The article is very aptly titled - Vacancy: An Icon for India .. I am reproducing it below due to the sheer impact it had on me. This was a conversation we had on Facebook a while back and I'm adding my comment after the <---> below.--->
What does India need urgently?
Not the icon of of just a religious or a display nature, but a Symbol. An Indian who stands for something. All societies and nations need an Idea or Person or something, to which they can believe, and internalize. Something which can give Identity, a sense of togetherness, something that rises above the petty divisions of caste and creed, community and religion. Without this symbol, we Indians are doomed to fight our petty internecine battles – never to rise above the pitfalls of our diversity.
We have given up on our politicos (barring a very small minority), to be an Icon. For these few, it is a struggle against the entrenched bloated crass set, collectively encompassing the legislature and the bureaucracy. We’ve seen cases of judicial activism – but the judiciary cannot take the place of the legislature. Our intelligentsia set is no good, endlessly debating various logic to their bitter end, or paralysis by analysis, if you must. This makes people escape to sports-persons (cricketers?) and/ or movie – and TV – persona, good in their fields, but not suitable enough to transcend barriers and inspire policy.
An Icon, when when he or she emerges will unite our hopes, desires, loves and fears. The identity forged therein will transcend our current identities of region/ religion. And make them irrelevant.
The time is ripe for our Icon.
My comment - I sincerely hope the Icon is reading your post and realises his/her time has come. Only will is no longer the only asset needed. Someone like Howard Roark (From Fountainhead) comes to mind actually or Jack Reacher (from Lee Child novels).. But those characters are just work of fiction.. Spiritual leaders would have the influence if capitalised well, but not the right following.. Politicians have the influence, will, following, but not the right agenda (not the most)