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Ab esse ad posse valet consequentia – If something exists, then it is possible.
There is much talk on the net as well as in hard print on governance, law and society. Everyone from rulers to the ruled, academics to party workers, from kings to despots are concerned. It is just that our opinions are as varied as many people that we are. Academically speaking, it must be so. If there are no contrast, then everything around us in the world would be drab. So we grant our selves the right to think and express our opinion on everything concerning everything.
We also find that sometimes the discussions tend to get a bit grey, perhaps for want of clarity in the concept or perhaps due to the limitations in our grasp of the concepts. In so far as implementation is concerned that is quite another story. There is an off-side from the military that says “Desktop Generals can not lead”. There is much truth in that. Unless the general has had the expose to the trench, the loyalty of his men would be hard to earn.
In political science, this moral perhaps does not apply. Whoever heard of our MPs, Senators or whatever else they are called in the world, graduate first in pol science, economics or law; do a stint as a subordinate of the district collector or join an NGO working with its hands on the mud; publish at least a dozen papers on governance, politics or law (preferably do a doctoral study) and then get into politics. If that were so, most of the parliaments in the world would for ever have vacancies unfilled!
Then what do we see? We see Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Deng Xiaoping, Abraham Lincoln, Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Ho Chi Minh, VI Lenin, Fidel Castro and a host of others (my apologies, for these are not the only political leaders that I would like to mention – some with formal education including in the art of politics, but most tested in the fire of life. Some with outstanding understanding of Aristotle to Thoreau and some with an absolute understanding of the needs of the people they were destined to lead.
We also see Hitler, Mussolini, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussain, Gadaffi, Milosevic and a host of others whom history bestowed an opportunity to lead their people to greater destinies. They chose to lead them to destruction. Among these were also as many pundits of political science as there were grass-root leaders.
So, the point I am trying make here is this: Understanding governance as a concept and practicing the same from a leadership position are two different things.
Talking of the wealth of discussion on governance and government, We find that while some contemporary experts do come out with a distinction that is quite clear. I mean between Governance and Government. But even among the most accomplished of these, we find that the distinction between these two blurs quite often. Perhaps when we talk of two inter-related aspects, it becomes difficult to keep the distinction at all times. Take for example the discourses on spirituality and religion. Most often than not, you find that the narrator fails to recognize their difference. Both may be for the same and of the same but they are not by the same! Think over and we will know the difference.
In the same tone, governance and government are for the same, of the same but they are not by the same. While governance is the concept that at times defies definition, government is tangible, definable and assess-able. When we talk of governance, aside the six tangible parameters by which WB or ADB or TI may chose to assess a country, there are intangible factors that remain crucial to the quality but defy statistical analysis.
So, the second point that I am making is that attempting measure GOVERNANCE is to be done more cautiously. The venerated saints of every religion have attained the same God – we may chose to name the Gods separately. The paths that they chose are akin to government; what they attained is governance.
Why am I taking examples from religion or spirituality? The reason is simple: all leadership is a matter of the spirit. A sterile, book bound leader or for that matter academic or scientist or a military top brass has never achieved anything. It is only those among these who have put their spirit into their pursuit who made the difference in their respective field. It is possible to change opinion provide we have a open mind.
I suppose it is okay for me to set the platform for the discussions that I intend taking up on this blog. Spirited, yes by all means, but nonetheless well meaning comments are welcome.