Captains of light
A leader of a nation cannot afford to act as a igniter of emotion or passion. A true leader needs to come forward in times of emergency situations which may conflate riots, civil war and social mayhem.
Updated 26 Nov 2021, 9:11 am
Jacinda Ardern. Prime Minister of New Zealand. Not 40, but 49 innocent beings got massacred in Christchurch. Within a few hours of the incident, the PM takes charge of the situation and addresses the nation twice in a sober, humble grieving tone and then submits herself at a press conference.
"Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be MIGRANTS to New Zealand, they may even be REFUGEES here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. THEY ARE US. THE PERSON WHO HAS PERPETUATED THIS VIOLENCE AGAINST US IS NOT" -- said the PM.
The GREAT New Zealand PM says this about the MIGRANTS AND REFUGEE MUSLIMS -- "THEY ARE US"! What a supreme specimen of UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD, HUMANITY, COMPASSION SECULARISM and SANITY !
No muscle-flexing, no hot talk, no rhetoric of issuing threats ; just rejection and condemnation of the terrorists only.
Salute to Jacinda Ardern for showing to us what RESPONSIBLE MATURED PROMT SANE SECULAR LEADERSHIP IS ALL ABOUT SPECIALLY IN TIMES OF TERROR.
A leader of a nation cannot afford to act as a igniter of emotion or passion. A true leader needs to come forward in times of emergency situations which may conflate riots, civil war and social mayhem. So the urgent call remains to rein in feelings of anger and hatred among the citizens or aggrieved so that no wrong step gets adopted by the masses. After all, a whole community cannot be made the "culprit" for the crime of a single or multiple wayward fellow community members.
In this context the responsible leadership of Nelson Mandela can be recalled. On April 10, 1993, the South African Communist leader Chris Hani was murdered by a far-right White(a Polish immigrant). When the newly independent Blacks were seething in anger and were getting ready to massacre the Whites in retaliation, it took Mandela to utter just two firm words "NO REVENGE" to promptly bring back the situation under control. Later on Mandela, in his public address, said "Tonight I am reaching out to every single South African, black and white, from the very depths of my being. A White man, full of prejudice and hate, came to our country and committed a deed so foul that our whole nation is now teetering on the brink of disaster. A White woman, of Afrikaner origin, risked her life so that we may know, and bring to justice, this assassin. The cold-blooded murder of Chris Hani has sent shock waves throughout the country and the world ... Now is the time for all South Africans to stand together against those who, for any quarter, wish to destroy what Chris Hani gave his life for --- the freedom of all of us".
Even though Mandela was yet to become the President of the country, he led the nation in what a sane way, guiding the society towards light by shedding all sorts of jingoism and darkness associated with violence or revenge. Immediately after his release from prison in 1990 after 27 years, Mandela said "I am not the only one who did not want revenge. Almost all my colleagues in prison did not want revenge, because there is no time to do anything else except to try and save your people". Yes, "Save your people" needs to be the only priority of a true leader, not "call of revenge". And Mandela indeed did walk the talk when Chris Hani got murdered rendering him to a statesman or torch-bearer of the society guiding all on the path of peace.
No wonder why Dr Martin Luther King Jr had stated ---- "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that", "We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools" and "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend".
Despite increasing influence of right-wing outfits in Germany calling for a ban on immigrants from Muslim countries, the then Chancellor Angela Merkel continued to open the borders for the Asian/African Muslim refugees so that they can settle in that Christian European nation after getting displaced from their war-torn or poor countries of origin.
"An eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth will make the whole world blind and toothless" came from the Father of the Nation --- our ultimate leader of conscience and light.
The global society is in urgent need of such true leaders whose only motto is to maintain sanity in the society to cool down the boiling blood of rage and hatred and also keep on flying the flag of humanity.
(The views expressed are personal)
First published:26 Nov 2021, 9:11 am
Special Contributor, KOLKATA, West Bengal