Genius and Madness

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who actually do, Steve Jobs said. Crazy, well, it can have more than one definition and accordingly the “change” that takes over the world will differ. There is the good change and the disaster, there is Genius and there is Madness. There is a fine line between the two and sometimes extreme levels of intelligence sophisticatedly chose to be ignorant of other varied perspectives leading the decision thus taken to be considered a catastrophe. Two such examples of such intelligence gone high on the Madness scale are Adolf Hitler and Mohammad Bin Tughluq.

They were extremely intelligent people who cannot be compared owing to the different timelines of their existence but, underwent the same course on the History text books and have become synonymous with sadism and stupidity respectively. Their ideas and ideologies were in some ways and in those times actually well thought of but poorly executed.

In case of Adolf Hitler, he is a man the world loves to hate. He killed thousands of Jews, he had the worst estimate of his opponents, and he committed suicide in the end when his men needed him. Look at it from another perspective, he is a man with his own idea of an ideal world, he is a man who believed in his mind completely, and that is a ray of sunshine at a time when everyone was filled with self-doubt and lacked confidence. He rose to power and woke up an entire nation, a sleeping nation, and gave them, in his words, “A faith to live by and a cause to die for”. How many such leaders can you find today, who for starters, have an ideal world to believe in and then, commit to it completely. He knew how the country thought, he hit them hard with sentiment and belief not knowledge or reason, and it worked better in that route; he united them by a common hatred and it did wonders. He knew the end he wanted to see, the resources that were required and the words to use, the flaws were huge yet, he is a leader who needs to be admired for his clarity of thought, command over human psychology an oratory abilities.

Mohammad Bin Tughluq, the wisest fool as some would call him, was a man well ahead of his times, always on the lookout for fresh new ideas. Today, we call that being creative and innovative. He was the first person to think of the concept of coins way back in the 14th century. He also came up with the idea of keeping record of all the state expenditure and income. Though he never went further ahead after recording the expenditure (reason for its failure) the idea is today, one of the most important means through which we recognize flaws in the system. He waagain, a man who considered himself to be above all, and to be the sole possessor of the powers to change and make laws of the State.

Two leaders, who have been under the microscope for quite some time for their weird genius and well known madness. This just implies that a man cannot be admired or despised completely, there is always that streak of intellect and charisma that is waiting to be admired, and you just have to choose to see it.

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