Earlier this week it actually happened. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar became the first sitting Chief Minister of Goa in active politics to admit “In Goa, we need to ensure that good quality leadership is developed, not just in the current situation but also for the future. I am not referring to political parties, but in all fields”. Thank You, Manohar Bab, for admitting that Goa has a leadership crisis.
You led us from usurping the mandate to vote your party out to hauling upon us a Cabinet Advisory Committee, a motley bunch of self-centred coalition leaders who made a joke of our faith in democracy. Do we call that quality leadership or do we call the fact that despite being the chosen one – the Smart City – your own home constituency gets flooded every year, the natural creeks have been turned into sewage canals, the city roads have been turned to parking for the casinos and that despite you being there for over two decades and a half, the city does not have its own garbage treatment site? What is the good quality leadership for Goa? Sample this.
The next aspirant nursing Chief Ministerial ambitions is from the party that almost made Goa a part of Maharashtra. Can a CM hailing from a constituency which is home to a shady outfit yet speaks no word to cull it be called a quality leader? Or a CM who has a problem with bikinis on the beach and rolls out swanky roads that get washed off by the first rain showers wasting crores of taxpayers’ money? What then is the choice that we have in terms of good quality leadership?
Maybe a young leader who makes all the right noises on cyberspace, has all the right words Goa, Goans, Goanness, etc, hiding a trail of compromise of acres of Goan lands that will be turned into real estate battlegrounds or concrete jungle? Or a leader who aspires to be the CM and will stop at nothing to compromise on the idea of Goa bulldozing people’s voices against him? Isn’t this a similar spit and polish leadership that the incumbent CM once projected not very long ago – ruthless, ambitious and disruptive?
Good quality leadership is a chimera in Goa. Every squeaky clean leader that you search for has a trail of compromises and shady past behind him. From the well-oiled ranks of BJP to the grassroots hogging Indian National Congress, from the loyalists of a bygone era of MGP to the branded and packaged communicators of Goa Forward to the activists turned politicos of Aam Aadmi Party, there is a problem of good quality of leadership. In BJP, there is just one Bhai. The Bhau and the Babush are senior leaders and don’t qualify for ‘good quality leadership’. In Congress, half a dozen former Chief Ministers later, there is no clue who will be the next Chief Minister material from their ranks. Other parties are one man-one family or one man-one coterie shows. Dear Goa, the leaders you give are the leaders we get.
Parrikar honestly added that fringe issues are overtaking the main ones as 5% of people who are evil-minded are creating problems and are the most vocal trying to influence others. We don’t have to think much as to who are those who try to divert our attention from core issues of transparency, corruption, cronyism and secularism, in Goa. The ruling dispensation itself is the hallmark of what ‘good quality leadership’ shouldn’t be. The opposition parties, whether inside the Assembly or outside, are no different and have their own agenda, their own gigs.
Have you noticed that it is the party cadre and their beneficiaries who join the political leaders in rallies, in public meetings? Ever wondered why? Because leadership is about inspiring 10.20 lakh Goans to make Goa a better place, the best place on earth. Our leaders are like the evil queen in Snow White who is quite in love with themselves but don’t know that the ‘good inspiring leadership’ is yet to happen. Any takers?