A True Leader and Public Opinion
Feb. 20, 2003
- The phrase public opinion was coined after the advent of
newspapers. Before that, man had learnt to appreciate the King's decrees.
- The conscious leader being guided by the subconscious masses is
the reality of public opinion.
- The contradiction is between the subconscious public and conscious
leadership. How far is it effective? How far should it be honoured?
- Even in days of monarchy, disregard of public opinion in the
matters of physical requirements for survival would lead to the overthrow
of the monarch.
- What decides is strength, organised strength to action.
- At the earliest stages of society, it was physical strength. Now
it is the strength of knowledge of information that can stir people to
action at the elections or on the road.
- This strength can be that of Truth or Falsehood, Good or bad, but
what counts is strength.
- A leader cannot disregard the strength because of its character.
- When a false leader leads false masses, there will be harmony.
- The conflict arises only when the leader's view and the masses'
opinions are in conflict.
- How can a true leader handle the false masses?
- As he is a leader by their sanction, it is NOT given to him to go
against the masses.
- He is to get at the hidden Truth in the position of the masses and
through that inspire them to undo their own falsehood.
- This he can effectively do only when he does so in his own inner
- The capacity of inner life adjusting with his outer life is
reflected by his own values such as patience, courtesy, resourcefulness,
thoughtfulness, and presence of mind. As elsewhere, this can always act on
- Can one shape the public opinion and then represent it as Nehru
- Masses take to a leader by his strength and later evaluate his own
ideas against theirs.
- In the case of an ideal leader, the masses look up to him for
their own ideas and espouse them.
- In such cases, what happens is the emotional identification of the
leader enlarges his personality which leads the masses.
- A true leader leading true masses is utopia.
- In the given conditions of the masses more than half saturated
with falsehood, the question arises for a true leader.
- How much they are steeped in falsehood does not matter. As long as
they is determined NOT to represent their falsehood but only their Truth, they can effectively
- Centring himself in his Truth, relating ONLY to their Truth, he
must be dynamic enough to work out a presentation of the national Truth in
acceptable terms to falsehood.