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Character of an institution is reflected in its leader.

titution has a diverse definition and includes multiple entities. Defined as an organisation created to achieve a specific purpose, an institution may include Families, Residential Associations, Nongovernmental Organizations, Governmental Organizations, Banks, Businesses, Governments as whole, Bilateral Organizations, Multilateral Organizations and even International Organizations. Thus, beginning from a family to United Nations every entity constitutes an institution.

grandfather who was the leader of our family had some innate values. Being a senior officer in Irrigation Department of Government of India, he was influential in helping people attain employment and consecutively a better livelihood particularly in rural areas in the post independence era. Now I witness the same values being practiced by my father who is a University Professor who builds the careers and life of his students. Thus, an adept leader transfers his qualities to its Institution.

ilarly leaders in an organisation have strong influence over their colleagues. Their charisma and aura attract the eyes of all and the magnetic personality and values cause the people in that institution to admire those leaders. They are able to cause this internalization because of the authority and power they wield. Thus every inch of good or bad of which the leader is made up gets reflected in the organization.

history is filled with examples that bear a testimony to this fact. Buddha in the ancient world was responsible to reduce to an extent the dominance of upper caste and the discrimination of lower caste in the post Vedic age. Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century was responsible for revival of Sanatan Dharma which had taken a beating due to the spread of Buddhism. The advance of Islam in the beginning of medieval century is a stark example. Its leader Prophet Mohammed greatly emphasised on values of universal brotherhood and equality. The arrival of Arab traders from East Africa and West Asia and invaders from Northwest India led to a large scale conversion to Islam in India both by choice and by force.

the modern world we have ample examples of leaders Mahatma Gandhi who led a nationwide ‘struggle’ for independence on the principle of ahimsa in contrast to ‘revolutions’ around the world. On the contrary the world witnessed another leader in Adolf Hitler, who single handedly, was responsible for widespread atrocities on Jews. While Hitler gave wing to violent character another leader, the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Nehru was a visionary with the scientific temper who focused on building ‘temples of modern India’.

face of struggle against apartheid was Nelson Mandela who withstood the forces of colonial government in South Africa towards an equal and a just constitution for all the races and ethnicities. The end of cold war Era saw the disintegration of USSR a major superpower and unilateral rise of USA that established its hegemony and supremacy over the world under different leaders. While George Bush’s reign was marred by controversies, President Obama's rule is considered more humane, diplomatic and that of an able Statesman considering he navigated the country after the economic subprime crisis, the greatest after the Great Depression of 1930s. Even today, the race to the American Presidential elections is being closely watched by many experts world over wondering if a radical Republican would triumph or a feminist Democrat would clinch the post.

ser home, our ex-president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam took our country to new heights in the field of space and defense. Also known as the Missile man, he was intimately involved in the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology and played a pivotal role in Pokhran nuclear test.

er Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, an able economist India registered the highest GDP growth and overall economic development and deftly maneuvered the economy and the country through 2008 crisis. The current PM, known widely for being tech savvy is continuously working towards building a digitally connected nation through his schemes like Digital India, Aadhar, JAM trinity, MyGov.in etc.

er Institutions both National and international levels reflect the characters of its leaders. The IMF and World Bank are often criticised as being Puppets of American and European governments as they seek to further the development agenda of these countries. However, the WTO is praised for being a comparatively more democratic Institution. At the national level the Governors of Reserve Bank of India also represent the economic status of the country. While D. Subbarao was credited for safely stewarding the Indian economy through the 2008 subprime crisis, Dr. Raghuram Rajan is responsible for controlling high inflation rate in the country by adopting a flexible inflation targeting monetary policy without compromising much on economic growth. The hallmark of his leadership can be witnessed by the fall in SENSEX after his announcement of not taking of second term of governorship.

the era of youth leaders, one example can be of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who has acknowledged the plural nature of Canadian society and has given space to them in a young and ethnically diverse cabinet with equal number of men and women, and also aborigines, disabled and Sikhs representing the Canadian society.

s, leaders have a strong influence on character of institution in every field. The strong personality of a leader is like a flower that makes surrounding smell sweet. Also in case of a bad leader, it is the filth and the polluted environment that gets reflected. A leader is the foundation of a building which if strong holds together otherwise wrecks havoc for everyone. Hence, it is essential that leader must be of strong conviction and values of the associated institution must be ready to share success and take responsibility of failures and should take the team along. Such a leader gets respect and reputation and will always serve as the guiding light for the Institution

- Neda Fatima

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