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Leaders of the Past

Last few weeks I briefly talked about some of the influential figures of the past. We still remember them because they left a mark in the history by their service to the motherland. The problems they deal with and the solution they had may not be that important in the new world, but the way they approached the problem and their leadership skills can be a lesson for everyone.

There is something common about all of them. First of all, they never tried to be the master. They were always ready to serve. Secondly, they educate, energize and engage people with their message and gain the confidence of the general public.

Chankya saw the invasion of Greek culture in India. He wanted to protect and preserve his own culture. He found that a King who respect truth and serve justice to the people is necessary to build a nation and defend its culture from foreign invasion. The wisdom of Chankya and courage of Chandra Gupta made that mission possible.

Shankaracharya saw the division in Hindu community and it is loosing ground to Buddhism, Jainism and other foreign religions. He wanted to strengthen Hinduism by bringing together different sects with in Hinduism. He used ancient wisdom in Vedas and Upanishads to revive Hinduism. He defeated all philosophers of his time in an honest and open debate.

Vivekananda traveled across the country and saw the poverty, ignorance and unjust customs and practices. He wanted a complete rejuvenation of Indian national life in all its phases. He believed that the foundation, back-bone, the life-center of India is religion. So social reform has to be achieved by brings back spirituality into life. His oratory skills and courage made Hinduism known to the west as a respectable religion.

Mahatma Gandhi come to the forefront of Indian Independence movement after traveled across the country and witnessed the problems of ordinary people living in thousands of villages of India. He realized that the life of India is in these villages and without energizing them, the nation can not survive. He understood that this struggle can not be won by traditional weapons. He gains confidence of the masses by living among them as one of them. He taught them importance of self-sufficiency, self-respect and courage. He brings women to the movement. His methods of non-violent resistance and self-purification bring down colonial empires around the world.

They lived in a different world. There mission was complex. But they faced the challenges with courage and wisdom. What they will do if they were alive today?