Many Indians living abroad, including those living in India, have at some time or the other experienced a tight knot in their stomachs when a politician from India is on the news or is giving a media interview. We are embarrassed that so many of them come across as such bumbling idiots – unprofessional, ignorant, and pompous. And then there is Ratan Tata – spit-polished, dignified, poised, and as original and authentic as they come.
I sat glued to CNN as Fareed Zakaria interviewed Ratan Tata. With an underplayed grief in his voice and sorrow in his face, he vowed to rebuild the Taj, gave all the credit to his employees, reminscinded about his great grandfather and urged India not to sweep its mammoth problems under the rug. How can you not love such a man? Many of us from India have a long, long love affair with the Tata's for good reason. Their pedigree shows in such elegant and enormous ways. Ratan Tata is the most authentic leader that India has and God knows, Indian leaders need authenticity and a large dose of reality and humility.
In the report, Forbes Magazine's Senior Editor (Asia) Robyn Meredith writes, "While India has the sympathy of the world after the recent attacks, India could have an Obama moment -one in which a leader, whose personal history epitomizes the country's principles, marches forward to unite the country during its very moment of trauma. India has a chance now to get it right, but it needs a strong, credible leader to step up." (SI Dose)
Ratan Tata operates in a political world in India that is highly bureaucratic, intensely corrupt, callous, and even lawless sometimes. Yet he stands tall – unwilling to be bought or sold, a visionary who leads under enormous challenges. He is what India's spirituality teachings teaches us to be and yet is so rarely, rarely practiced among Indian leaders. Yeah, Ratan-ji!