Title: Lal Bahadur Shastri – Lessons in Leadership
Authors: Anil Shastri – Pavan Choudary
Publication: Wisdom Village Publications Pvt Ltd.
“Though Shastri was seeped in the tradition of non-violence, and in not initiating violence, he demonstrated real politic in this instance. After Chanakya, he was among the few Indian leaders who gave pride and honour to the Indian people. While other leaders talked of non-violence when action was required, he understood that this was the time of action. To counter the attack on Kashmir, he attacked Lahore and dispersed the Pakistani army.”
When I was first approached to review this book, I was like, ‘Do they even print books like these today’ (considering the current rage of books on the dark forces, the romantic tales and historical thrillers). This book looks ordinary and therein lies its secret. It talks about the ordinary things in the life of a leader. While a fiction fan might not find the book engaging, the book is in fact a jewel just like the leader it talks about. This can be vouched for by the readers who love biographies, autobiographies and self help books.
“The public tends to stereotype leaders. Given Nehru’s personality, a leader had to be tall, bold, impressive and a great speaker. Lal Bahadur was a complete contrast – short, quiet and an average speaker. So, he did not fit the public’s blueprint of a leader. They found him wanting as a leader but this did not perturb Shastri. He did not let these opinions trouble him, and through his bold action during war with Pakistan went on to create an image of himself bigger than any other Indian leader for some time to come. Evidently, it is not about the height but the stature one achieves that matters.”
The book is mainly about one of the most honest, humblest and efficient ministers of India quite unlike the pack of politicians we get to see now-a-days. The fact that he had experienced poverty and lack of resources early in life made him understand the genuine issue that plagued Indian society after independence.
The book comprises of the memories and recollections of Anil Shastri, the second son of Lal Bahadur Shastri (an Indian politician himself) and interpreted by Pavan Choudary, the author of ‘How A Good Person Can Really Win’ and a management strategist. The end of every chapter has a ‘Wisdom Window’ which is more like a moral lesson and it is a delight indeed to delve into such treasures that awaken us to the values we find disappearing now-a-days.
I would in fact, recommend this book to be included in the curriculum of schools and colleges too as the language is simple, it portrays a different persona of the leader Lal Bahadur Shastri, is less of history and more of little stories that inspire the mind and touch the soul.
Wisdom Village Publications has indeed, done a good job in getting together Anil Shastri and Pavan Choudary to bring to life the thoughts and ideals of India’s second Prime Minister who is more known for his slogan, Jai Jawan Jai Kisan.
“The Security Chief pulled up the guard for allowing people to come out of turn and break the line. His reply was, “Sir, what can I do? I keep begging them with folded hands not to break the queue, but they keep saying, ‘Who are you to stop me? Don’t you know, I am so and so,’ and, insist on going in then and there. But I am sure that the man who they have come to see would have listened to me and not broken the queue had he been alive.”
(With reference to the crowd that had gathered to pay their final homage to Lal Bahadur Shastri after his death).