Want a ‘strong’ leader?

Print edition : January 20, 2017

Dr B.R. Ambedkar in the Constituent Assembly. In an address to the Assembly, he prophetically said: "Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship." Photo: "Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar", Lokvangmay Griha

Charles de Gaulle, who was President of France from 1958 to 1969. He was authoritarian yet democratic and ultimately enhanced French democracy. Photo: The Hindu Archives

Tony Blair. Over the Iraq war, he misread the popular mood and perverted the norms of Cabinet government and brought grief to the U.K. Photo: Getty Images

Nelson Mandela, a democrat and inclusivist, who was shorn of ego. Photo: Leon Neal/AFP

September 4, 1991: Mikhail Gorbachev addressing the Congress of People's Deputies during a debate on his proposal to transform the Soviet Union into a confederation of sovereign states. Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

A book relevant to our times as it shows, through historical examples, how “strong” leaders often end up as a peril to democracy.
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