Mohammad Zainal Abedin: Anyone may ask me why I term Tarique Rahman as an ideal leader. I do not do it intentionally or whimsically, rather his characteristics persuade me to use the term (ideal). Every human being, even living beings, has individual characteristics for that reason we are different from one another. The combinations of Tarique Rahman’s characteristics portrayed him as a man of ideal character.
Mao Tse-Tung (Mao Zedong), Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party and Founder of the Republic of China, justifiably said, nothing is self-defined, i.c., nothing has its own definition. Its definition depends on its characteristics. All materials, or individuals, have their own characteristics, so they are naturally different. Whenever we want to know about an individual, we basically want to know his character, better to say, characteristics.
Any person, if empirically and objectively analyzes Tarique Rahaman’s character he will surely grade him as ‘ideal’. He is a stable, extraverted, conscientious, open, honest and ideal politician. To remain strict to my comment (An Ideal Lea) I also want to borrow from an American prominent thinker-cum-author John C Maxwell said, “A leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” He must have the ability to formulate, execute strategy and review the outcome of the already implemented strategy.
Political scientists and thinkers enlisted hundreds of diversified characteristics of an ideal leader. To choose an ideal leader, one must observe his moral values, lifestyle, mass-coherence, activities, attitudes, dexterity, and political ideology.
A real leader must be knowledgeable, ready-witted, true to his words and deeds, above all, committed to his country and its people. He should have limitless patience, experience, capability and efficiency to lead a country in the best possible way and protect its cultural identity, territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty.
‘The Graduate School of Political Management, George Washington University of USA, in an article printed in a magazine (December 15, 2010) mentioned “There are over 200 different definitions of leadership.”
It also mentioned five major characteristics of a charismatic leader, which are akin and similar to Tarique Rahman. These are: honesty, self-awareness, deferential to others, possesses patience to listen, and walks to talk. He also has the following qualities: positive future vision, creativeness, uncompromising moral strength, accountability to the people, thinking of the people as the sources of power and dedicated to people’s welfare etc.
However, it is physically impossible to embody all the qualities in one person. But if a politician, at least, does have a few of those core qualities can help him to serve his nation in a better way.
Analyzing the aforesaid characteristics or qualities, a leading personality (who preferred not to be named) of Bangladeshi political think tank opined, Tarique Rahman is the only leader possesses almost all of those characteristics, which made him an indispensable leader to lead Bangladesh.
On the other hand, it will be unjustified to term Tarique Rahman merely a politician. Observing his life, behavior, character, qualities, and activities since 1981 to 2023 (till today), I reached this understanding that he is far more advanced than many politicians (of Bangladesh), he is rather a statesman.
An American author and scholar James Freeman Clarke, highlighting the difference between a politician and statesman said, “A Politician thinks of the next election. A statesman (thinks) of the next generation.”
Really Tarique Rahman does not think for election for power, he wants it for our next generations for our country, its independence and real sovereignty. So he is not only a politician, but also a statesman.
Jashimuddin Sirkar, the former Vice Chancellor of JahangirNagar University of Bangladesh echoed almost the same: “It will be wrong to term Tarique Rahman mere a politician.” “My studied view is Tarique Rahman is a step ahead among all other politicians, rather he is a statesman” he added.
My understanding also echoes with the above scholars that Tarique Rahman is not merely a conventional politician, rather a statesman, since he thinks and works to brighten the future of our next generation. He dreams to build such a prosperous Bangladesh where our children can have a safe abode and enjoy a dignified position in the international arena for centuries to come.
Great leaders generally possess some uncommon virtues: such as vision, courage, integrity, humility, and focus (unhindered attention), along with the ability to plan strategically for their nation. Researchers identified more than 50 qualities that are essential for the great leaders. Any impartial analyst will discover almost all of these inner qualities in Tarique Rahman.
He has his own identical vision, which uplifted him to an especial status of a statesman. Besides, his courage is rightly considered as one of his foremost virtues. Tarique proved his unique quality of courage, which means, he is willing to take risks to reach his goal with success. He has already proved what serious type of risk he could undertake without any fear. He won over all fears, pains and intimidation.
Those who worked with Tarique Rahman or observed him from a close lens opined that he possesses a strong sense of humility. His humility does not refer to weakness or lack of self-confidence. It is a quality of Tarique Rahman to recognize the value of others, without surrendering or undermining his own personality or prestige. He believes in this theory: You give credit (to him), who deserves credit. If one analyzes the mode of politics, patriotism, morality, and all activities of Tarique Rahman, one will find in his character almost all the prime qualities of the greatest statesmen. *
Mohammad Zainal Abedin: A journalist & researcher
March 18, 2023