Politician literally means a person who is involved in politics especially as a holder or a candidate of an elected office. This is the literal meaning of the word, but today politicians are something more than that. Today politicians are the people who can move the crowd, make them cheer for each word that they say and praise their policies no matter what. These days it is more about showmanship than policies. Let us forget about what our politicians say, forget about their policies and parties and see which one of our top politicians is the best showman.
Number 5: The number 5 politician with the best qualities of a showman is Faisal Raza Abidi. Majority of Pakistanis hate this guy, but they love to see him on the tele. You have to give it to him, he knows how to speak his mind. Coming from a student leader background (I think), Faisal has a huge talent of debating, which we have seen in his appearances on the television and his debates in the senates.
Number 4: Number 4 on my list is Dr. Tahir ul Qadri. Yes the same ‘Mubarik ho, Mubarik ho’ Dr. Qadri. He knows how to move the crowd, coming from a religious background, he has skills of debating and delivering message to a large crowd. Dr. Qadri has followers all around the world who would sit for hours listening to him. And if you think I may be exaggerating about hours, you must have forgotten the Islamabad sit-in (I was going to use the word fiasco here, but…) last year, when people stayed on the Jinnah Avenue of Blue Area in extreme cold and rain and frequently listened to our dear old Doctor speaking from the bullet proof container. Although he may not be a successful politician, but his showmanship skills deserve the fourth spot on this list.
Number 3: Number 3 on my list is Imran Khan. His personality, charisma and charm is enough to give a hard time to some of the top celebrities far younger than him. Educated in top institutions of the world, leading one of the top cricket teams of the world, Khan started gathering his public speaking experience and confidence at an early age. Some people would say why he is on the number 3 spot, well he is a great debater and carries a gentleman charm, but he lacks some flare that can make him a great showman. In last year’s election campaign, people saw what he can do when he addressed to one of the largest political rallies in Pakistan’s history. And his last rally in Islamabad (where I was personally present) moved people to tears when he addressed from the hospital bed. All this isn’t enough to make him the top political showman of Pakistan.
Number 2: This spot was actually tied between Shahbaz Sharif and Imran Khan. Both are prominent leaders, but in the end I had to move Imran Khan to number 3. Shahbaz Sharif, unlike his brother Nawaz Sharif (the current Prime Minister of Pakistan), knows how to move the crowd. Each and every one of his debates and public speaking receives standing ovation from the crowd. Mr. Sharif really delivers what the crowd wants, which usually involves a couple of mics broken. This quality of his makes him a very successful politician and a public speaker.
Number 1: The crown of Pakistani political showmanship is actually tied between two personalities. Altaf Hussain, leader of MQM and a recent addition to mainstream politics of Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman Pakistan People’s Party. Altaf Bhai, known for his telephonic conversations from London, has immense talent (I am talking about political talent, don’t you dare think about drama and theatre). His conversations moves his followers to tears, makes them smile and can even make them cry ‘Nahi bhai nahi’. I happened to see a couple of Altaf’s speeches and believe me I laughed and appreciated his performance, because it must’ve been really difficult, and that is why he deserves to be on top of my list.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the young and educated leader of PPP might be the first politician of Pakistan, who starred in an sensational new ad campaign which brought him under the lime light. The SUPER SAEEIN ads, Bilawal, Bilawal hota hai and Sindh Festival introductory functions are enough to make him a super star (yes that’s right, a super star). I am guessing the next LUX STYLE AWARDS will have a nomination of these ads. He is the grandson of Bhutto, the people’s leader, whose speeches were famous all over the country and I have even seen some college debaters watching his videos and copying his style. Bilawal inherited some of Bhutto’s charisma and since he inherited the PPP, the followers came along with it. If you take away the ‘Urdu with an Angrezi-accent’, you can see that his style resembles that of his mother and grandfather. And the recent rallies and political bashing of senior politicians is exactly what PPP followers want to hear. These are the reasons why he deserves to be on top.
Disclaimer: This list is just my opinion, feel free to add other personalities and expand this list in the comments section below. Sorry there are no women on this list because ever since the death of Benazir Bhutto, there is no female leader left that can move people like her.