The BBC News asked the public, in an informal poll this week, who the greatest South Asian leader ever, has been. The results surprised me, and the phrase “vote early and often” came to mind.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah 1876-1948
Lawyer and politician who fought for the cause of India’s independence from Britain, then moved on to found a Muslim state in Pakistan in 1947. In Pakistan, Jinnah is revered as Quaid-e-Azam, or ‘Great Leader.’
Up until the very end, Jinnah was a runaway winner. It looks like Gandhi made a late inning push however, when looking at the final 39% to 36% margin of victory. The Hindustan Times picks up the story:
Jinnah has relegated Mahatma to the second spot, emerging as the South Asia’s greatest ever leader in an online poll conducted by the BBC. While Jinnah has polled 39 per cent votes, the ‘Sabarmati’s Sant’ could garner only 36 per cent votes.
While some surfers have raised objections over the inclusion of Zia ul Haq, that Ahmed Shah Masood has also made it to the list of the greats flummoxes one and all.
What is more intriguing is the near-annihilation of almost all the stalwarts – such as Nehru, Chandrika, Jayawardene who failed to gather a single percentage of votes – save Subhash Chandra Bose who polled an alarming 21 per cent of the popular votes.
Well come on. The Bose result should not be surprising at all. We all love our audio speakers. I myself would have voted for the controvercial Mujahideen leader Ahmed Shah Masood, but thats mostly because his nickname was “The Lion of the Panjshir.” Someday I would like to be remembered as “The Lion of the Blogosphere.”
Anyways, the bottom line is that web polls are pointless.