Leaders, especially the ‘good ones’, sacrifice their own needs, their own wants and their own well-being for their people. Leaders such as these are rare, but they do exist. Despite their tough policies, their hardline stance on certain topics as well as unpopular policies, they always try to do what is right.
All the while, the people who are under their care bend the rules, dismantle the policies they have so painstakingly created as well as wreck havoc on the structures and edifices they have created. Is this inevitable? You could say that it is.
A long time ago, I read in a book somewhere that within the seed of creation–especially as it pertains to empire–lays the dormant impetus for its destruction. Sometimes this is due to an external event and sometimes this impetus comes from within. The reason, ultimately, is not relevant.
Whether this destruction is born from within or from without, these seeds are born. The only verdict, if there is one, that we can ever give any great leader is that, you did good for your time. You have done all that you can and now there is nothing left for you to do. Your sacrifice was not for naught; but neither was it meant to last forever.
A new journey awaits.
When we travel through the world, we get a glimpse of what is possible for humanity as a whole. But when we spend too much at home, our worldview begins to shrink. The other day, someone told me I had become a bit of a homebody. I was shocked by this statement. I, the Great Adventurer, had become a homebody? No, that was not possible.
It’s the same story when it comes to the story of a nation-state. A great seafaring nation in one century morphs into a homebody the next century. A great empire in one century is a has-been in the next century.
Left-wing politics, by and large, is the domain of young people. They have ideals, ideologies and an appetite to take risks. As people get older, they have knowledge, experience and know to thread with caution. Growing up in Southeast Asia, I learned of ‘The Old Guard’—the pioneers who embarked upon the quest of nation building post WWII. To me, they were like the Ultimate Grandpa Figures: larger-than-life patriarchs who were still standing tall despite it all.
We, the Children of the Nations that they had built, considered them our beloved father-figures. They were there to lead us, to guide us and to teach us. They were polished, poised and we were proud of their achievements. But when I dug into the archives, I saw, read and vicariously experienced first-hand the many foibles on their road to success.
The prison terms. The heavy losses. The opposition they faced. All the missteps that seem so obvious when you look back, but at the time, they seemed like such perfect solutions.
They were pioneers, not because there were there when there was nothing—as is so erroneously claimed; but because they were there when the old world order had fallen apart. It was their role to build a new order.
Who is to say what is a success and what is a failure? Who is to say who is a victor and a loser? In a world of momentary victories and temporary failures, I say that history is still being written… and as long as humans walk this earth, it will forever continue to be rewritten.
And so it was. And so it is. And so it will be. This is the Sanatan.