Netrutva, or leadership, is the ability to provide a vision, guide, and instill passion in a group of people. The qualities of an ideal leader are innate in women, as can be seen through their numerous leadership roles in the family and society. For any society to progress, it is necessary for its people to be strong, fearless leaders who are prepared to take responsibility for their community. Invoking the spirit of netrutva that is inherent in all women is thus essential not only to women’s personal development but also to the building of a vibrant, harmonious society based on the ideals of Dharma.
Rani Lakshmibai, the renowned queen of Jhansi, was the very personification of netrutva. In 1857, at the tender age of 22 years, she led Bharat’s first armed uprising against the oppressive British rule. Though she perished in battle, she will always be remembered for her unbreakable patriotism and strong leadership. Rani Lakshmibai continually inspired her citizens to take active roles in protecting their society. Not only did she preach that they should fight for their country, but she herself was the first one to march on the battlefield. Her fearlessness was admired by all freedom fighters of Bharat, encouraging them too to dedicate their lives for the cause of their country’s freedom.
True leaders do not stand in the limelight of name and fame, but rather walk with their people. It is their tireless actions and pure character, more than their words, which inspire others.
There are countless women in the past and present who have demonstrated inspirational leadership skills. They illustrated the qualities of an ideal leader: pure of character, egoless, selfless, inspirational, charismatic, responsible, hard-working, brave, and dedicated. An ideal leader is at one with her people, not an entity separate from or above them. Even if a leader is blessed with extraordinary greatness, she must come down to the level of the ordinary people and be able to inspire others without thinking that she is extraordinary or beyond their reach. Though a leader does not demand respect or conformity from her followers, she earns it through her own conduct, virtues, and action.
Vandaneeya Mausiji said that until now women have been serving the family; now it is time that we also use our netrutva to serve the whole society. Netrutva is not something that we have to search for outside of ourselves; it is something that we already have. By learning from the examples of past leaders and bringing out our natural leadership qualities, we will all find the leader within ourselves.