Leadership and Personality Cult

By P.R. Sarkar

(6 March 1988, Calcutta) – You all know that living beings are divided into two categories. Some live in isolation and some live collectively. For example, common domestic animals are individualistic by nature. They are very self-centered. One animal does not usually come to the aid of another. Domestic animals are neither sincere nor devoted to their masters. In fact, they do not have the least sympathy for their masters’ interests. Wherever they are, they live only for themselves.

“Personality cults, whether good or bad, have existed since ancient times and will continue to exist in the future.”

Sheep, however, are gregarious animals by nature. If two sheep grazing in separate fields see each other, they will run to each other as they prefer to graze together. A flock of sheep is called gaddáliká praváha in Sanskrit because of this spontaneous collective movement caused by the herd instinct.

Aesii gatii saḿsár kii sab gad́har kii t́hát́
Ek jab gád́h me giire sab játa tehi bát́.

The nature of people is somewhat like that of a flock of sheep. When one sheep falls into a ditch, the others will follow. Human beings are also social beings. If they have to live alone for a long time they feel restless and search frantically for the company of others. So human beings should be very careful in selecting the leaders of society. Throughout history it can be noticed that many countries with a demoniacal nature have pushed the entire society to the brink of destruction. Sometimes whole communities have been exterminated, while at other times society has overcome destruction only after coming to the precipice.

There are some people who vociferously oppose any sort of personality cult. However, they have to realize that personality cults, whether good or bad, have existed since ancient times and will continue to exist in the future. This is why I said that society should be very careful in selecting its leaders. In this regard there is no difference amongst the capitalists, communists or socialists – they are all of the same hue. Leaders should only be recognized after considering the extent to which they possess qualities like intelligence, wisdom, integrity, pioneering zeal, readiness to sacrifice, etc.

Excerpted from "Leadership – Excerpt A", PROUT in a Nutshell Part 15.

Copyright Ananda Marga Publications 2012

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