May 27, 2008

A Leader is ...

One who feels for the common man?
One who bolsters the economy?
One who strengthens the military to make us a powerful nation?
One who ensures equal opportunity to underprivileged minorities?
One who revives/reinforces faith and morality within the country?
One who quells civil unrest and maintains peace within the country?
One who funds research and academia to make ours a technologically advanced nation?

These are some of the questions an informed voter would ask himself before he casts his precious vote, and so I did, and I got some interesting but puzzling answers. As a result I changed my tactics and instead of asking those pertinent questions, I focused upon some world leaders who have made their mark and tried to figure out what was it that made/makes them tick. While doing this, I made an interesting discovery that sometimes there were two world leaders even three, sometimes from the same country, that shared various leadership traits, and so I bracketed them together:

John F. Kennedy( USA)/ Rajive Gandhi (India) (youthful appeal)
Idi Amin (Uganda)/ Pervez Musharraf (Pakistan) (might under duress)
Dmitry Medvedev(Russia)/ Anwar Sadat (Egypt) (groomed politicians)
Gamal Abdel Nasser (Egypt)/ Mikhail Gorbachov (USSR) (visionaries)
Ernesto Zedillo/Vincent Fox (Mexico) (supporters of a globalized economy)
Yasser Arafat/Mahmoud Abbas (Palestine) (empathetic leaders)
Che Guevara /Fidel Castro (Cuba) (revolutionary freedom fighters)
Ayatollah Khomeini/ Mahmoud Ahmadenijad (Iran) (moral/religious reformist)
Evo Morales (Bolivia)/ Hugo Chavez (Venezuela) (aggressive economic policies)
Nicolas Sarkozy (France)/Bill Clinton (USA) (charismatic)

These groupings and the cited characteristics are all purely subjective and may carry little weight. However, what is interesting is that these leaders, disparate as they may be, are still recognized as having made a distinct impact on the people they lead. We have a Nasser and a Sadat, both lead Egypt, yet how differently; a Clinton and a J. F. Kennedy, both picked by an American electorate, but stand worlds apart in what they brought to the plate as heads of state. The above mentioned are all illustrious individuals who rose to the occasion and delivered, yet each delivered a different package! What was relevant then may not apply now; the need of the hour then may not even be recognized as a need any more. Our world exists within a time continuum that produces some dynamic socio economic equations which need real time solutions in order for humanity to prosper and evolve. In the light of this realization it is not the leader who is important, but it is the specific need of the hour which is and thus needs to be profiled and then disseminated to make for an informed electorate which can then vote for a candidate who has the ability to provide the country with a solution to its specific socio economic equation. Does that imply that people will always find a leader who will deliver? Certainly not, and we have innumerable examples in history and in our recent past of leaders who unfortunately delivered a nation to disaster and despair. In the same breath we have had the Mandelas and the Gandhis who brought out the best in the millions they lead!

The finding of an apt leader will depend on how informed and free an electorate is to be able to determine its need of the hour! In fact it's not the ability of the leader that defines a period in history but the awareness levels of the people who he leads during his reign. In the light of that finding, my plans for a leader profile are aborted/abandoned!

Teachers of the world unite, we all have an electorate to inform, awaken, and empower to ensure the existence of peaceful and productive nations.


D said...

Hey nice comparison..not to forget
Indira, Gandhi/Margret Thatcher
On the second part, well, vote for a candidate who has the ability to provide the country with a solution to its specific socio economic equation this may stand true for a presidential elections in the US. The stark reality in India is that politicians in India are dividing people to have a vote bank.
And I wish that your call for teachers of the world to unite may be heard all over the world, for we need teachers to make the next generation understand that politicians are meant to serve the country and its people not vice-versa.

BoatoLuxo said...

good post... but, i don't know what is a leader... I think, someone u can trust. And when people have power, there's not too much reasons to trust.

see ya.

White Rose said...

"The finding of an apt leader will depend on how informed and free an electorate is to be able to determine its need of the hour!"

Your two main ingredients for finding an apt leader, is sad to say, sorely lacking in this country!

Good post!

How do we know said...

Sorry, me begs to differ. Gandhi worked with the mass rural population of India - people who can be called aware but not politically aware.

I feel that it is also the leader's ability to use whatever he has and to channelise that strength for a common good.

bablu said...

Well written ! I agree we dont have any world leaders of that stature at the moment ! No wonder its such a big mess !

Eshuneutics said...

Thoughtful speculations (as ever). There is a lot of concern,here,whether Brown makes a good leader. The question is all over the media, but it's not such a burning question with the voting population.
What is the message of the hour in the UK?
There isn't much to listen to...the ticking of the political clock has become so tedious.
Much is made of Brown's intelligence. He is an academic. Trouble is this: intelligence isn't exactly a vote catcher anymore.
Andrew Marr is doing an interesting history of UK politics at the moment on the BBC. His last programme showed so well how the Edwardian Gentlemen became out-of-step with European glitz. In some ways, the UK would like to go back to those days, to jolly good chaps looking after the working class. But that isn't the reality: it's a question of what kind of person will do anything about crime and the growing underclass.
I love your appeal to teachers...except teachers, in the UK, are not encouraged to be political. I am not sure they know how to. In a recent call to political action, 66% of the major teaching union failed to even return their ballot papers. There isn't much visionary will anymore.

Georg said...


Well, to me a leader is someone who can say NO and who has the guts to take unpopular decisions.


Id it is said...

They don't really have to be politically aware; if they are able to discern their needs both, on an individual and a collective level then they'll also emerge as being politically savy


Trust is a key factor, but trust in the discerning power of the electorate is the one that's more important because if that is achieved then the chosen leader is but a manager who will implement the will of the electorate and if unable to do so will easily be dispensed with by a powerful electorate

white rose,

I'd agree that we are perhaps lacking on te awareness part, but we are definitely a free electorate; sadly we don't always exercise that freedom to our benefit

how do we know,
"rural population of India - people who can be called aware but not politically aware." You are absolutely right on that one and if you read my answer to 'd' at the very top you'll see that I too believe that an electorate does not have to be politically savy to elect a good leader.

Id it is said...

"There isn't much visionary will anymore." I like that coinage - 'visionary will'
You're dead right on that we as a people have no visionary goals to aspire to, and therefore we lack a collective will to better our plight. If only there were a voice that could kindle social activism in some of us, perhaps, things may be different in the next election...

EYE said...

Hey thanx for visiting tmy blog. It seems like a long time since I blogged. Yes, our leaders are a reflection of the society we live in. But the world, society and individuals are moving so fast that are reflections are just sweeping. Can't say about America, except that despite all the 'progress' and 'modernity' the woman candidate standing for presidency who also seems to be promising and visionary is constantly being booed down.
As for India, the country is being taken over by neo-nazi forces, for lack of a leader who can bring about some sense and secularism.
Individuals need to wake us responsible political citizens not just in India and America but all over the world.

AVIANA said...

"how informed..and free.."

well..sad to say that a number of people in the united states do not educate themselves when it comes to politics...they simply go with their feelings and much illogical we are greatly suffering

now many see the negative side of voting on your feelings and not on intellect and fact...

i'm talking too much...

have a nice one! :)

net-net4 said...

Poems new or old..
Seasons hot or cold..
Art covers distances with passion untold..
-~~ Id It Is ~~-
( Id It Is left this comment when he passed by )

A Poet is..
One who feels.. ?

Interesting thoughts about:
"A Leader is.."

lavender tulips【ツ】 said...

Nicolas Sarkozy (France)/Bill Clinton (USA) (charismatic)

My dead from has more charisma than those two combined.

Hammer said...

well , now that there is a clear democratic nominee, what is the situation in US Like? Who is present at the grassroot? Obama or McCain?

Id it is said...

Thanks for stopping by.
Grassroots is definitely Obama, but the situation is still very fluid and could slide either way.

sr said...

Interesting post...
In reading the comments, I saw that you (and eshuneutics) feel the problem with current leaders is a lack of "visionary will". I don't know if I agree. There are leaders in the world with a vision and a strong will to follow through with that vision, Hugo Chavez and Osama bin Laden being sort of the poster boys for contemporary visionaries with a strong will. I think what is missing right now is a population (national or global) that is galvanized behind an issue. Any leader who acts upon such a radically strong and widespread belief will immediately be known as a willful visionary.
Being rather wary of strong opinions held by majorities (and well-represented minorities), I am not sure I really want the world to discover any more willful visionaries.