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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 December 2004, 12:07 GMT
Poll for South Asia's greatest ever leader
Who do you consider to be the most important leader in South Asia in modern times?

Readers were given 16 famous names to choose from and the option of 'none of these' if you had another choice.

The poll has proven to be enormously popular. See the results to the right.

We also include a wide selection of your views on the candidates and who else you would have included.

Ahmed Shah Masood 1953-2001

Ahmed Shah Masood
The most important leader in the anti-Taleban Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. A follower of radical Islamic politics as a young man, he went on to become one of the most successful Mujahideen commanders in the fight against the Soviet invasion of the 1980s. He was assassinated two days before the 9/11 attacks.

Atal Behari Vajpayee 1926-

Atal Behari Vajpayee
India's longest serving prime minister outside the Congress party, completing six years in office over two terms. Widely seen as the moderate face of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and was instrumental in beginning the peace process with Pakistan.

JR Jayawardene 1906-1996

JR Jayawardene
One of Sri Lanka's most influential politicians and a key figure in the United National Party. He became the country's first elected president in 1978. Under his rule, Sri Lanka embraced the free market leading to large-scale economic development.

BP Koirala 1914-1982

BP Koirala
Nepal's first democratically elected prime minister, taking office in 1959. In 1951 he had led a popular revolt which overthrew the Rana oligarchy which ruled Nepal. In 1960, he was jailed by King Mahendra who banned all political activity and assumed absolute power.

Chandrika Kumaratunga 1945-

Chandrika Kumaratunga
Has been Sri Lanka's president for more than a decade. Both her parents had been the country's prime ministers. Survived an assassination attempt by suspected Tamil rebels. Has been an opponent of the way peace initiatives with the rebel have been conducted.

Indira Gandhi 1917-1984

Indira Gandhi
Only child of Jawaharlal Nehru. A charismatic and controversial leader, serving four terms as prime minister. Gandhi led India in the war against neighbouring Pakistan which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan. Assassinated by Sikh bodyguards after the Indian army stormed the Golden Temple.

Jawaharlal Nehru 1889-1964

Jawaharlal Nehru
Indian nationalist leader who worked for independence and social reform. He became the first prime minister of independent India, a position he retained until his death. He charted India's non-allignment policy in foreign affairs.

Mahatma Gandhi 1869-1948

Mahatma Gandhi
Devoted his life to gaining independence for India through a policy of non-violence and religious integration. He launched an anti-British civil disobedience campaign. Gandhi was assassinated by Hindu extremists in 1948, a year after India gained independence.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah 1876-1948

Muhammad Ali Jinnah
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.'

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman 1920-1975 1920-1975

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Bengali nationalist leader and first prime minister and president of independent Bangladesh. He was also the founder of the Awami League party. Four years after independence Rahman and several family members were killed in a military coup.

Sirimavo Bandaranaike 1916-2000

Sirimavo Bandaranaike
The world's first woman prime minister. Known affectionately in Sri Lanka as Mrs B. The shy housewife turned three-time prime minister retired from politics in 2000 and left behind a political dynasty. Chandrika Kumaratunga is her second daughter.

Subhash Chandra Bose 1897-1945

Subhash Chandra Bose
Indian nationalist leader who fought against British colonial rule. He believed that only an armed rebellion could oust the British from India and organised the Indian National Army in 1943. Died in a plane crash in Japan.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto 1928-1979

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Became Pakistan's first popularly-elected prime minister after the army's debacle in the 1971 war against India. The lawyer-turned politician was ousted by General Zia ul Haq and sentenced to death on charges of murdering a politician.

Ziaur Rahman 1936-1981

Ziaur Rahman
Came to power in a military coup. As a martial law administrator, Rahman began economic reforms programmes. He later lifted the ban on political parties, founded the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and won popular elections. Assassinated by dissident elements in the military.

Zahir Shah 1914 -

Zahir Shah
The last king of Afghanistan. Gave his country a constitution making it a democracy as early as in 1964. Yet under a decade later, he was deposed and Afghanistan slid into war. Spent nearly three decades in exile in Italy, before returning to Kabul after the fall of the Taleban.

Zia ul Haq 1924-1988

Zia ul Huq
Army general who led the military coup that overthrew Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and enforced martial law in Pakistan. He became president in 1978, postponed general elections, and introduced strict Islamic laws. Killed in an air crash.

Send your views on South Asia's greatest leader using the form below these comments.

It can only be M.K.Gandhi, "Father of the Nation" of the largest democracy in the whole world called India. Who can match his simplicty, non-violence etc.
Anand H., Hyderabad - Andhra Pradesh

First of all I do not understand what you are trying to achieve from such a voting. In my opinion this is not of any use to the South Asians. Each person listed in the list has done something good to their own country and thus has helped in moving towards better South Asia. The world does not forget the contribution of Gandhiji to the India and Jinnah to Pakistan. Of course these two countries have a big population and this has only triggered an e-voting war to make their own leaders win. br />Tony Roy, Dunedin, New Zealand

For me, all the men of this world are great leaders because they emulate in some point of their lives strength and courage to overcome odds and fight negative energies. However, with respect to this poll, I consider Indira Gandhi to be the strongest South Asian leader ever. My justification, however, isn't really biased because of cultural obligations. I feel that she had an aura of perfection around her, she was assertive and dignified.
Rahul Prabhakar, Bangalore, India

Let bygones be bygones and lets work towards betterment of all mankind instead of competing on such votes! I don't see how this vote is going to make any difference for the better! This is more like a population check. Only VERY rarely will any Asian vote for a non native!
Abdul Moiz Penkar, Karachi, Pakistan

I am a born Indian but to be honest I would recognise Quaid as the best leader of Sub-continent. His intellectual devotion and his whole life forces me to rate him as the best of all great leaders mentioned above.
Ravi Sharma, Delhi, India

When there comes the question of Leadership only one name comes to mind, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. People can say I'm biased as an Indian and a Bengali. Let it be that way, i don't mind. He was the true leader of modern India, fighting against the British and the political aspirations of Nehru and other Congress leaders of that time. Netaji was the spirit of India who didn't want to beg for what is rightfully ours and for all humanity...Freedom.
Shubhabrata Paul, Kolkata, India

A leader is the one whom people choose. Who talks of people. By looking into the history Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was one of the greatest leaders, because he raised the voice of people infront of who is considered to be a sacred cow in the mostly-military-ruled countries like Pakistan. Also he gave Pakistan with many such programs like Nuclear Projects, Satellite Earth Stations in the era of 70s, which none of the governments, whether military base nor political have given to this country.
Sarfrazul Haq, Karachi, Pakistan

Ranjit Singh Maharaj. He ruled the whole of India in the 18th century, united the Sikhs Muslims and Hindus. Frightened the British from ever attempting to take over India under his reign and of course had legendary spirit!
Shamsher Singh Nijar, Staffordshire

I think every leader has done something great to help their respective countries to be where they are presently. I salute them all for their minutest little contribution.
Reshu Singh, Pune, India

I think in this world you find very few of men who spend all their life for their nation's happiness and prosperity, AHMAD SHAH MASOOD was one of the few heroes born in the world. We cannot ignore what he did for his nation, soviet unions' invaded republics, and for west as he fought against communism, he was fighting with only twelve men and some limited number of ordinary machine guns against that time's super power. In my opinion I think that beside being South Asia's Greatest Leader, he is one of the world's greatest leader too, because he fought against both communism and terrorism.
! Ahmad, Kabul, Afghanistan

Chandrika Kumaratunga is the gratest she has all the qualities and personality to be and she can stand for not only for Srilanka but for the whole south asia
Cyril Ekanayake, Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Define leader...political, religious, spiritual, a national icon. Where are Tagore or Radhakrishnan? How was this list drawn up and by whom. It is often more interesting to see what is left out rather than what is included!!
Luther Blissett, UK

I am an Indian, but I have to admit that Mohammad Ali Jinnah was the best leader. He was infact the one who gave india's leader the idea of separation from the British rule. He was the best leader for both Pakistan and India, but Gandhi was the best only Indian leader.
raj kumar, Bangalore, India

How could have been forgotten Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, the emancipator of the scheduled classes of India ?
B Bellanova, Bologna, ITALY

South Asia has never had a great leader, period. Greatness of a leader manifests itself in the people and the life of the countries they had an impact on. The impact in South Asia has been poverty, ethnic strife, political and institutional corruption, human rights abuse and suppression of women, minorities and people labeled as lower caste. The list goes on and on. All these indices lag behind the rest of the world, except maybe Africa and the Middle East. So the term great leaders of South Asia is an oxymoron.
jbin, USA

It is extremely baffling that General Zia-ul-Haq should be in cosideration as South-Asia's greatest leader. He overthrew a constitutionally elected government, ruled tyranically for more than a decade, sowed the seeds of extremism and fundamentalism, used religion for political gains and had the audacity to claim: "What is the constitution but a piece of paper which I can tear whenever I so choose".
Osama Ali Arshad, Topi, Pakistan

Even if this had been a contest for the entire world, I think there stands no parallel to Mahatma Gandhi as leader. Reason being, there are numerous examples in History where leaders have been able to influence the minds of there followers to achieve the objectives of a struggle following a violent path but Mahatma Gandhi is the only leader who was able to influence his followers to accept the non-violence path to achieve freedom for India which included present Pakistan.
Satya Prakash, Jabalpur India

None of them are great leader because still people of South Asia are dying due to poverty. There are so many people in our region(south asia) can not have two meals in a day. How we can call these leaders as great leader? If you looks their personal account or personal family history they are among richest person of each nation so I believe leader of South Asia are not true leader for their country.
rabindra KC, Nepal

I am an Indian. When I saw the results i found that it becomes an internet fight between Indian and Pakistanis. Indians vote for Gandhi while Pakistanis for Jinnah. But no one votes for "Bhagat singh" and "Chandrashekhar Azad".I don't know what history is taught in Pakistan but regarding these great people history in India is biased. If you read unbiased books than you find the reality. So I only want to say that try to see the clear picture and than decide who is the greatest leader.
Amitabh, New Delhi & India

I am an Indian living in the USA, I believe the greatest leaders from South Asia on the list are Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, Chandrika Kumaratunga and Jinnah. They have done more for their respective countries as leaders than any others. MK Gandhi is obviously the most popular among the leaders on the list as he is probably the most recognised face not just in South Asia but all over the world. I consider him a great soul but not a great leader.
Rahul Mohan, Washington D.C USA

I believe that B.P. Koirala was the greatest leader in his time. In my opinion it is worthless doing this type of voting because of how much people of south Asia has the access of internet and those big country having more people and more internet users will give more vote to their leader. My suggestion is for the final polling consider the internet users of the country too.
Dev Raj Pudyal, Kathmandu Nepal

It's sad not to find Rajiv Gandhi on that list. He was one man who shaped the face of India like it is now. He brought economic reforms & technology. Today India tops the Charts in IT & Computers, its all because of him. He was one great visionary, likes of him don't find now on the Indian Political horizon. Any given the choices I feel we would have been much better off if we got freedom on terms of Subash Chandra Bose than Mahatma Gandhi. He is definitely my choice.
Kshitij Malhotra, Kanpur, India

Now as we are free, we should live with one policy that is: "First think of ourselves as human beings rather than Pakistanis, Indians, Bengalis or any other nation. " Lets help out our countries and make our leaders dream comes true! .
Samab Ali Ahmad, Edinburgh, UK

You have missed out the greatest ever - Thiru K.Kamaraj. He was the root cause for introducing Noon Meals scheme to the poor students of Tamil Nadu. This scheme was introduced in the year 1956 to all the primary schools... In 1960, he introduced a scheme of Free Education up to standard eleven and provided a golden opportunity for everybody to learn. He also introduced Pension Scheme for teachers and Government employees... Kamaraj insisted that every youth must actively participate in politics and he relieved himself from the post of Chief Minister, thereby setting himself an example to others.
Sankara Raman, Delhi

I believe "great" is a very subjective and vague term. What are the parameters on which you want to judge these personalities? It's difficult to opine on one person being the greatest since they are/were really good with significant contribution during their period.
Nikhil Pande, Copenhagen, Denmark

Jinnah's icy determination galvanised a community into following him toward his goal, Pakistan. It was the same determination, seen this time as obduracy, that so infuriated Gandhi, Nehru and Louis Mountbatten, Viceroy of India, who eventually accepted the division of Britain's greatest imperial possession into two sovereign countries--Pakistan and India. "Failure is a word unknown to me," Jinnah once commented. His personality demanded a cool, cerebral response, working through legal and constitutional channels to bring about an end to British rule.
Adnan Sarosh, Daejon, South Korea

This is a useless exercise and which I believe must be the dirty mind of the British who still believe in "Divide and Rule" policy... Please stop that immediately... it's ridiculous. Any way all of them are good for their country during their period but Mahatma Gandhi is the best...
Rakesh Oza, London, UK

Ziaur Rahman should be the greatest leader in South Asia. He is the most visionary leader in this area who formulated and developed the idea of South Asian unity by forming SAARC. SAARC is now played a vital role to mitigate conflicts in the region and gave great economic strengh which will be the next economic power in the world... His contribution in his country and international arena will keep him alive for ever.
Salahuddin Riaz, Montreal, Canada

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto... had knowledge and guts to be a popular leader not only of Pakistan but also South Asia, by creating a friendly atmosphere in the region. He was also was also the first person who introduced real democracy in Pakistan after long military dictatorship.
Munwar Soomro, Kansas, USA

Stop this foolish vote. You are defaming the Asians
Arun Arulambalam, Sri Lanka

I think it is Mahatma Gandhiji, not because I am an Indian but I seriously think in the age of world wars, he was adamant about getting independence only through peace...
sowmya, UK

I believe that Mahatma Gandhi is the greatest leader of South-Asia who helped free the Indian people from British rule through non-violent resistance, and is honoured by his people as the father of Indian Nation. I am a Pakistani but I believe that such gems are hard to be explored. God bless him
Ali Wazir, Islamabad

Subhash Chandra Bose has to be the greatest since he galvanized millions into fighting colonial rule while Gandhi followed a policy of appeasement. Jinnah was a demagogue whose only vision was a separate homeland for Muslims. His impact on South Asia as a whole was minimal.
Arjun Rana, Delhi

Sardar Vallabhai Patel according to me qualifies to be Southasia's greatest ever leader. His mass apeal and popularity can be gauged from his tremendous popularity among all Indians. You will find many Gandhi Baiters and Nehru haters but none who will have anything bad to say about Sardar Patel - the iron man of India.
Vijay, Mumbai, India

I am an Indian Muslim. No slavery nor any systematic extermination of Muslims exists or has ever existed, a Gujarat 2004 here or there not withstanding in India. Jinnah would have done better to have led an undivided India and we would have been so much better for it. After all would there be a Kashmir issue in an undivided India today? A Bangladesh issue? A Rann of Kutch issue? Military takeovers of the country? Loss of 1 million lives during partition? Loss of civilian lives in Bangladesh? Taliban in Afghanistan? etc, etc. Certainly Jinnah was a great leader but with a narrow vision of what was rightfully the heritage of Muslims in the sub-continent. Perhaps a greater vision was that of Maulana Abdul Kalaam Azaad who saw it as a birthright of every Muslim to live and pray freely not just in Lahore but from Quetta to Calcutta.
Faiz Hakim, New York, USA

I am a German recently on a visit to the Indian subcontinent and have visited both India and Pakistan. I can clearly make a pronouncement without sounding partisan. I would say Gandhi and Bose are both in the league for greatness because of their strong secular credentials and belief in Hindu-Muslim unity for a good cause. Both proved this to be true in their on spheres on influence, Gandhi through the Indian National Congress and Bose through the Azad Hind Fauj.
Richard Loew, Bangalore, India

As an Afghan, I consider Mahatma Gandhi to be the most influential and imprortant leader in South Asia in modern times. His love for India's independence by way of peaceful struggle and respect for ALL of India's people of different religious and ethnic background puts him number ONE in my list! Also, as an Afghan, I must admit that the two Afghan "leaders" who are mentioned on this list, do not deserve to be on this list. Sad but true! It would have been something totally different if Ahamd Shah Abdali's name had been nominated!
Brayshind, Baltimore, USA

General Pervez Musharraf is the greatest leader of South Asia. He has turned Pakistan's economy around, eliminated corruption, gave equal voting rights to religious minorities and had the guts to take on the fundamentalists. He has initiated the peace process with India and has ended Pakistan's diplomatic isolation.
Nooman Naqvi, Chicago, USA

JR Jayawardene introduce free market policies to Sri Lanka about decade ahead of rest of South Asia embrace it.He was most far sighted politician of his generation.His constitutonal reforms seems far ahead even to present politicains to apprehend. He doesn't need statues or places to named after him because his legacy lives on in Sri Lanka.Truely father of modern Sri Lanka.
C Basnayake, Dundee, Scotland

The question is flawed if not stupid. Leaders are rated depending upon the situations and environment they were operating in. This poll would lead to lot of heat and no light. Any way the leader in my view was the "common man" who inspite of all the problems in South Asia still has a hope in future and in his hard work,

None of your "candidates" deserve to be the "greatest South Asian leader of modern times". None of them can truly be described as truly "democratic". In one way or the other, all have professed or sought sectarianism, unilateralism or personal "immortality". The best of the lot, in my view, would be Bose followed closely by Gandhi for bringing to the Indian (South Asian) masses the hopes and aspirations for independence from far off rulers, thus bringing their destiny in their own hands.
Au Ahmed, Toronto, Canada

Judging from the current economic and social indicators - poor third world countries, 500 dollars per capita income, total GDP equal to that of Mexico - I grudgingly pick none of the above. All of them have standardized visions which have been obsolete in rest of the dynamic world. The greatest south Asian leader in the long history has to be none other than Sidhartha Guatama Buddha. Politically, several regional leaders have been greater than national level leaders. Sir Sikander Hayat Khan, Khan A Ghaffar Khan, G. M. Syed and among the recent ones Shahbaz Sharif and Chandrababu Naidu have done better job than national level leaders.
J B Sameer, New York, USA

As a Tamil from Ceylon ,I consider only Vellupillai Pirabaharan [Leader of the Tamil Forces - the LTTE] as the greatest leader in South Asia...
Vijay Kandasamy, Toronto, Canada

This is an idiotic exercise reminiscent of the Financial Times' ill-fated exercise to find the 'Greatest European of the last 25 years'. The BBC should be spending its license payer's money on better things than this.
John, London, UK.

I would have to say it's a tie. A tie between Mahathma Gandhi and Chandrika Kumaratunga. Ghandhi for showing the world that goals could be better achieved by non-violent means and for making a mockery of the once mighty British Empire and Mrs. Kumaratunga for leading a country sucessfully through highly troubled times in the face of all-odds from the one of the most deadliest terrorist organisations, the tamil L.T.T.E.
Senaratne, Toronto, Canada

I endorse Mr. Krishna's views. Europe is responsible for all poverty and allied woes in the world. If Europe is rich, it is because Asia and Africa are poor. The UK in particular is the sole cause of the animosity between the countries of South Asia. Europeans are responsibe for god knows how many genocides unparelled in the history of mankind. This poll is indeed without any doubt a continuation of the famous British policy aimed at widening the rift between the estranged children of a common mother.
Rohit Viswanath, Nottingham, U.K

I vote for the Bangladesh founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The difference between him and the other leaders is that he was the creator of the only single secular nation state of South Asia.
M. Emaduddin, Oxford, UK

It's a very interesting poll; possibly bit contentious - but thought provoking to say the least. As a Pakistani, my natural choice should be Mohammad Ali Jinnah but I think he was an accidental hero. British had already planned to abandon the sub continent. Even if Jinnah did in fact win a piece of land for Muslims it was too little, in the wrong geographical area and at too high a cost. Mahatma Gandhi, seems to be a better contender to be the winner since he introduced the whole concept in the first place. His plan cost the least price in terms of loss of life and his personal life, unlike that of Jinnah, does not seem to be a paradox of one's own teachings. My fellow countrymen may lynch me for saying this but that would mostly be reflection of state tutored propaganda influencing them since childhood.
Nouman Alvi, Edinburgh, Scotland.

I think this is a very inflammatory question & will do no good other than promoting a drive among the subcontinent internet maniacs to uphold their beliefs. I wish if BBC would have conducted a survey to know about the future of peace in subcontinent. I am still wondering for how long this British policy of divide & rule will go on? For God's sake please look forward at the future & not the past.
Muhammad Asad Ali, Chicago,IL USA

I think Ahmad Shah Masood is the greatest South Asian leader that world has ever seen in South Asia. He was known as the Lion of Panshir. I myself am a Pakistani but I just really love what he did for Afghanistan.
Faisal, Alabama , USA

My vote goes for Mahatma Gandhi. He inspired his generation of people in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to fight for independence using non-violent means. M.K.Gandhi's ideas have inspired people in all parts of the world - US civil rights leader Martin Luther King, South Africa's Nelson Mandela and Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi to name a few.
Sarah, CA, USA

I quote Professor Stanley Wolpert: "Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation. Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all three"
Humza Javed, U.A.E, Dubai

I look at the list and all I find, except few exceptions, is the list with leaders - selfish, power hungry and willing to go to any length to hold on to power. No wonder with these choosen top 16 leaders, we South Asians are where we are now. And regarding the poll itself, I see it merely becoming a competition between Indians and Pakistanis trying to get either Gandhi or Jinnah nominated the greatest leader (This is certainly a big deal! Good luck!)
MK, Nepal

A true visionary, who charted a course for India that the World admires;How to gain respect as a poor nation, but rich in moral values!.The Schools set up by Nehru are producing the best minds and the whole world is in awe that 600 million can vote in a third world democracy!
sidney sridhar, Richmond, Canada

Madam Chandrika is the greatest leader of our time. She has refused to bow in to the terrorism and western double standards on terrorism. If not for her, Sri Lanka would already be a divided country.
Sihala, Sri Lanka

I think jinnah was the greatest leader of all because he struggled not only against hindus and the english but also against the muslim mullahs of his own community who were against the formation of Pakistan.I am impressed by the fact that he encountered all of them, alone, and got what he dreamt off.
omar, sendai japan

It might be difficult to select the greatest among the big heavy weights but there is certainly no doubt in my mind regarding the worst one, Zia ul Haq. There is hardly any facet of life in Pakistan that he has not destroyed. He introduced the militant organisations, the extremist, destabilized the political system, hanged the only popular prime minister, introduced parties based on languages and divided the people. Introduced a Kalashinkov culture and filled the whole country with drug traffickers from Afghanistan. His era was based on lies and promises that never came true. This era introduced military and militant based monarchy and its after effects are still difficult to erase.
Imran, Montreal, Canada

Interesting to see Atal Behari Vajpayee described as the "moderate face" of Hindu nationalism. When he did more to help legitimise and inject the ugly poison of sectarianism into South Asian politics, the effect of which are still being felt today. Influential - maybe. Moderate - NO
Imran Khan, Bristol Uk

Please believe me that I am not at all emotional and my words are not outbursts. I adore Bhutto because he was the best leader Pakistan had after Quaid-e-Azam. Initially, I may have been sceptical about him but after reading so much about him and deliberating for years, I share my nation's admiration for this great leader of Pakistan and the Muslim Ummah. His greatness is evident from the fact that he chose to die an honourable death rather than making a compromise with the devil's advocate.
Khalid Khan, Manchester

These 16 people have done things that are historically significant in the South Asian context, but why that makes any of them "Great" per se is far from clear. What is your definition of "Great Leader" BBC? Lastly, if "Great" is supposed to be a synonym for historically significant, then why not include, for example, Vellupillai Prabhakharan, the leader of the LTTE, and Mullah Omar from the Taliban on the list as well?
Andrew Kendle, London, Uk

Do you at the BBC really think it was wise to find out who people thought was the greatest South Asian leader? I think you are really looking to instigate a flame war between Indians and Pakistanis on the internet.
Krishna, Lordstown, USA

While Bose was the "Malcolm X" of the Indian revolution, Mahatma Gandhi was the most prominent figure. I know that the polls will have Jinnah in a tight lead with Gandhi, and no doubt that this is the Pakistani influence; however, there would be no Pakistan or Jinnah without the work of Gandhi.
Chris, Akron, Ohio

In my opinion, BP Koirala is the most important leader of the South Asia in modern times. He fought against the 104 year old Rana regime(dynasty), became the first popularly elected prime minister of Nepal. He had the vision of the socio-economic development necessary for countries like Nepal. He never compromised against the people's interest, fought the autocratic monarchy for his whole life. Moreover, he created many outstanding fictions during his jail-life. HE WAS THE TRUE LEADER OF NEPALESE PEOPLE.
Churamani Gaire, New York, USA

I vote for Subhash Chandra Bose. He had the guts to challenge the British when the rest of India was mesmerized by Gandhi's passive aggressive behavior.
Somdev Roy , Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, USA

Quaid-e-Azam is the greatest leader ever in South Asia
sajid, karachi pakistan

The Quaid led the masses to an Islamic State when the rest of the Muslim World was overcome by the Western concept of nationalism. His greatness lie in the fact that he believed in democratic and lawful means.
Muhammad Mushtaq Ahmad, Islamabad

I firmly believe that Mahatma Gandhi is the greatest leader South Asia has produced. Not only for South Asia, he is one of the greatest leaders, the world has seen. He was not just a political leader. He was an institution in himself. He not only taught people the principles of non-violence and truth, but showed people a way of life. His life exemplifies commitment, dedication and devotion to the cause of welfare of masses. He has influenced very many leaders right from Jawaharlal Nehru up to Nelson Mandela.
Kandarp Mehta, Barcelona, Spain

It is a very inappropriate contest. South Asia is not a single political entity and in that sense it is a meaningless exercise.
Rao Tripu, Rockville, MD, USA

The memory of Jinnah will remain forever. His courage and dedication for the cause of Indian Muslims should not be underestimated nor should it be forgotton. By making Pakistan, he probably saved millions of Muslims from slavery and death.
Bairam Hassan, Lahore, Pakistan

Let there be no doubt that Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah was the greatest leader of modern times.
Aamir Khan, Uk

Who is South Asia's greatest-ever leader?
Ahmed Shah Masood
Atal Behari Vajpayee
BP Koirala
Chandrika Kumaratunga
Indira Gandhi
Jawaharlal Nehru
JR Jayawardene
Mahatma Gandhi
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Sirimavo Bandaranaike
Subhash Chandra Bose
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Ziaur Rahman
Zahir Shah
Zia ul Haq
None of the above
335422 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

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