Leadership Random Thoughts

Governance always starts with better communication

India’s in splits as the new Citizen Amendment Bill (CAB) and National Registry of Citizens (NRC) officially takes its place in our legislation. Most people are either anxious, confused, and angered by this nationalist (Hindutva) agenda. And of course, we do have our share of supporters and opposition to this bill.

It’s complicated. It’s messy and it’s a great lesson on leadership. Specifically on how not to communicate a sensitive matter to the masses.

It’s hard to believe that the administration didn’t think of the reaction and pushback they’re going to get from the public. And I’m pretty sure they knew Indian media would just fuel the fire, making the matters worse. I get the feeling that our administrators didn’t do the homework despite what they knew might happen. That’s sloppy leadership.

What could they have done differently? Well, how about educating the masses using the same media that has ruined it for them? We have myriad of options of accomplish that but have we? I remember the Prime Minister himself getting on the stage to announce demonetisation back in 2016. He could’ve done something like that? Or perhaps, have his team create a short 30 minute educational video on what the CAB and NRC all about along with the reasons why it’s important to the citizens.

I see “experts” sharing their opinions on media instead of leaders. And that’s a problem. You see, experts don’t have insights into the vision that the administration has. They don’t collaborate well and for the most part have either contradicted or opposed each other. Do you expect the whole truth? Not that you will from the administration or the politicians but there’s a high likelihood that you will hear solid reasons behind their decisions.

For most, that’s good enough. It’ll clear up the confusion and calm most people down. There will still be a bunch of people who will rebel or complain but they’re not important. What’s important is that the administration cared enough to communicate the matter to the public, to whom they’re accountable.

I’m apolitical and I have no qualms against any bill that gets passed so long it doesn’t alienate people because of their faith. Unfortunately, this is precisely what the CAB bill is all about. I instinctively oppose it but I get the feeling that there’s got to be a logic behind it. Good or bad, we don’t have clarity on it yet.

And that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Failure to communicate. That’s not a way to run a nation.

Sharing a few resources that might be helpful for your to dig deeper and understand the CAB and NRC bill better. They too are expert opinions because we haven’t had any of our leaders show up for a better explanation.

  1. What is NRC, Here’s another one by Business Standard
  2. Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 (CAB)
  3. What is citizenship law and why people are protesting against it
  4. Is Citizen Amendment Bill against the constitution?
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