Blog Past: Leadership Lessons from Lagaan

This one was one of my early Tech Talks (from 2001), and one that I enjoyed writing a lot. It was about the lessons one could learn from watching the movie “Lagaan.” I wrote it on 5 parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. An excerpt:

Lagaan is about people. Ordinary, average people, who are going about their lives – like each of us. Who, when the moment demands, do extraordinary deeds. It is about the power of a Team – the muthi (”closed fist”). As a team, they were fighting for the future of tens of thousands of their countrymen against a heartless enemy (the British). They had few resources, and little knowledge of the game of cricket. What they did not lack was fighting and team spirit, and the will to win. They were not playing a game; they were fighting a war.

The India of today, too, faces a lot of challenges. If we can learn from Bhuvan and his bunch of motley cricketers, the New India that is being built can be a different place, one which occupies pride of place in the world economy, one which is respected and feared but not ignored, one in which the community and nation come before self, one which Bhuvan’s XI would have been proud of.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.