Bandho for the Leaders: A leaf out of amazing traditions of India

Dr. Trilok Kumar Jain
Published on: 28th March 2015
Have you attended any session in India where some (political) leader was the chief guest? You will recall that the programme was not started on scheduled time. The people who are supposed to give direction to the society, themselves fail to apply simple principles of punctuality and discipline in their public life. What message do they want to give to the society? What justification can they offer for their delay? Those who reach such functions on time always suffer. Next time they would also come late. What message do we want to convey to the youngsters? How can we develop a great country with such practices which have become part of our habits?

Unfortunately India of yesteryears didn’t have the kind of democratic systems and resources that we have today. Yet, the people tried to implement amazing practices, many of which are superior to the present so-called developed India. Over a period of time, we have been deprived of the history of the common people’s creativity, imagination, initiatives and practices. There are hardly a few people who are documenting the initiatives of common people, which are now disappearing due to the onset of the so-called modern influences. The political leaders are claiming themselves as the agents of change and wish their names to be put in bold on all buildings and wish that their stories be written in all text books for guiding the next generations. Those political leaders should first absorb themselves to understand the truly inspiring practices and amazing work culture of the old relegated India, which was truly a great civilization.
Bandho for the Leaders: A leaf out of amazing traditions of India, discipline, time management
In order to give you a concrete example, let me give you an example of “Bandha” system. “Bandha” or “Bandho” is an old practice which used to be practised in western Rajasthan (probably this  practice is hundreds of years old). Those communities which used to practice this system would abide by punctuality to the highest extent. No programme, no family function or no event would deviate even one second from the scheduled time. My family was also a part of a community which had been practising this system for ages.

An example from my life will illustrate the “Bandho” system. When I was getting married, the scheduled time of departure of my marriage procession (called Baaraat) was printed on the invitation card and all the invitees were told that we follow “Bandho” system. I was told categorically by my father that even if I am late by one second the marriage procession would not wait, it would start on scheduled time. You can just imagine that even a marriage procession could go without the bride-groom but punctuality would be adhered at any cost. All my relatives and friends came on time and the marriage procession started right on time (Since everyone knew that being late would not be tolerated). Can you give me an example of any single political leader, who is so punctual and disciplined as the system of age of “Bandho” system? Over the period of time, such practices have evaporated from our system. When I recall such systems and wish that I should try to transmit that system to my next generation, I find myself at an odd.
Every historian and everyone who is talking about history will only depict the history of kings, feuds, clergy, and rich merchants. Unfortunately the un-told and un-written histories of common people in India is what we have to dig out and study. It was not the ruling system of India that made it great, but the amazing entrepreneurial spirit, great work culture, traditional knowledge and practices and systems of common people that made India great. However, all these have remained un-noticed. The great initiatives of common people can again make India great. However, are we prepared to give salutations to the inspiring workers? Are our leaders prepared to learn discipline and punctuality and practise these qualities in their public life? How and when can we get truly inspiring public leaders, who can practise the simple principles of punctuality, discipline and order in their public life? Who can introduce a “Bandho” system among (political) leaders?
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