A couple of days back, while channel surfing just to pick the headlines, I saw this interview with the self-proclaimed God-woman Radhe Maa on the India Today channel. She was bizarre, spoke nonsense and I couldn’t bring myself to watch the interview beyond a few minutes… I am still wondering how Sahil Joshi, the interviewer managed to keep a straight face and continue with the interview for 30 long minutes.
I joked with my friends on WhatsApp that I am probably missing out on a business opportunity because if one can get away with utter nonsense, I maybe able to get away with some sense 🙂 and I will be 50 in a year and a half, which is probably the right age to become a God-woman. But jokes apart, what makes thousands of gullible people to flock to such people? This lady asks one of the followers sitting around her to not look at her face because she loses her train of thought, seriously?? Then she points to her personal “gufa” (cave) and speaks of meditating for three hours and asks Sahil if she can do a demo for him ! Last I knew, meditation is not a product that you can give a demo for an audience, but it seems she can.
I am still wondering about what makes these people tick and actually there are corporate and political variants of Radhe Maa. The corporate Radhe Maa is that executive who has little or no substance but rises and rises and rises, right till the very top, defying Peter’s principle of rising only to the level of your incompetency. These executives abound in organizations where there are several layers of management because its easier to hide in the crowd. They also are examples of being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes, they do possess certain skills and are actually very good at certain kinds of tasks, but they are hardly the “leader” material.
I have come across several such executives and when I was a young executive, I would get very angry and assume that everyone in the “system” was out to get me by denying me my rightful promotion and promoting one of these Radhe Maa type executive. Then as I matured I realised, no one was out to get me – it was just my inability to showcase my work in the right forum, right light and to the right audience. I read the direction of the wind wrong every time that I was passed over. What the Radhe Maa kind are very good at, is homing in on the mood of their audience or supervisors in the corporate world. I am supposedly a good communicator, I enjoy interacting with large groups of people and I can engage them in what I am saying… I am also very intuitive about the people I work with, but there are several occasions when I have mis-read critical people leading to disastrous outcomes for me and my teams.
I learnt to blame Karma as I grew older :). Much easier to blame, because Karma doesn’t reply right away.
I think people like Radhe Maa succeed because they fulfil an important need in their followers – the need to “belong” and be part of something “miraculous”. All miracles happen because you believe in them, just like a professional magician relies on your “belief” to show his magic, in the same way, these folks make some people believe that they belong.
The corporate Radhe Maa’s are great “networkers” and reach out to all and sundry. They also know when to keep their mouth shut and not “take a stand”. The corporate Radhe Maa’s are not vacuous as this one is, but neither are they as capable as they make themselves out to be.
I don’t want to analyse the political Radhe Maa’s, but will just say this – all politicians feed on your need to “belong” and be part of something “miraculous”. Enough said.
p.s – Just praying that we don’t find skeletons in this Maa’s “gufa” like in that other self-proclaimed God-man Ram Rahim’s cave. :(:(
Categories: Corporate musings