Articles

Raja Raja and his Leadership Values

There’s an old proverb that says fools never learn from their mistakes, clever people do and the wise learn from the mistakes of others. Undoubtedly the best place to learn from others’ mistakes is history, provided we are also able to grasp it in our context. Sadly, our history lessons are often just reams of irrelevant lists of dates that have little bearing on the issues and challenges we face daily. A thousand years ago, the Chola king Raja Raja I built the Brihadeeswara Temple...

Krishnadeva Raya: Leadership Lessons

Any historian who compiles a list of India’s 10 greatest kings can’t omit Krishnadeva Raya (ruled from 1509 to 1529), who brought great glory to the Vijayanagar empire with its capital in Hampi, Karnataka. We commemorated the 500th anniversary of his coronation by allowing one of his architectural creations, a gopuram at Kalahasti, to come crashing down near his statue. Hopefully, our leaders will learn from his life and ensure that even if we don’t protect his buildings, we...

‘Develop skills to emerge as successful leaders'

Management students have been asked to look for leadership qualities within their neighbourhood and develop their skills to emerge as successful leaders. Delivering a lecture on ‘Leadership Lessons from History' at the EBET Group of Institutions in Nathakkadaiyur on Thursday, Lead Principal of Infosys Leadership Institute Pradeep Chakravarthy said that it was not always necessary for the students to look at the leaders in big industries for inspiration. “You can even find...

Ramanuja’s leadership skills

For Vaishnavaites in Tamil Nadu, Ramanuja is more than a philosopher or a theologian. He is someone who recharged the faith not only intellectually but also emotionally. It cannot be denied that if it weren’t for him, Vaishnavism in Tamil Nadu may today be on the fringes. In the 4,000 Divya Prabhandam, the sacred text for Tamil speaking Vaishnavaites, although not an Azhwar, 108 verses on Ramanuja by his disciple bring the book to a count of 4,000. In addition to revitalising the...

Sanctuaries of times past

Long before management gurus spoke volumes about the need for leaders of organisations to do their bit for social development as an obligation to “give back”, kings in various parts of the country did their mite to contribute to charity thanks to an Indian tradition of revering hospitality as a virtue. Different kings have different track records. Among the better ones are the Maratha kings who ruled Thanjavur from 1676 to 1855. They established chathrams or rest houses in different...

Beauty in black stripes

A s a child, I frequently asked my mother to get me a tiger for a pet. I soon learnt that her “ok, soon”, meant “never”. I settled for hoping that I could at least pet one and now that hope too has vanished. I pander to my respect and admiration for this majestic animal by watching wildlife shows on TV! It is difficult not to respect the tiger; its grace, majesty and consummate elegance always leave a lasting impression! No wonder that it is the national animal of not...

To the past, with passion

T he wealth of detail and factual accounts in Dr. K. V. Raman's book on the Varadaraja Perumal temple in Kanchi, will surely impress the reader. It's all there! From the list of offerings in the 17th century that was gifted as maha neivedyam (we still eat the same type of food!) to the temple to the notes on some of the unusual sculptures! I was delighted to note that the author lives in Madras and visited him to discuss archaeology, history and other connected subjects. K.V. Raman was born in...

Storehouse of information

T hanjavur has been the cradle of arts for several Centuries. Be it painting, music, dance, drama, crafts or cuisine, Thanjavur has made a mark. ‘Thanjavur - A Cultural History,' a book authored by Pradeep Chakravarthy with photos by Vikram Sathyanathan, deals with the cultural contributions of Thanjavur from the Chola period to the present. The book in 220 pages with 174 photographs (many of them archival and never before printed) and five maps traces not only the cultural history but...

Era of the opera

In ancient Tamil Nadu, dance, music and drama were closely intertwined and it is not always easy to separate these three art forms. Ancient Tamil literature mentions nadagam and koothu. Many of these references are from texts in the third and fourth centuries. In the Perumkathai, a work of the eighth century, there is a reference to the entry of the ‘Koil Nadaga Kuzhu' or the drama troupes of the temple. Inscriptions related to theatre and plays are rare in temples. The few there are...

Era of the opera

I n ancient Tamil Nadu, dance, music and drama were closely intertwined and it is not always easy to separate these three art forms. Ancient Tamil literature mentions nadagam and koothu. Many of these references are from texts in the third and fourth centuries. In the Perumkathai, a work of the eighth century, there is a reference to the entry of the ‘Koil Nadaga Kuzhu' or the drama troupes of the temple. Inscriptions related to theatre and plays are rare in temples. The few there are...