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A True Leader and Public Opinion

  • The phrase public opinion was coined after the advent of newspapers. Before that, man had learnt to appreciate the King's decrees.
  • The conscious leader being guided by the subconscious masses is the reality of public opinion.
  • The contradiction is between the subconscious public and conscious leadership. How far is it effective? How far should it be honoured?
  • Even in days of monarchy, disregard of public opinion in the matters of physical requirements for survival would lead to the overthrow of the monarch.
  • What decides is strength, organised strength to action.
  • At the earliest stages of society, it was physical strength. Now it is the strength of knowledge of information that can stir people to action at the elections or on the road.
  • This strength can be that of Truth or Falsehood, Good or bad, but what counts is strength.
  • A leader cannot disregard the strength because of its character.
  • When a false leader leads false masses, there will be harmony.
  • The conflict arises only when the leader's view and the masses' opinions are in conflict.
  • How can a true leader handle the false masses?
  • As he is a leader by their sanction, it is NOT given to him to go against the masses.
  • He is to get at the hidden Truth in the position of the masses and through that inspire them to undo their own falsehood.
  • This he can effectively do only when he does so in his own inner life.
  • The capacity of inner life adjusting with his outer life is reflected by his own values such as patience, courtesy, resourcefulness, thoughtfulness, and presence of mind. As elsewhere, this can always act on both sides.
  • Can one shape the public opinion and then represent it as Nehru did?
  • Masses take to a leader by his strength and later evaluate his own ideas against theirs.
  • In the case of an ideal leader, the masses look up to him for their own ideas and espouse them.
  • In such cases, what happens is the emotional identification of the leader enlarges his personality which leads the masses.
  • A true leader leading true masses is utopia.
  • In the given conditions of the masses more than half saturated with falsehood, the question arises for a true leader.
  • How much they are steeped in falsehood does not matter. As long as they are determined NOT to represent their falsehood but only their Truth, they can effectively lead them.
  • Centering himself in his Truth, relating ONLY to their Truth, he must be dynamic enough to work out a presentation of the national Truth in acceptable terms to falsehood.

story | by Dr. Radut