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Public Awakening is dangerous for a King

This article discusses how a growing public outrage over an issue can become a big problem for those in power.

Last Wednesday, I was at the Gateway of India for a peace march by citizens who were frustrated with the government and the way the politicians handled the terror attacks. Come to think of it, there’s actually no way that one could call it a ‘peace’ march.

It was more of a public outcry against the rulers. Over 90 per cent of the one lakh people gathered at the site were youngsters, screaming: “Enough is enough!”

This is a dangerous situation for any government. Once the public loses its patience and takes to the streets, even the most powerful rulers will crumble. We saw this when our Union Home Minister had to leave, followed by our own state’s Home Minister as well as the Chief Minister.

Chanakya had clearly pointed out how to avoid such a situation:

“In the happiness of the subjects lies the benefit of the king, and in what is beneficial to the subjects is his own benefit” (1.19.34)

If a leader is not able to keep his people happy, and instead thinks of his own benefit all the time, he will definitely end up being dethroned one day. Just look at the way top politicians have had to bow to the popular opinion of their citizens and give up their positions.

It’s a ‘perform or get out’ environment at present, with different options for different classes of people:


According to me, politicians need to get one thing straight: You cannot continue to operate in a loose manner from now onwards. You need to learn better management skills.

And to all those politicians who are reading this, in case you still don’t know about political management, learn the Arthashastra on how to govern a state.


Keep the fire burning. Do not let it die. The fuel for any revolution is continuity. Follow up this event till you get results. Make use of the power of democracy and of your precious vote.

There are two things every citizen has – duty and rights. Fulfill your duties as a citizen first, then demand your rights and, more importantly, ensure that you get them.


I was in Pune two days ago and then in Nashik yesterday, conducting leadership training programmes. To my pleasant surprise, I now find more and more youngsters attending these sessions. One of them asked me: “Sir, why not start a new political party?”

I replied: “Good idea my boy, but convert your idea into action.” It was not a mini-sermon. Rather, it was my belief in the potential of a youngster to channel his energy positively.

As Swami Chinmayananda said: “Youth are not useless – they are used less. Youth are not careless – they are cared less.”

(The author, Radhakrishnan Pillai is a ‘strategic leadership’ trainer and consultant and also the Director of SPM FOUNDATION, the vision of which is to bring back ancient Indian knowledge in modern day applications. Can be contacted at

The above article can be found on line – click here:


LISTEN TO RADHAKRISHNAN ‘CHANAKYA’ PILLAI ON RADIO Every week on the show ‘Ask Chanakya’ (Sunday 11-12 noon & Friday 8-9 pm Indian Time) on Moksha channel no 602 of Worldspace satellite radio. For details click below
Topic for this week “Passing on your business to the next generation”


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