Leaders emerge amidst most critical junctures of history. For RJD the crisis on the day Nitish Kumar left the boat of grand alliance was no less turbulent. The party chief Lalu yadav was on the way to Ranchi to appear in the CBI court.
Under these circumstances, on the eventful wee hours of July 27 Tejashwi Prasad Yadav virtually took over the command of RJD. He displayed exemplary coolness while addressing newsmen outside Raj Bhawan and made point wise rebuttal of the charges made by Nitish Kumar few hours ago. He was specifically ruthless in his attack on BJP and RSS.
On the following day when he officially took charge as the leader of opposition he sounded far more matured than his age. In his forty minutes speech he struck some blistering attacks on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and NDA; asked some uncomfortable questions, most important being, who will compensate the four lost years. Teasing the BJP legislators he reminded them ‘as to how Nitish Kumar had in 2013 kicked them out but he couldn’t sack us’.
In his speech laced with satire, Tejashwi appeared more poised and unperturbed. Though the speech was extempore he took help of documents to take on the government. At one instance during speech when his party legislators tried to respond to the slogan raising NDA’s members, he heard ensuring them that he alone is enough to handle all of them.
Even though not so qualified academically, Tejashwi exhibited the superiority of his political grooming. Perhaps, learning the skills of politics in the lap of incisive Lalu Yadav turned out to be the most critical education for him.
In spite of this exciting beginning, few commentators maintained that it is too early to make such bold appraisal on the basis of just one speech. According to them, beside speeches, struggles and the narrative of the struggles determine a leader. On these counts, Tejashwi Yadav’s feat remains to be seen, they say.
Yet, first impression does matter. “Making a great first impression is imperative to becoming an influential leader”, reckons Brian Tracy, the world renowned success guru.
Shams Khan is a journalist based in Patna