Tarique Rahman: A Statesmanlike LeadershipProfessor Abdul Latif Masum

Leadership is an individual as well as collective issue.  Leadership can be defined as a collective form of those desirable qualities of an individual that can inspire and motivate others for attaining the collective goals of a community. While defining leadership as a political concept, the eminent scholar CI Barnard says: “Leadership refers to the quality of behaviour of individuals whereby they guide people, a nation by their activities in an organised effort.”

 Usually state leadership emerges from common leadership. Latent leadership is often spontaneously flourished and welcomed in a special environment or situation. While on the contrary, often a particular situation or environment may bring and establish some past event, individual or organised group into social and state leadership. SP Huntington, a great scholar of politics of the changing world, explained the matter in a different way in his book “Political Order in Changing Societies” through individual and collective contexts. He presented both the contexts in a psychological cover. The psychological standard reflects collective life sense flourished through coordination of the collective just as it incorporates beliefs and practices.

 The individual issue is a unit while the collective issue is broad and wide. It is important in the judgment of leadership how an individual leader considers the issue and how he does his duty. On the other hand, success and failure of political leadership depends on two factors: success in building political culture, custom and institution, and statesmanlike far sight. In light of all these, in the critical situation of Bangladesh today, the need for a desirable future leadership is being seriously felt. The failure of present political leadership, its lack of quality and far sight, its corruption, partisan policy, and above all, the latest atrocities have thrown the whole nation on the verge of a civil war. Simultaneously, the need of statesmanlike leadership among the civil society is being felt strongly. People are talking about the future of their society, about their hopes and aspirations, their desirable statesmanlike political leadership, and in the same way, about Tarique Rahman.

The French Premier during the First World War, G Clemen Sue, said, “A statesman would sacrifice his life for his state while a politician would remain satisfied at best by giving service.” Thomas Jefferson, an American Founding Father, said: “A politician thinks for the next election. In any state system, leadership is a crucial issue.” In the western countries having structural stability, rule of law is well established there. In the societies where democracy has taken deep roots, institutionalisation guides leadership there. But in a developing country like ours where statecraft has not yet gained expected institutionalisation, where an individual often directs the state, especially where perverted individualism has been established and inferior type of partisan policy has become the carrier of individualism, the need for enlightened national leadership is most felt there.

Professor Abdul Latif Masum
Former Vice Chancellor, Patuakhali Science and Technology University

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