You Might Have To Take A U-Turn

You Might Have To Take A U-Turn

Sometimes making a U-Turn shortens the journey to success …

Once i was travelling in a part of India with which my driver was unfamiliar. He made a wrong turn at one point but drove on for five miles before he realised he was on the wrong road. He had to stop the car then and make a U-turn, and soon we safely reached our destination.

This kind of U-turn is made not only while navigating a road; it is a principle of life. Every person, every community, every nation needs at some point to make a U-turn. Failing to do this could result in an unbearable loss.

For example, the Tatas established a car factory in West Bengal to produce the Nano car in 2007. Very soon they discovered that West Bengal was not favourable for their industry, so they dismantled their factory and re-established it in Gujarat. Now Nano cars are successfully running in every city of India. This success was the direct result of adopting the U-turn policy.

The same is applicable to nations. One such example is the course adopted by the United Kingdom after the Second World War. British leaders, especially those who were associated with the Fabian Society, felt that they were now unable to control India and other “British colonies” and proceeded to adopt a policy of decolonisation. As we know, Churchill emerged as a hero in WWII, but he was defeated in the 1945 election. The reason for this being that a desire for post-war reform was widespread amongst the British population and the man who had led Britain in war was not seen as the man to lead the nation in peace.

There are numerous examples in history of the success of those who adopted the policy of U-turn and the failure of those who did not.

In this world, nothing is certain, neither for individuals nor for nations. So every individual or group of people ought to adopt the U-turn policy where it is relevant. When they find that their journey is taking them down a blind alley, they need to revise their policy, they must reassess the whole matter, and if it appears that they were heading in the wrong direction, they should change course without any further ado.

India is also a good example of this kind of policy. After Independence, India adopted the socialist model for its economy, but the result was hardly encouraging. Then in 1991, India introduced a new policy in its economic planning. Now, in recent years, Indian authorities have brought about such great changes in economic policies as may be described as a paradigm shift and yet, perhaps the time is ripe for yet another perspective that can cleanse the system of impurities.

The U-turn policy is a law of nature. No one is able to see the unseen. No one can foresee all that is going to happen in the future. This makes the journey of life a jump into uncertainty. A wise man is one who can reassess himself, reset his priorities, replan his project, moulding himself according to changing circumstances. Don’t try to fight against realities. Simply accept them. When you cannot change reality, change yourself.

Sometimes it appears that the U-turn policy will lead to some loss, but any such loss is the lesser evil, while going against reality is to opt for the greater evil. The U-turn policy is only another name for what may be called acceptance of reality and adjustment to the changing times.

The U-turn policy is the policy of the wise: it ensures success, while not adopting it is risking failure. Success and failure are both in your hands.

~ Maulana Wahiduddin Khan