3. Abraham Lincoln (February 1809 to April 1865)
The greatest U.S president in the history, Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of U.S who led the country through its civil war and declared the independence of the Black Americans. Born in a poor family, Lincoln was a self educated Lawyer who fought for equality and unity of his country. During his reign, he abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government and modernized the economy. He played a major role to reunite the nation by his principles of nationalism, equal rights, liberty and democracy before he was assassinated in April 15, 1865. Lincoln will be forever remembered as a freedom fighter and a good governor of the state.
2. Mahatma Gandhi (October 1869 to January 1948)
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a leader of Indian nationalism in British-Ruled India who led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. A follower of truth and peace, Gandhi conducted nonviolent civil disobedience – also called Satyagraha- as a way to protect the prevalent inequality in law and governance. Trained in law in London, he practiced Satyagraha in South Africa for the rights of Indian workers during his work as a lawyer. After his return to India, he led protests against tax and discrimination finally demanding Swaraj or self rule. Gandhi was imprisoned in many occasions but always preserved his determination. Living a modest life in self-sufficient residential community, Gandhi always inspired to live a hardworking life and follow the path of truth and non-violence. His birthday is celebrated all over the world as international Day of non- violence.
1. Nelson Mandela (July 1918 to December 2013)
The first Black President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela was an anti-apartheid revolutionary and a philanthropist. He was the first fully elected representative from a democratic election who dismantled the legacy of apartheid by tackling racism, poverty, and inequality. Born in Thembu (a local tribe) royal family, Mandela became the founding member of the youth league of African National Congress (ANC), which he later presided over. His defiance campaign against the prevalent government led him to spend 27 years in prison but he never gave up or compromised, leading to an international campaign for his release. After free Mandela became president, he created the Truth and Reconciliation commission to investigate past human right abuses and provided equal rights to the native African which won him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Nelson Mandela is considered as the father of the nation in South Africa and will be forever remembered for his perseverance and forgiveness.
It’s not the extraordinary situations but the decisions they take in such situations that make leaders who they are. Those who walk in path already created are followers, not leaders. A leader makes his own way and the world walks in his footsteps. Leadership can arise from small things or incidents, but it can never arise from small hearts and minds. A leader thinks big, dreams big, and does big. Courage, determination, selfless service, and right vision are the traits of leadership and anyone who develop these qualities within him can be a true leader.