to work at a strategical level, so it’s a very rare case when someone is good at both strategy and tactical layer. Of course a Home minister like Amit Shah helps to ease out things but we still cannot take away this from Modi that he does not take any decision without understanding root cause at the ground level and what impact it will have in long term. Modi always strives to ensure that his strategy at the top is being implemented on the ground tactically. His constant effort in removing heavy bureaucracy in the system, removing corruption, doing performance reviews of his ministers, reshuffling cabinets every 2 to 3 years are proofs of his administrative capability.

Schemes after schemes Modi was able to announce and then implement on ground which always was a challenge for previous government. The result was a thumping victory yet again in 2019 general elections. Modi is also a very decisive leader, once he decides on something he plans and acts on it. His decisive nature helped him to implement few challenging things like GST, Demonetization, CAA, Triple Talaq ban, Article 370 removal and recently Farm Bills and Lockdowns due to Covid 19. A few of these have been met with protests and even riots in some states however as a decisive leader Modi never looked back once a decision was taken as the decisions are always taken thinking about benefit of the masses.

LEADS THROUGH INSPIRATION

The world has seen many leaders come and go but only those who could walk the talk never left us and will not leave us. Stories of great leaders travel across generations, no propaganda machinery, no negative campaign, no money is good enough to hold the truth down on the ground for long. No, as Indians we do not believe in repeat a lie thousand times theory, no we don’t. We believe in “Satya Meva Jayate”, we know that truth will always triumph and it is a truth that PM Modi inspire billions around the world through his words and actions. When you see a 70 year old man working for over 15 hours a day, even on weekends, no vacation, no leaves, no break you are witnessing a Yugpurush named Modi at work.

I know teenagers who gets tired after playing PS4 for 3 hours, I know people in 20s gets tired after completing a 9 hour shift, I know people who demands stress free weekends, who demands more and more paid offs from their employers and I know that you all know what any 70 year old man can do, till how much he can stretch himself. For a lot of us just being alive for 70 years can be an achievement in itself today, leave alone working. I can pay you well to work for 10 hours and you will still complaint as external motivation fades away in time but I can make you work for 18 hours without paying you if I can inspire you & you will not complaint a bit.

When you visually see the leader of your country working tirelessly himself, setting up an example everyday through his polite and respectful behaviour, when you see him picking up garbage from beaches, when you see him picking up a broomstick himself, when you see him washing feet of sanitation workers, when you see him remaining calm and composed amidst abuses hurled at him and amidst adverse situation, when you see him doing yoga himself daily, if you see all that and choose not to ignore then there is no way that you will be left uninspired.

Do you know a second man on this planet who has done more than 400 rallies himself in 2014 elections and more than 150 rallies in 2019 elections? We all must learn how skillfully Modi manages his energy throughout the day and repeats it next day and again and again and again. Every single thing Modi has preached, he has become a role model for that himself, be it his behaviour, hard work, dedication, patriotism, integrity, honesty, commitment. Modi has earned trust of his fellow countrymen. People trust him, even if he makes mistakes, the trust earned by him let people forgive him and give him another chance. Inspiration will always dominate motivation.

EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT SPEAKER

Even his strongest of opposition and people who hates him will admit that Modi is a powerful public speaker. Modi gives evidence of his strong memory even at this age when he gives 80% of his long speeches without reading notes. He speaks with supreme belief and thus confidence which can touch any person using very simple words and metaphors. It is on record that his opposition frustrated over his success has abused him personally using over 50 slangs and it is also on record that the Modi never abused back. His witty words, metaphors and sarcasm is sharp enough to slice and dice his enemies, he does it like a god.

However I think what makes his speeches powerful is his emotional intelligence. Yugpurush can feel you, he can sense your pulse, he can sense your love, your wrath, your sorrow. Have you ever noticed that a lot of decisions Modi has taken so far is not his wish rather the wish of a common man who loves his farm, his country and family, it’s not a coincidence. Modi understands the mind of the last person in the social ladder. His speeches can instantly lift someone’s mood and spirit. He felt the anger within people post Pulwama attack, instantly gave the speech that he will take strong action. Post his words to his men, he acted on it, Balakot happened. The timing of his speech “saugandh mujhe is mitti ki …” was immaculate. 

A work of a master who knew how to snatch the moment, who knew when to hit the iron. Modi knows that people have shorter memories but they have longer feelings. Feelings of poverty, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of being ignored, feelings of being let down by politicians and leaders, feelings of shame of being brown skinned and not knowing how to speak English were always the feelings of a common man in India, rather they were made to feel this way by the corrupt and the wicked. So he used social media and IT cells to constantly remind people of what Congress lead by Gandhi Family did in the past and what he is doing now, he knows how to keep opposition on the mat face down by not letting people forget the past.

When Corona was causing mayhem around the world and proved that no developed country in the world with their envious, coveted healthcare system can face it’s danger, Modi once again proved his mettle. An emotionally intelligent leader knew that more than medicine and hospitals, what people needed was the courage to fight the pandemic, they needed a hope, they needed a ray of light and he delivered that. Lighting up lamps, making sounds of bells, conches and clapping on the balcony will not fight corona directly but it will give hope, energy and strength to the people to fight this pandemic together.

A lot of countries like USA, UK, Cuba, Singapore, Switzerland followed Modi and came out in their balconies too with the energy of light and vibration of sound. Modi also tries to speak in native languages wherever he travels since every man loves anyone who speaks in his mother tongue and every man loves anyone more who comes from outside and still speaks in his mother tongue. Modi does not talk to your Neo cortex, he talks to your Limbic brain and that explains his connect with people. Only an emotionally intelligent speaker can accomplish all these in one lifetime.

STRATEGIC NETWORKER

Even before he became the PM, he was a great networker, almost like a natural. He always maintained good relations with countries like Afghanistan, Japan, Singapore even when he was a chief minister of Gujarat. The shift in India’s foreign policy after his arrival on the centre stage changed the way world looked at India. One of his achievements as per me was establishing great relation with USA and Saudi Arabia. Russia was always our friend. His look east policy ensured great relations with Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bhutan, Burma, Bangladesh and even he tried to bond with China however that handshake was a shaky one, maybe the Chinese hand cannot be trusted. Relations with Russia, Israel, UK, Australia, France, Brazil reached new heights.

Modi perhaps is one of those rare leaders who can land in Saudi Arabia and then go to Israel and then go to Palestine and no one had any issues, he can go to USA for a defense deal and next day go to Russia for a defense deal. One thing always have been common in all these networking events, off the table he followed “The world is One family” principle and on the table he followed “Nation First” principle. The world adopted Yoga, the world started looking at India with respect and as a powerful force, the world started looking at India as an investment destination.

Recently, India recorded highest ever FDI inflow of over $81 billion in FY21, it comes in the backdrop of a series of policy steps taken to improve ease of doing business and to attract investments into domestic manufacturing capacity and an ambitious infrastructure project pipeline. Our exports this year has been the highest since independence. I would not waste your precious time talking about data, you can google them all out. Let me move to the next one.

COURAGE

For me it seems like India was never really set free by the British. They left India physically but their loyal agents remained. Flawed defense policies of Congress and Muslim appeasement policy of Mr. Gandhi adopted by congress made sure that India always bled internally with riots, terrorist attacks by communists and Jihadi forces within. India also failed to engage with expansionist China with Iron fist and a Communal and fascist Pakistan who was born out of hatred for Hindus under the aide of British.

Although when pushed to the wall India did engage and humbled Pakistan at times like the 1971 war or 1999 Kargil war however we never went offensive to avert attacks. We dd nothing post parliament attack, we did nothing after Akshardham Temple attack, we did nothing post Mumbai attack, every quarter India used to get death news due to terrorist attacks somewhere in the country and our leaders did nothing, we used to go to USA and UN to cry and do a candle light march to wipe the tears of countrymen.

Our leaders whispered, that Pakistan has nukes, China has nukes. Modi proved the fear wrong, his courage engulfed the fear and busted the myth. Who could have imagined that Indian army would go into Myanmar, kill terrorist and come back, they would go to Pakistan by foot, kill terrorists and come back, they could fly to Pakistan next time and drop bombs on terrorist camps and come back, they could attack the intruding Chinese army, kill over 45 of them with bare hands when we lost our 20 brave hearts and that too when the Chinese attacked our jawans while they were sleeping in camps. No nukes got fired, only empty threats were flying all over.

What just happened, did our armies change? Did our weapons change? No, it’s the same army, same weapons, same generals, only the leader at the top changed, only the political will changed. All it took was the courage to put your own hands in fire and test it yourself. If all these would have failed then Modi would have lost his throne and would have been even put on trial, however his vision of Nation first helped him to put his country’s interest over his own life. It’s basically the same mindset that professional armies across the world gets trained on.

Post 2014 when Modi became the PM there has been zero terrorist attacks on civilians, speaks volume of his intent and work. In doing so he might have upset some radical elements in India however no one can deny that it is only due to his immense courage that Surgical strike happened in Myanmar, Pakistan and China was humbled many times at border, Article 370 abolition also happened and reduction in terrorism happened. It is only due to his courage that India is safe for citizens and a hell for terrorists no matter whether you are holding a gun or a pen against the country.

GROWTH MINDSET

You are never really an omniscient unless you are a god. The traits of a great leader is how willing he is to learn, adopt and adapt to changes. Only one thing is constant in the world, that is “change”. Any race, any civilization, any individual who got stuck in their time, knowledge, ego, pleasure and could not reform themselves or adapt to changes quickly has perished forever. Modi is a keen learner and observer of the changes happening around the world and specially in the field of technology and environment. India’s lead role in Climate change, investment in green and blue economy for the future, heavy investments in R&D, DRDO, ISRO shows his interests in research, science and knowing the unknown.

As I write this, the world’s largest solar power park is being built in Gujarat. His schemes of Digital India saw unprecedented growth in digital payments and hence reduction in corruption and black money. During Covid19 under his leadership and guidance India developed COWIN platform (covid vaccine intelligence Network)– a digitised platform for vaccine registration, using which India has successfully vaccinated over 43 crore people so far. Under his leadership India was able to become one of the largest manufacturer of masks and PPE kits almost overnight.

Modi also understood the power of social media and citizen journalism. He embraced social media and used it for his and his party’s advantage, whether it is countering fake news or propagating good work or connecting with the youth or doing surveys. Acknowledging your weak areas and then working on it and repeating this process again and again throughout your lifetime, Modi has proven time and again about his growth mindset.

AN EMPATHETIC SOUL

Yugpurush himself comes from a very humble background and maybe that’s why his lived experience helps him to empathize with the poor and common man. Whether it is the world’s largest health insurance scheme or 5 times increase in budget for the agricultural sector or launching crop insurances or soil health card or enhancing farmer’s income via PM KISAN or providing 8 crore LPG connections to women of SC/ ST class or increasing bank loans from Rs. 23,953 crores to Rs. 3,55,174 crores for improving livelihood of the rural masses or his Housing for all scheme or reforming income tax slabs and corporate tax slabs etc and many more were launched and being done due to his empathy.

The world saw his empathy when he sent out vaccines to the world, not only to the strongest but also to the ignored ones, even before his own countrymen got vaccinated. There are countries who were in surplus but they didn’t help, Modi helped. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam got priority over Nation First since that time more than India the severely affected countries needed vaccines first. Unfortunately the 2nd wave hit India and Modi had to resort back to looking after his countrymen first.

On September 7 2019 when the whole country was awake to celebrate India’s Moon mission, PM Modi arrived at ISRO to himself witness history being made and cheer up the scientists. That day the lander Vikram could not perform soft landing on moon and last moment software glitch failed the mission, 1.3 billion people were sad. As despair was setting in, Modi stood up and started clapping and consoling the scientist, he understood that no one in the world might be feeling as bad as the scientist.

No one can forget PM Modi hugging and consoling ISRO president Dr. K.Sivan that day, no one can forget how DR. K.Sivan cried like a child in the arms of Modi, as if a son has let down his father. Just imagine if India was a 20 trillion dollar economy today with surplus vaccine and with this kind of empathetic leader, would the world have suffered so much as it did?

Reference:

https://transformingindia.mygov.in/7-years/?sector=MTk4Mw==&type=en#scrolltothis

https://www.hindustantimes.com/business/india-recorded-highest-ever-fdi-inflow-of-over-81-billion-in-fy21-101621884171107.html

https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/india-s-exports-rise-to-all-time-high-of-95-billion-in-june-quarter-121070300032_1.html?fbclid=IwAR0mWoU9bk2rz8nWOtbPXsB73ZR-Ujm0FI8ebUIeRYihbjAdmrfktv-Pru4

https://entrackr.com/2021/07/upi-sets-new-record-posts-2-8-bn-transactions-in-june/?fbclid=IwAR0QNHWc4jZUZUUdnu9y9wWtTXDMkr2Ewl5_rf4EZwWHBdg5C0ZEoG8KQlE

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Biswadeep Banerjee
Biswadeep Banerjee
I am a thinker and a rebel at heart. I have worked for Wipro, IBM and now currently with Atos in my 17 years journey of IT career I have a passion in leadership and want to bring back ethics and values in business.
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