PM Narendra Modi shows common sense is king

Common sense is as rare as genius – is the basis of genius

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have been running business schools for about two decades and writing books and articles and columns on leadership, motivation and management. My greatest realization was just one: “Management and leadership are nothing but pure common sense”. Common sense is what I call “horse sense”. A horse knows when there is a difficult road ahead and has the instinct to find its way out, so horses rarely fall. It is a natural gift from God.

Let me give a simple example to explain this idea. When Thomas Edison, inventor of the lightbulb, employed his top guns for his enterprise, he gave each aspirant a glass bulb (envelope of an electric lightbulb) and asked them to find out the volume of the lightbulb. These guys were front runners from the most prestigious engineering schools eager to work for him and they were great at physics and math. They all took measurements with calipers, used slide rules, made accurate measurements, and used advanced calculus and set up complex equations to calculate volume as accurately as possible. One out of a hundred candidates would fill it with water and pour the water into a measuring glass and state the exact volume! He was hired. Edison was looking for people who could find a simple solution to a complex problem.

I think Prime Minister Modi’s greatest strength is common sense and using it to make important decisions. Most of the time he’s spot on. His initiatives seem simple, but have a profound impact on the 1.3 billion people.

The late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi said that only 15 paise from one rupee sent by his government reaches the actual beneficiary! The rest were devoured by the middlemen (bichauliyas). This was said in 1985 and no one found or attempted a solution to this seemingly complex problem and mind you, Rajiv Gandhi’s government is rightly given credit for computerization and automation.

It just took common sense to solve this. First, PM Modi under Jan Dhan Yojana opened bank accounts for the poorest of the poor (the most exploited of Dalals, touted as “Dallas”). In one fell swoop, more than 35 crore bank accounts were opened and then the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system was implemented, literally eliminating the middlemen. Along with the force multiplier effect of digital India, it hit the nail on the head. bang. Of course, the naysayers and liberals were quick to point out that these bank accounts would help stash unbooked money. As they say, ‘Chor ki dadee main tinka‘ or ‘sawan ke andhey ko saab hara er nazar aata hai‘. If you’re a choir-oriented person, you’ll think like one.

Common sense can bring about a paradigm shift, and in this case it did. It was kill five flies without a stone! The poor got their money’s worth, they got self-respect, the middlemen were eliminated, and the poorest man sitting in the farthest corner began paying online and, as a bonus, more of the economy was settled.

As a techno executive, I always say, “Developing technology is one thing, but using it for mass impact is more important.”

Another leak has been patched by the government by coating the urea, which is subsidized at Rs 5,360 per tonne for use by farmers, with neem and diverting it for industrial use, particularly in the paint and plywood industries as it is in the Compared to urea for industry use which is cheaper which cost Rs 22,000-23,000 per ton.

View the medal tables in games. A push from above has helped our athletes perform better on the international stage and combine yoga with fitness.

Let me say that we have always considered ourselves “inferior”; Inferior to the white skin, perhaps the whole world, we’ve always struggled to keep our heads just above water. We had no qualms about being called third world. For decades our striving was limited to Roti, Kapada aur Makaan. Pride was nowhere on the horizon! You can’t put a price tag on your pride—it’s not a bar of chocolate.

Common sense came in handy again. We had the means all along, but we were always afraid of a self-made mental glass ceiling. We never thought we could do this. It took a concerted effort to advance this route north, and several initiatives have been taken in that direction. For example, Sardar Patel’s Unity Statue is the tallest statue in the world at 597 feet. It was built with a dual purpose. Firstly, to build the tallest statue in the world, and secondly, to pay a well-deserved tribute to Sardar Patel, our first Home Secretary who single-handedly united all the states of India into one nation. The by-product was pride, which has no price, it is priceless.

Killed three birds with one stone again. This compares to the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in Upper New York Bay off the coast of New York City, a highly acclaimed monument in the US that stands just 305 feet tall. Almost eclipsed in front of us. Again, the naysayers were quick to respond. “This statue costs around INR 3,000 crore, we could feed millions of people with it!” can you believe that? Back to the Freebees mentality.

We were like an eagle in the chicken coop.

A baby eagle was caught in a chicken coop and took over all the habits of little chicks. As a chicken flies only a few meters, the eagle child also flew so much. When it reached adult plumage, it looked like an eagle, but still couldn’t fly due to mental block, mistaking it for a chicken. One day, looking up, he saw a great eagle flying in the sky and thought, “I wish I could fly like that bird!”

We never thought we could fly and roll out 5G since we only have Haan ji or How ji and no ji? Can we ever imagine free health care for 50 million Indians under an Ayushman Bharat program? Can we ever imagine world-class highways? Can we imagine ever exporting arms to other countries? Could we ever think that ten million toilets could be built for rural landscapes and world-class train stations? Could you ever imagine that one day Article 370 would be revoked (a brilliant way to make two UTs) for a clean win? NO, NO and NO.

But do not knock it ’till you try it

Let me tell you, you don’t have to eat the whole pudding to enjoy the flavor. To check if rice is fully cooked and ready to eat, you just need to take a grain of rice and you will know if it is ready or not.

Speak to your caddy while golfing and you’ll find out what’s happening in the country. Our Safai Karamchari now gets his salary by check. I spoke to a male nurse recently and he told me that the entire treatment for his wife in a hospital would have cost around Rs 200,000 but under the Ayushman Bharat program he used the cashless facility.

To me, this is proof of the pudding – this is Naya Bharat. Please go randomly like me and take a look to see what is happening on the ground for those who have been disadvantaged.

If you travel abroad today, you will be respected as an Indian. People still can’t believe this! Is this really happening? Yes it is.

I have friends who live abroad and they praise it.

Better to have common sense without big degrees than big degrees without common sense.’

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