Quoting Ramchandra Guha,
In his pomp — which ran roughly from 1948 to 1960 — Nehru was venerated at home Representative are these comments of The Guardian, written after the Indian prime minister had addressed a press conference in London in the summer of 1957:
‘A hundred men and women of the West were being given a glimpse of the blazing power that commands the affection and loyalty of several hundred million people in Asia. There is nothing mysterious about it. Mr Nehru’s power is purely and simply a matter of personality. … Put in its simplest terms, it is the power of a man who is father, teacher and older brother rolled into one. The total impression is of a man who is humorous, tolerant, wise and absolutely honest.’
Perhaps written unwittingly, those last sentences have the potential to become the guiding light to anyone who seeks to lead any group of people towards anything.
As Narendra Modi steps into the Indian Prime Minister’s role today, it would be wise of him to keep those sentiments in mind and look to guidance not from his immediate set of predecessors, but atleast in some respects, from the man who started it all.