” COVID-19 ; Leaders Should not Fiddle While Coronavirus Rages ” – August 1, 2020.

     The primary duty of every national leader is to hold the Citizens as their own ;  protect their safety and security ;  and provide good governance at all times. In particular, when calamities strike or protests and chaos erupt either within or from outside, the singular goal should be to protect the Citizens and put them out of their miseries.

President, Donald Trump.

          COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the deceptive Leadership of some leaders causing mismanagement. US President, Donald Trump, is one whose style of Leadership is wedded to the principle of,  ” take it, or drown it ”  with mishandling and mishaps galore. Spontaneous and drastic actions on issues, national and international, have made him a Leader clouded in controversy in public discussions and arguments.

          Even while speaking eloquent about his friendship with India, he doesn’t hesitate to twist our arms in matters of his prime concern. That the nation, America, now finds itself let down by its own Leader amidst the COVID-19 crisis is not surprising at all.

          At a time when the bond of friendship forged between America and WHO should be strengthened, he chooses to opt out, in addition to the suspension of its financial contribution – an act viewed as unjustified. His declaration that America’s war with Coronavirus is over when the cases and death toll prove the contrary was shocking to say the least.

          There was widespread condemnation to his responses and the manner in which he treated the death of the black man, David Floyd, in the hands of a white policeman. His call for the military to be engaged in the control of protests (due to David Floyd’s death) was not accepted by his own Defense Secretary. A single, simple statement in a peaceful voice,  “Justice for the killing will be provided ”  would have possibly ensured the much needed elixir to the protesters and the oppressed. His utterings on the contrary served to escalate the anger and frustration of the people. As a candidate seeking his second term intensely, a change in his leadership style is the compulsion of time now.

          President Donald Trump’s first public appearance with a face mask during his visit to a military hospital was, however,  deeply appreciated for his special concern.

President, Jair Bolsonaro, of Brazil

          Brazilian Leader, Jair Bolsonaro, is no less controversial than President, Donald Trump. When a reporter asked him about the death of nearly 5000 people in Brazil recently, – ” So,  what ? “,  Jair Bolsonaro retorted angrily and shocked the entire world with his sheer act of obstinacy. There were also serious complaints when thousands of Citizens were languishing and fighting hard against the Coronavirus in hospitals and other places, in Rio de Janeiro and other cities, Bolsonaro was making the most of his time in  leisure pursuits of  ‘shooting’. Brazil’s death toll is now close to 90000. He was adamant that he will not wear the face mask, just like the US President. He has now contracted the disease. Having been confirmed in 3 successive tests he is now reported to be recovering. Even as many pray for his recovery, they are eagerly awaiting the redemptive power of the love of people to make him a responsible Leader.

President, Xi Jinping, of China

          The so called divine games of China are too well known. It has not shirked from its opposition to its many neighbours even as the entire world is pointing their fingers of accusation for the spread of Coronavirus on China. Border skirmishes with India ;  Desire to control the South China Sea fully through its destabilizing manoeuvres (it drowned a Philippine boat last year, and during the first week of April it drowned the Vietnamese fishing boat );  laying undue claims over the islands belonging to Japan, Vietnam, and Philippines ;  and  imposing Hong Kong Security Law – are just a few against which countries from around the World have raised voices.

North Korean Leader, Kim Jong-Un.

          North Korean Leader, Kim Jong Un, known for his dictatorial behavior has called for enhancing the military strength and capabilities enormously while maintaining a continuing stance of Opposition to South Korea is not in good diplomatic taste. With a majority of people of North Korea in conditions of abject poverty, his call for drinking tea and consuming turtle char instead of food grains appears to be shock tactics persuading them to submit to his actions.

          Instead of being reminded of the idiom, “Emperor Nero fiddled when Rome burned”,  leaders around the World should rise to the threat of COVID-19 with  (a)  moral responsibility,  (b)  great maturity,  (c)  serious understanding,  (d)  focus on important matters,  and  (e)  effective leadership.

 

   ” Dieu avec nous “

   Saturday,  August 1,  2020 –  12.29  p.m. (IST)

   Tidbit : ” When written in Chinese, the word  ‘crisis’  is composed of two characters – one represents danger and the other represents opportunity ”  –  John F Kennedy.

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