Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Indira Gandhi: A Brief Comparison.

Byline: Imran Khan and Syed Karim Haider

Policy making process of the state is deeply affected by the psychology of the leaders along with impact of their emotions and ideology and this argument is supported by study of the Individual level in international relations. In Pakistan and India policy making process is always under the influence of the Individuals instead of governments and this feature and school of thought is quiteapplicable for these two nations. This study explores the life and political career of two prominent leaders of Subcontinent one from Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and other from India, Indira Nehru Gandhi and analyzes howThe historical circumstances of their era shaped their characters in a manner that made them uniquely prepared to confront the number of political challenges that they faced during their tenure as Prime Ministers.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was first elected prime minister of Pakistan who served from 1971 to 1973 as a president and 1973 to 1977 as a prime minister of Pakistan and Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister of India from 1966 to 1977, and 1980 to 1984 in her 2nd term until her assassination. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Indira Gandhi were seemingly destined to rule over their countries in such a way that one looking following other in their internal and external polices. These facts need to be brought in light for the understandings of the past and cooperation in future between two nation forwarding towards the hostility in nuclear age.


Pakistan and India are two hostile nations of the subcontinent and bad neighbor to each other as since the partition there are lot of disputes and problems that made the relations between them sour. People in India and Pakistan has been experiencing wars and peace accords between two states during their journey as neighboring nations. People living in the subcontinent might be listened about the differences between their homelands and leaderships but they had little listened about the similarities. There were two political personalities in Pakistan and India who had lot of common in their personalities, life style, public and political life and fate. This study will provide the psychoanalysis of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan and Indira Gandhi of India. The political journey of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Indira Gandhi will be discussed in the light of their internal and external policies and impact of their leadership on the course of politics along with their leadership style.

What is legacy of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in political life of Pakistan and Indira Gandhi in political life of India will be discussed. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto started his journey as politician as member of the legislative council in 19571 just like as Indira Gandhi who started her journey as member of the Indian National Congress and in 1959 elected as president of party in 1959.2 Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in Pakistan was arrested and sent into jail just after his removal from power in 1977 and.3 Indira Gandhi in India were also imprisoned just after her fall of power by her political opponents 4Indira Gandhi was like minded to socialists in economic policies and she introduce reforms on the socialist model during her era of power in India. 5Whereas in Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was also close to the socialists in his own party and introduced reforms in the economical systems on socialist model.6

In charismatic leadership quality Indira Gandhi emerged as sole representatives of their nations after 1971 war and just in six years seemed her down fall due over estimation of her popularity graph in 1977. 7Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan also emerged as leading political personality after the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971 and became victim of his policies and ruling style. 8Land reforms, labor policies, nationalization and nuclear program are the legacy of the Bhutto in Pakistan and in India Nationalization, constitutional reforms and nuclear program is legacy of Indira in India. In 1975 emergency was enforced in India by Indira Gandhi that had exposed the authoritarian style of her governance and her quest of re election her down in 1977 and she had to face jail after her removal from power. Indira Gandhi managed to come back in Prime Minister Office in 1980 but her policies led towards her death in 1984 by her own body guards. 9

In Pakistan Bhutto enforced martial law in three big cities and used un-necessary force against the protestors and made way clear for direct military interference in politics. Bhutto quest for re election in 1977 bring him down as protest against the allegation of rigging provide the excuse to military intervention and he was arrested and sent into jail. Bhutto never came out of jail and was killed in judicial vendetta in 1979. 10 Both showed extra ordinary leadership skills during their years in power, decreased the poverty level in their countries. In tasked oriented leadership style Bhutto crushed the rebellion in Baluchistan by military operation, used the theme Aam Aadmi and eradication of poverty to gain vote and cheated the elections to regain mandate.

Bhutto also in tough and shrewd qualities of leadership did not become ready to leave the country to spend remaining life in exile for life and just after the release from jail organized the rallies and criticized the martial law authorities.11 Indira Gandhi in India crushed the Sikh rebellion by military operation, used the theme Ghariabi Hatao( eradication of poverty) to gain vote and cheated the elections to regain the power in the tasked oriented leadership style. In the tough and shrewd qualities of the leadership Indira Gandhi never give up the hope and quest to regain power in imprisonment and just after her release she organized rallies in her support. 12 Bhutto has used state power to eliminate his opponents then in India Indira Gandhi also did the same with her opponents. Indira Gandhi used force against protestors during currency crisis, in Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto also used force against the protestors during the rigging allegations13.

As good leaders of their countries Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Indira Gandhi were leaders with good moral values and integrity to their cause. Their style of governance was autocratic but empathetic and listening to others with the extra qualities of motivating charismatic and appealing styles. They provided the legacy of transformational and everlasting impact of politics.

Hypothesis; The legacies of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Indira Gandhi transcend time, in terms of the impacts they each had on democracy and bilateral relations of Pakistan and India. They were leaders of contemporary times and they drew upon similar principles in their quests to lead their nations. While their causes were divergent to each of their motherland, they inspired similar reverence among their followers, ultimately standing as inspiration nationwide.

Literature Review;

Indira Gandhi was killed in her house not by any external enemy but by her own body guards in the presence of tight security.HarperCollins Publishers in 2010 presented classic and non-partisan biography Indira Gandhi presenting her one of the most formidable political figures of the 20th century of India. She served her nation for sixteen year and in power she made space in the community of popular leaders of the world. She was one of the influential leaders of the India after Nehru and Gandhi. She was brought up in the environment of Indian nationalism under the shadows of her father Jawaharlal Nehru a freedom fighter and first prime minister of India. When political culture of India was under male dominated society and complex environment Indira Gandhi emerged as woman leader of India. Katherine Frank the writer of this book explained how old stalwart of Indian national congress were of mind that Indira could not survive in Indian political culture.

But she proved them wrong and left deep print of her personality on Indian politics. She attracted the new and abandoned segment of the Indian society in politics by new slogans and policies. She served with confidence as prime minister of India in such way that slogan like "Indira is India" were introduced by her fans in politics. Author shed light on her personal life by including her childhood, love marriage and family life along with the political life as prime minister, opposition leader and prisoner. She made some mistakes in power along with number of good decisions and one the mistake caused her sudden killing in 1984.

First elected prime minister of Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was hanged in 1979 by military regime. Victoria Schofield discussed the life and work of Bhutto and said that Bhutto was most popular and fascinating leader in the political history of Pakistan. Bhutto emerged as popular leader of the Pakistan after dismemberment of the country in 1971. He gave constitution to country unanimously in 1973 and served as prime minister of Pakistan for nearly five years. He set directions of the country by his policies and vision and became victim of his some policies and political attitude. In power he became leading personality of Pakistan and introduction to his country. Pakistan's dismemberment was result of long evasion from election and Bhutto wanted to seek fresh mandate in 1977 to continue the process of the elections that was started in 1971. Bhutto in military dominated political culture tried to introduced popular leadership model and empower the layman of Pakistan.

His political legacy in Pakistan's politics is still alive and relevant. The Cassel publishers in this book of 1979 presented the very important aspects of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto personal life and analysis his political role as popular leader of Pakistan. Book tells how he was the most powerful politician, the highly educated, highly intellectual and unique personality in the political arena of Pakistan. Bhutto was admired as finest orator at international...

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