Lord Sri Krishna was in Indraprastha, the Kaurava capital attempting to convince the Kauravas to return the kingdom to the Pandavas. After all, the kingdom was wrongfully taken from the Pandavas as a result of a rigged game of dice. What resulted was the Greatest War known to mankind. So, if that was the result, why would the Lord go to ask for peace? Even in a losing cause, it is necessary to cover all bases. In this case, Lord Krishna didn’t want the Pandavas to be blamed for a war that was totally at the behest of the Kauravas!
The eldest of the Pandava brothers, Yudhistra, had one weakness (an addiction, if you will) – that was gambling. He could not resist playing dice – and was easily lured into the game with the Kauravas which they rigged, and he along with his brothers lost everything. History tells us of the various problems the Pandavas faced due to this one addiction. But history does not talk about the powerful Communicators of those times. Lord Krishna was the most effective communicator.
Communication 101 tells us that communication is a two-way street: listening and talking. The one aspect of communication generally ignored, but critically important, is of silence. When losing the game of dice, Yudhistra did NOT call on Krishna to help him, even as he wagered his brothers and wife. He knew this was something the Lord Sri Krishna would never have endorsed; and so, he ignored the Lord. During the “Cheerharan” of Draupadi, Yudhistra’s wife, she called out to the Lord for help and he did not disappoint her. And this brings us to the next aspect of communication – calling the right people. Reaching out to the one person who really matters during a crisis makes all the difference.
In the present age we have had one of the most effective communicators – Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee – the late Prime Minister (of BJP) and Statesman of Bharat. This legendary leader knew how to read his audience and was arguably the best at communicating with his audience. Another leader from the great Nation but not as well known, was Sri Jagjivan Ram – popularly known as Babuji. Though many of my readers may not recognize his name – Babuji was from the Indian National Congress (for the better part of his career). His oratory skills and communication with the masses were so powerful that even Vajpayee wanted him on his side. Babuji did leave the Congress a few years later and joined the Janata Party. This was at the end of the infamous Emergency of 1977 – imposed by the Congress.
One thing common between these powerful communicators is the ability to read the mood of the audience. And therein lies the problem of the current leaders in Bharat. Their oratory skills are extremely poor and weak. The first name that comes to mind is the past(current?) President of the Indian National Congress. While his political pedigree is unquestionable, his communication skills leave a lot to be desired – and by that, I mean a WHOLE lot! His sibling too has a similar affliction. Speech writers usually are good at plotting an agenda in a speech, but they cannot incorporate the moods of the masses the speech is for. If you remember, just under a year ago, these siblings tried to redirect the political narrative to one of corruption! While this was happening, the courts pronounced that there was no corruption! Rather than read the mood of the audience, the siblings tried their darnedest to bring the narrative back. The result of that is now history.
Effective communication entails the ability to influence the audience and bring them to your side. The current Prime Minister has mastered that art. Where his adversaries have failed, he has succeeded ONLY because he sought to involve his audience while his adversaries didn’t! I would have you recall his unforgettable speech at the swearing-in May/June last year!
Good communication also requires the ability and discipline to know when not to say anything, and when the right words can diffuse a tense situation. Where Rahul Gandhi could have used silence, he chose to speak; this time about the economy. Rather than lament the current GLOBAL economic slowdown, he chose to blame the Prime Minister! How that was even remotely possible was never questioned by his admirers and pet media reporters (emphasis on PET).
As I mentioned in the beginning – communication is a two-way street! Some like to listen before they speak, others like to listen to themselves speak. It’s all a matter of perspective!
जय माँ भरती