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Tuhin A Sinha
Tuesday , April 05, 2011 at 17 : 03

What MMS can learn from MSD!


India's World Cup win could not have come at a better time for a country battling the despondency of myriad scams. After months of gloom, Indians, cutting across religion, caste, community and political affiliation had something unanimous to cheer about.

Dr. Manmohan Singh rightly congratulated captain Dhoni with the words, "India is proud of your leadership". Indeed the entire country is proud of it. However, for Dr. Singh, emulating Dhoni could be the easiest way to make up for some of his own leadership failures.

Here is what Dr. Singh can learn from MSD:

Lesson 1: Shuffle your players

Well, Dhoni did that twice, risking criticism and sticking his neck out. First he included Nehra in the semi-final and then he included Sreesanth in the final. In the process, he had to drop R Ashwin, a popular public choice. However, Dhoni was least bothered about the flak he might have drawn in case of failure.

Contrast this with Dr. Singh retaining A Raja as Telecommunications Minister, post the 2009 LS elections win, despite there being sufficient evidence of impropriety against Raja.

Contrast this once again with Dr. Singh meaning to re-shuffle his cabinet and then developing cold feet at the eleventh hour. You need guts to be a true leader and take unpopular decisions.

Lesson 2: Own up your Mistakes

It was heartening to see Dhoni admit his mistake of having misread the Mohali pitch. Interestingly he did so despite Nehra, the surprise inclusion coming up with a stellar performance. Dhoni had the option of arrogantly justifying himself, instead he chose of be honest.

On the other hand, our supposedly 'honest' PM never ceases to justify his failures. Remember the statement-I'm not as big a culprit as is made out to be or blaming corruption on the compulsions of coalition politics?

Till you are honest in accepting your mistakes Dr. Singh, you can't set them right.

Lesson 3: Lead from the Front

In the WC final against Sri Lanka, Dhoni, promoted himself up the batting order, despite his recent batting failures. That was an excellent example of confronting the enemy head on and leading by example.

Contrast this with Dr. Singh's first reaction of feigning ignorance every time a crisis erupts, be it on the appointment of the CVC or the ISRO scam, despite the involvement of the PMO in both cases. Subsequently the PM even blamed his Minister of State in order to wash his hands off the matter. It goes without saying that these are signs of a poor leader.

MMS would do well to spend sometime pondering over what he can learn from MSD and possibly acquire leadership skills of his own. Then India might have more to celebrate after the WC victory bonhomie gradually settles down.


More about Tuhin A Sinha

Tuhin A Sinha is among the best-selling authors in India, a columnist and a screenwriter. Starting in 2006 with his first book, That Thing Called Love, an unconventional romance set in a Mumbai monsoon, Tuhin has written five novels. They include The Captain (formerly 22 Yards), Of Love And Politics, The Edge of Desire and The Edge Of Power. Tuhin is acknowledged among the most prolific Indian writers with a maverick knack to experiment with new genres. While his first book was an offbeat romance, The Captain was a cricket thriller that explored the underbelly of modern cricket. Of Love And Politics was a political thriller. His last two books which comprise the Edge series can be called socio-political thrillers with a strong feminist skew. Tuhin is a screenwriter of several popular TV shows, the most noteworthy being Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai on Star Plus. Apart from his fiction novels and scripts, Tuhin is a keen political observer. His columns on Indian politics appear regularly in India’s leading dailies. Tuhin has a regular blog on ibnlive.com. He also appears frequently on news channels on discussions around politics and cricket.