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Political leaders think they are demi-gods like Hitler, followers pray for them out of fear

By Harasankar Adhikari 

Political gathering in political activity is a significant phenomenon in Indian democracy that we regularly experience. We see that a huge crowd congregates whenever a particular political party calls for a particular place and date. The density of the crowd varies sometimes because the party in power obviously claims the highest congregation. Is it due to the political awareness and literacy of people and their paramount interest as well as faith in democracy or the charisma of the leader of the particular party, or the fear of politics involved with this?
Eventually, this is the gathering of the working class and the poor and ignorant. It is also evident that if we ask them what they have learned from this political meeting, their reply would be nothing. They bring a packet of lunch along with pocket money. Secondly, fear of local party representatives may be an extra benefit. This gathering is only a way to show the opponents that the voters are with this particular party, and it is a democratic tactic of publicity. That’s why Thomas Carlyle said, ‘Modern democracy has produced millions of fools who vote, other men who go to Parliament and palaver, and, inevitably, the few who act.’ The leadership of this particular political party tries to impress them as a changing tool of society. Here, Tolstoi reminded ‘there is no greater fool than he who thinks he makes history and believes others when they assure him he does’.
Actually, ‘a political leader may be identified as any occupant of an established political position or as any person, in or out of such a position, whose political activity has more influenced a group’s behaviour than has the activity of the average member.’ People choose or follow one over another due to influences. However, is this huge gathering the result of a charismatic leader? According to Max Weber, "charisma is the quality that enables one man or woman, without measurable traits far exceeding those of his or her followers, without coming from any ruling group or holding any office, to exercise surpassing magnetism and to gather a tremendous following. Charisma is non-rational, nontraditional, and non-bureaucratic.’ It is a particular virtue that sets ordinary men apart, and it is also supernatural. It determines the continuous demonstration of heroism, striking successes, and abilities of prophecy. A charismatic leader particularly challenges the existing political leadership, the government, and many of the existing laws.
Anyway, at present, political leaders in India, irrespective of their parties, are not to be considered charismatic leaders because they do not follow the guidelines of Max Weber’s description of charisma. In relation to this, we can quote Pandit Nehru. After Gandhiji, Nehru, by his own words, was of uncertain character and was also at once rational, sceptical, and impatient of the adulation received as "miracle man". But he said, "I drew these tides of men into my hands and wrote my will across the sky in stars".
Presently, political leaders consider them demi-gods like Hitler. And the followers pray for them only to get some benefits or out of fear. There is no proper direction in the political environment. But it is mostly dominated by fear mechanisms. There is potential hostility in Indian politics. It is heard among people: 'What will we do?’ ‘What is there to live for now and in the future?’ ‘Who will save us now?’ and so forth.
The political leaders ‘how they have acquired their positions, should produce results in excess of those expected of normal men. They stand or fall by their performance unless, before their skill or luck runs out’, they might act according to their oath under the Constitution of India and its democracy. Therefore, they need to be routineized or consolidated in their positions.



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