The leader is the ultimate person who becomes important to his followers and the society for pioneering visionary movement, virtues, and thoughts to introduce radical changes in the present practices and systems. Following are ten eminent leaders who have put forth contemporary ideologies influencing the thoughts of the masses beyond geographical bounds that have led to some major transitions in the world.
1. Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918-5 December 2013)
Nelson Mandela is the eminent leader of the nonviolent Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa to protest against the racial policies of the British Colonial rulers during the 1920-30. He introduced the democratic and socialistic approaches, raising voices against the social curses of poverty, racial inequality and apartheid legacy of the British rulers. Mandela had to face immense struggle for his activist leadership. He was arrested and put on trial in 1962. From 1964-90 he remained in jail while his vision and leadership remained the inspiration for the masses. He became the maiden black President of South Africa to lead the masses on the path of integrity and peace. He also became the General Secretary of the Non Align Movement in 1998-99.
2. Mao Zedong (26 December 1893-9 September 1976)
Mao Zedong, the Chinese Communist leader, was the founder of the People’s Republic of China. He led the communist revolution in China in 1949. His contribution in the economic development of the country remains an inspiration for the entire world. He expounded the Marxist-Leninist concepts, diplomatic strategies and military tactics. His vision is popularly known as Mao Zedong Thought or Maoism. He was the head of the government of People’s Republic of China accepting the designation of the Chairmanship of the Communist Party of China.
3. George Washington (22 February 1732-14 December 1799)
George Washington is the founder of the democratic rule in America during the 18th century. A strong diplomat and military veteran, he struggled and fought in the war against the British rule in America to establish freedom and democracy. He was the commander-in-chief leading the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War in America. Recognized as the founding father of the US, he became the first president of the democratic country and presided over the drafting convention of the US constitution.
4. Adolf Hitler (20 April 1889-30 April 1945)
Hitler was the most important leader of the Nazi Party and the central figure of the Nazi Germany. This shrewd veteran leader grew up with his antagonism against the Jewish people. In his major move to eliminate the Jews and Slavs, he ordered the mass homicide, popularly known as the Holocaust in the world history. An able military personnel and veteran leader, he assumed the dark negative image after establishing the Nazi dictatorship rule in Germany after assuming the office of German Chancellor in 1933. An eminent figure in the World War I, he was deeply intensified due to the devastation of Germany during the war. The diplomatic leader is noted for his nerve straining speeches, supervision in the military tactics and regional expansions. His oppressive reign ended after his death in a suicide attempt to escape the consequences of the defeat during the Second World War.
5. Dalai Lama- Tenzin Gyatso (Born in 6 July 1935-Incumbent)
Dalai Lama the high lama position or was propounded by Tsongkhapa. They are the head monk at the Gelug School, which is the newest of the Tibetan School of Buddhism. Considered the manifestation of the Avalokitesvara or the compassion Bodhisatva, the Dalai Lama has remained the lineage spiritual preachers until the rise of the 5th Dalai Lama to gain the political power in Tibet. The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso holds a special place in the history of the Tibet. Amid the political disturbances of the Tibetan government with the Republic of China, Tenzin Gyatso has dedicated a whole of his life to advocating the cause of the people of Tibetan all over the world.
6. Mahatma Gandhi (2 October 1869-30 January 1948)
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the legendary leader of the Indian freedom struggle, is the epitome of peace and non-violence for the entire world. He led a series of mass movement to protest against the British colonial rule in India. After completing his education in Inner Temple, London he went to South Africa to take on the profession as a lawyer. During this period, he realized that a mass movement is necessary for the establishment of Swaraj and eliminate the curse of untouchability or racial attacks. The Dandi March in 1930, to protest against the imposition of Salt tax, the Civil Disobedience movement, and Quit India movement are some of the important non-violent protests on his part to curb the oppression of the British rule in India. The Gandhi Jayanti, his birthday, is observed as the International Day of Nonviolence.
7. Martin Luther King Jr. (15 January 1929-4 April 1968)
Martin Luther King Jr. remains an eminent historical figure for his outstanding contribution in social work, and leadership in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Following the principles of peace and uniformity based on the Christian beliefs being part of the Ebeneezer Baptist Church clergy, he led the civil disobedience movement to raise voices for the civil rights of the American blacks. In 1964, he was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize for his overwhelming contribution to the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been observed on the third Monday in the month of January as a US Federal holiday since 1986.
8. Abraham Lincoln (12 February 1809-15 April 1865)
Abraham Lincoln was the man of perseverance and an eminent world leader remembered for his finest speeches, statesmanship as the President of the USA from March 1861-65. His contribution in the abolition of slave culture is a landmark in world history. He confronted several challenges during his duties as the President including the civil war, diplomatic turbulences and the constitutional crisis. His advocacy of the voting rights for the black in the USA, led to the serious agitation in the mind of his assassin JW Booth who planned to execute the plan during a theatrical show attended by important delegates including Abraham Lincoln and the First Lady.
9. Napoleon Bonaparte (15 August 1769-5 May 1821)
Napoleon Bonaparte, the famous French emperor and military leader, emerged as the most important leader during the concluding period of the French Revolution. He conquered the throne of France and declared himself the emperor after seizing the power of the monarch ruler King Louis XI. His gallant personality and ambition as a conqueror helped France to establish the dominant power in the majority of the European subcontinent. His revolutionary military skills and warfare strategies are followed even today. The Napoleonic Code and judicial reforms introduced during his reign are valuable possessions used as reference by legal authorities in civil law references in several countries.
10. Alexander III of Macedon (July 356-June 323 BC)
The successor to the throne of Macedon, the ancient Greek kingdom, and the heir to Phillip II at the age of twenty, Alexander III is widely known as Alexander the Great for his abilities, heroism, and the achievements in the series of conquests over different parts of the world. He acquired great values during his learning under the guidance of renowned philosopher Aristotle. He was an ambitious ruler and outstanding military commander who led military campaigns in several important northeast African and Asian territories including Levant, Syria, Babylonia, Persia, and India. His successfully led these expeditions over a decade to establish one of the largest kingdoms in the history of the ancient world.