Building Character Life Time AND LOOSING IT ( In noTime)?
Moral character or character is an evaluation of a particular individual's moral qualities. The concept of character can imply a variety of attributes including the existence or lack of virtues such as integrity, courage, fortitude, honesty, and loyalty, or of good behaviors or habits. Moral character primarily refers to the assemblage of qualities that distinguish one individual from another - although on a cultural level, the set of moral behaviors to which a social group adheres can be said to unite and define it culturally as distinct from others.
There are some things that defy definition, yet you know it when you see it. They are culture, character, and leadership.
When the late Vallabhai Patel, the freedom fighter and after Independence, the first Home Minister, was arguing a case in the Bombay High Court (he was an outstanding lawyer, and not just a politician) someone came in and gave him a small note. He glanced at it and put it in his pocket and carried on with his argument. When the court rose for the day at 4 p.m. the two junior lawyers went up to Sardar Patel and asked him why he had not asked ‘them’ for references, when they were there and available. They thought the slip that was given to him was some reference he had sought from outside. Sardar Patel told his juniors simply and briefly. ‘That was a telegram – my wife died this afternoon. I have to rush now to take the train to Baroda.” And he left, before they could recover sufficiently, to condole with him. Sardar Patel completed the job he had to do. He did not allow a distraction – even though it was a serous matter. Sardar Patel had ‘character’. No wonder he was called the ‘Iron man of India.’
I once saw J R D Tata waiting outside the Shamiana restaurant at the Taj in Mumbai . He was with two guests. The restaurant was full. And like a few others, he had to wait. The ‘Maitre’ came out and pleaded with him to come in. He would put an extra table for him. But JRD insisted on waiting his turn and talking; and finally taking a ‘not so well placed table’ which had just been vacated. JRD was the Chairman of Indian Hotels which owns the Taj Mahal. But he did not want extra privileges. He believed that the customer comes first – not the Chairman. JRD had ‘character.’
And what about the Sukh Rams in government and the Ramalinga Rajus in industry. What lessons do they have for us, the youth of the country? They teach us that it takes a long time – a lifetime to build ‘character’. It takes a few hours to destroy it!!
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday sought to steer clear of Union Minister Shashi Tharoor's remark over Gandhi Jayanti being a holiday, saying he has no personal view on it. "I don't really have a personal view on it. I don't think everybody should be opinionated on every single issue. I am comfortable whether it is a holiday or not," Gandhi told reporters here. He said it would not make any difference to the Mahatma whether his birth anniversary was a holiday or not and added that it was for government to make decisions on such matters. In a pat to Tharoor, a former UN diplomat who made a successful debut to Lok Sabha from Thiruvanthapuram in his maiden attempt at electoral politics, Gandhi said, "he is working hard for the country". In his posting on Twitter, a social networking site, Tharoor, who is Minister of State for External Affairs, had suggested that people should work rather than enjoy celebrating the Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, which the Congress had said was his "personal view". Tharoor had earlier stirred a controversy with his twitter remarks dubbing travel by economy class as "cattle class", amid austerity drive by the government, which the Congress had strongly disapproved of.
Practising austerity, Congress president Sonia Gandhi will travel the economy class while flying to Mumbai on Monday. Party sources said Gandhi, who is also the UPA chairperson, will be taking the economy class when she goes to Mumbai for a party function. Gandhi had been instrumental in launching an austerity drive in the party in the wake of drought in various parts of the country. The drive has also gained momentum in the government with several ministers flying the economy class. Yesterday, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna announced that he will not take private aircraft and travel on commercial flights for his overseas trips while his colleague Sharad Pawar after some initial resistance flew economy class in a private airline. Krishna has decided to forego travel by private aircraft which he is entitled to use on visits abroad and said he will travel economy class commercial flights. Pawar said his party was now buying air tickets for him and not the government following the announcement of the code of conduct for the Maharashtra assembly elections.