Sticky wickets in the role of a leader

Sticky wickets in the role of a leader

Often a leader is compelled to do things or go through Rota merely in order to set a fitting example to his followers, even though the activities no longer have personal significance for him whatsoever.

According to sister Nivedita, the ardent follower of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamasa, “In an aristocratic society such as Valmiki contemplates the severity of social discipline increases towards the summit. Those who have the greatest power must practice the greatest restraint, partly because noblesse oblige partly because such austere discipline is the necessary condition without which power would naturally melt away.”

Valmiki is considered to be a social architect of a utopian society in the guise of a poet. He glorifies the character of Rama, urging the reader or listener of the Ramayana to follow the footsteps of the greatest hero ever. The ultimate test of Rama’s flawless leadership lands him in a personal loss, when he is forced to repudiate his loving, chaste and loyal wife Sita, not once but twice, though all the time perfectly satisfied in his own mind of her complete faithfulness.

Rama spurned his pregnant wife Sita and sent her to the forest in order to establish evenhanded justice in his kingdom. Being the king, Rama had the power to squish the washer man who cast ugly aspersions on his virtuous wife. Rama could have wielded an iron hand on the dhobi with a loose tongue who dared to comment on the king and queen of the land while taking his wife to task for having spent the night outside her home.

The king of Ayodhya also had the option to sweep the matter under the carpet and pretend all was well. After all not all the people of Ayodhya had derogatory opinions on the pregnant queen. Yet, he chose to sever his relationship with the woman whom he loved with all his heart, for whom he fought against all odds to regain her from the clutches of Ravana and most of all chose to spurn the spouse who was bearing the scion of the illustrious race of Raghu in her womb.

Rama preferred to take this difficult path in life because he was aware that his subjects were constantly looking up to him for support, guidance and he had to watch his step as their leader despite the sticky wickets.


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