The world recently gasped at the cruelty of the bloodthirsty North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un who ordered the execution of his uncle and his aides by being fed to 120 starving dogs. While the nations reproached the tyrant’s action, it was just another day for the leader. This nonchalant attitude, proud stance, calculating mind, custom made heart of stone… (err, well, you get the drift) is a special gift to dictators. There are many who came, more than many who went by, yet there are still some the mention of their name is all it takes to make nations quake in their boots.
Here’s a look at 10 worst dictators of all time.
10. Isaias Afwerki
President of the State of Eritrea, he has been warming this position since the country’s independence in 1993 (that’s indeed a long time). He cannot be charged for much. This gentleman is only responsible for the usual, mundane activities like pointless war with Ethiopia (abundant bloodshed), arbitrary arrests (so that people stay indoors), torture and forced labour (I guess he perceives everybody except him to be lazy). For a country whose name is fairly unfamiliar this slave-driver makes it to every worst dictators list (impressive achievement!).
9. Omar al- Bashir
President of Sudan who came to power in 1989 makes it to this worst dictators list. This tyrant, field marshal is a much sought-after figure by the member states of the United Nations General Assembly, who have been demanding his surrender to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for quite some time now. What did he do? Well, not much! He is facing charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. This chap is as humane as a dictator can be. A big round of applause for this gentleman for being better than his counterparts!
8. Robert Mugabe
It’s disheartening to watch something good being channelled into something beyond evil. Born on February 21, 1924 in Southern Rhodesia, Robert founded ZANU, a resistance movement against British colonial rule in 1963. The British eventually bid them goodbye, following which Mugabe became the prime minister of the new Republic of Zimbabwe later to be elected as the President. Humble beings like us would clap our hands and go our merry ways hearing this good old story of good above evil. BUT what followed is a horrifying and sordid tale of exploitation of democracy and crime and that’s why we list him in this worst dictators category. People are threatened (rather terrorised) and beat to a pulp to vote for him. His regime also continues to destroy the country’s health care system and has ruined the agriculture as well, resulting which his countrymen lack sustainable living conditions, proper nutrition and water. After all that he has done, he looks around at the sad state of affairs and points fingers at the western governments claiming them to be responsible for his country’s predicament. Somebody please teach him to wash his hands before pointing fingers!
7. Kim Jong-IL
At number 7 of the worst dictators list is another Supreme Leader of North Korea, need more be said? To lead a country like North Korea your resume should state qualifications like Masters in massacre, Masters in human rights oppression and a Masters in “poker straight face throughout this ghastly train of events”. A while ago detailed satellite photos of six slave-labour camps, home to more than 200,000 North- Koreans, and one-third of whom was believed to children were released by the government of South Korea. Men, women and children were reported living in rancid conditions, worked seven days a week in a coal mine, and subsisted on a diet of frogs, rats and insects. After being released from the prison camp women were often sold as victim of human and sexual trafficking. Then there are the usual stories of public execution, ethnic genocide, forced abortions and torture. Luckily for these poor people he died of a heart attack in December, 2011. On the flip side, there is yet another “one-whose-name-cannot-be-pronounced” tyrant who took over and loves every moment of making them squirm.
6. Than Shwe
Senior General Than Shwe hails from Burma and is the chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (don’t be deceived by the wolf in the lamb’s clothing – else he wouldn’t be here is this worst dictators list). He is considered to be the most notorious tyrant of the present times. Citizens of the country are often reported to flee across Burma’s northern border into China’s Yunnan province. Unlike the others, Than Shwe prefers burning over slaughter (less messy you see!). His military junta often wander around setting fire to villages when the will strikes. He even sentences prominent political figures (Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi) to house arrests (lasts for minimum 15 years!).
5. Muammar Gaddafi
Most put him at the top of theworst dictators list, but trust me the best (read worst) is yet to come. There was nothing good about this Libyan politician and revolutionary claimed Ali Aujal, Gaddafi’s former ambassador to the United States. October 2011 saw his ignominious death at the hands of a rebel mob. Anecdotes about his cruelty have been inexhaustibly splattered across the newspapers since then. For instance, a man being tied to two cars to be brutally ripped apart or that time when the Libyan Arab Airline 727 being shot down on his orders or his famous troop of female bodyguards who recount horror full stories of abduction and abuse. You name it, he has done that. Such are his great deeds that it has earned him an exclusive page on Wikipedia and a live telecast on BBC, what more can a man ask for?
4. Hideko Tojo
Famously known as “the Razor”, Hideko Tojo was celebrated for his soaring leadership and dictatorship, which later helped him to enjoy prime ministerial rights. And the first thing he decides to do is Wham! Bham! Fume! The Pearl Harbour bombing. During his rule, his 10s of thousands of his own countrymen were killed and more than thousand were executed. But this is also one those fairytales (a brutal one) where the evil comes to an end with everybody happy forever (err… for some time). Hideko Tojo was hanged till death in December, 1948.
3. Józef Stalin
Information-If communism wasn’t a part of socialism, then this man would have topped every worst dictators list in this world. A Marxist Revolutionary (they should erase his works from the face of the Earth, I tell you!). Russia saw the darkest of days during his rule, people forcibly sent to labor camps, forced exile for many in the remote area of the Soviet Union, forced famine resulting in death of millions of Ukrainians. This demon possessed man liked to re-arrange, in the passage of which more than 2 million lives were lost. He once was quoted saying, “One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistics”. True to his very own words he later succumbed to death.
2. Adolf Hitler
“Truly cruel, but surely great”.
This iconic man is well known by all. The Holocaust is probably the most bone-chilling instance of the post-modern world. His obsession with Jew’s blood was such that up to this day, no exact estimate has been made. It’s roughly calculated to be more than 11 million lives. Hitler was clearly a winner (read loser) when it came to mass murder. Fortunately, he killed himself too (sigh!).
1. Mao Zedong
Reigning this list of worst dictators is the man we all know as “Maoist”, “Mao”… rings a bell! Well, yeah… He is the culprit. But for many he is God reincarnated, the founding father of the People’s Republic of China, which he governed as the Chairman of the Communist Party of China from its conception until his death (hurray!). His megalomania is beyond the imagination of a common sane man. In his pursuit of power, corpses were exhumed and eaten (yikes!), family members killed each other and feasted off their once beloved’s flesh. Why? Well their mad leader decided to take “The Great Leap Forward” and a combination of disastrous farming methods and mis-distribution of food, unfortunately produced the worst of famines in the history of mankind. If it wasn’t this it would be some other devious scheme which would include the killing of random civilians. Recent estimates show that this megalomaniac killed more than 60 million people during his leadership (impressive!)
These megalomaniac sociopaths have shaped (are shaping) the world map and its history. But the only lesson to be cautiously drawn from their lives is not to be like them and not to idolize them as well.