- That leadership encompasses so many parameters defining the title is a no brainer. Leadership entails leading different categories including but not restricted to people, organizations, and nations, respectively viewed from many angles. When it comes to leading a nation, the leader so chosen is not only expected to carry along the fellow-citizens on a relentless forward march but also inspiring, influencing, guiding, making people feel proud, and generally setting a veritable example in conduct as well as qualities during the discharge of responsibilities.
- The pandemic induced challenges brought forth devastating hardships on the entire universe is stating the obvious and would tantamount to an understatement by making efforts at sidestepping the issue without tagging at the leadership that wreaked havoc on the lives and livelihood of millions. Many leaders were found prompt and decisive whilst initiating measures to combat the deadly novel coronavirus infection from spreading further. The most widely adopted measure was to enforce lockdown in varying degrees solely dependent on the local situation and as deemed fit.
- As is known, the virus’s origin country China adopted a stringent lockdown to curb the spread as also other devastatingly affected European countries embraced the same methodology to combat the menace initially. India with all its diversity, population density, challenges, opposition, inadequacies, and uncertainty went ahead with strictest possible lockdown measures which were widely appreciated globally but received tremendous flak locally, of course with some quantifiable justification. One nation though stood exposed on many parameters, including for want of an all-important leadership role to guide the nation when it desperately mattered most, is none other than the most powerful country in the world, the United States of America.
- The maverick and highly unpredictable President was so dismissive, callous, slothful, and contemptuous of the virulent disease that he openly advocated people to not wear personal protective equipment like a mask, and also abjured following social distancing norms as unnecessary and unwarranted in combating the virus. Call it foolhardiness or ignorance or simply egotistic, the President flouted every authentic measure promoted by the health experts with shocking impunity and disdain. The resultant outcome is agonizingly disastrous looking at the fatality rate and accompanying hardships endured by the populace.
- Leadership failing to set an example by leading from the front invariably results in a catastrophe is further substantiated by the death toll witnessed in the USA standing at 2.15 lakh at last count that will keep growing in the foreseeable future as well. In hindsight, scores of precious lives could have been saved only if the leader espoused the virtues of safe and sound practices will hound the nation’s collective conscience as also for the lost opportunity to lead from the front. In a quirky tale of fate, the President himself tested positive for the infection is ironic. Leadership does matter and in a big way. No second thoughts for sure.