Salutes to Father of Nation!!

January, 2020

Hi Folks

Can we say that Gandhiji shook the world in a gentle way ? Perceptions may differ. Simple means like Salt Satyagrapha, Boycott of foreign goods, Conquering opponents by love, Non-violent ways of protest, Non-cooperation, Fasting, Silence etc. are in no way gentle. May be they are, since there is no physical violence involved but they are firm and assertive, shaking the world, transforming thinking, touching people, triggering geo-political shifts & structuring, rewriting history and our future. The impact has been profound and long-lasting.

This brings me to the much-talked and most-viewed about 2 Padmashri awardees for 2020 – Harekala Hajabba, an orange vendor turned educationist from Mangalore who has built schools from his meagre savings and Tulasi Gowda, the illiterate environmentalist from Ankola in Karnataka who is hailed as the walking encyclopaedia of forests. Both of them have been shaking the world around them in their own, simple, small, ubiquitous ways without any expectations of rewards or recognition. No social media. No climate protests. No TedX talks. No claims. Only genuine passion which has manifested as their calling in life !

Watching the Mandela film Invictus, I found similar gentle ways of Madiba as he pats the Springboks rugby team captain, Fraincois Piennar and shares the poem ‘Invictus’ which encourages him to lead his team to the 1995 Rugby World Cup victory. This goes a long way in bridging the growing apartheid gap in South Africa, post Mandela’s election as the first black President. A simple yet thoughtful act that is deep and stirring !

I can recall a similar nudge from my mentor and senior Company Secretary Mr. Gopalakrishna Hegde who shook me gently and urged me to take on the ICSI Bangalore chapter chairman position way back in 2014, saying “Think about it. You can do it”. Helped me remove the uncertainty in my mind. I had the privilege of leading the chapter as the first woman Chairperson in 40 years, thanks to the gentle words of this gentleman. While I may not have done anything earth shattering or world-shaking so to speak, yes it shook me from within and helped me discover my leadership skills or the lack of it in certain circumstances !

Never underestimate the power of simple words and gentle actions – they can move people and transform the world !!

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