Twentieth century witnessed how a few individuals could sow poison and lead to a massive suppression. Evil rulers have continued to rule till this day. Below is the list of some of the rulers, who stay in power saw the elimination of hundreds of thousands of people. Whatâ€™s more â€“ they all did it under the garb of national identity. See how Hitler wants to impose his German purity or Milosevic cries for loss of national identity. It is for this reason that while you may hate them, there are people who like them for â€œat least giving an identity.â€ Have a look:
1. Joseph Stalin:
Quote – â€œA single death is tragedy, a million is statistics.â€
Association â€“ Gulag prisoner camps, Great purges, Ukrainian famine.
It is estimated that the former Soviet Unionâ€™s leader, Joseph Stalin, has killed nearly 2 million people. Having ruled the country from 1922 to 1953, he started a Great Purge in 1930s which hounded his opponents; one of his brutal actions is associated with the Gulag camps, where prisoners would be sent. Even the Communist Party of which he was a leader didnâ€™t agree with him at all. When he died in 1953, there were attempts to de-Stalinize the country.
2. Adolf Hitler:
Quote – â€œHate is more lasting than dislike.â€
Association â€“ euthanasia, Holocaust, World War II.
No one draws immense reaction than Adolf Hitler does. A fiery orator, Hitler rose to prominence through the poisonous content of his speeches. Soon, his party made among the top. When in power, he embarked on a policy of hatred against the vulnerable section of the society who might be physically or mentally impaired. His hatred of Jews is all too known; he blamed them for all the wrong and embarked on Holocaust, the ruthless expulsion and murder of Jews.
3. Mao Tse Tung:
Quote – â€œClasses struggle, some classes triumph, others are eliminated. Such is history; such is the history of civilization for thousands of years.â€
Association â€“ Freedom for China, Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution.
Unlike other rulers, Maoâ€™s doesnâ€™t have a straight legacy on which all would be agreed. Not so in China, where he is seen as a revolutionary figure. It was he who led the country out of civil war and embarked on a new path. He became a personality cult and was regarded as a savior. However, critics blame many of Maoâ€™s socio-political programs, such as the Cultural Revolution for causing severe damage to the culture, socety, economy, and foreign relations of China. It is even said that his political purges in the first decades of the Peopleâ€™s Republic led to the deaths of 40 to 70 million people.
4. Pol Pot:
Quote – â€œI did not join the resistance movement to kill people, to kill the nation. Look at me now. Am I a savage person? My conscience is clear.â€
Association â€“ Khmer Rouge, Year Zero.
Pol Pot rose to power in mid-1970s when his political party Khmer Rouge was mad headway. It was then that the Khmer Rouge policies were being imposed. He himself ruled only for three years â€“ frm 1976 to 1979 during which he imposed â€œagrarian collectivization,â€ forcing city dwellers to relocate to the countryside to work in collective farms and forced labor projects. This he aimed for moving towards a â€œYear Zeroâ€ policy that aimed to restart civilization. It is said that a total of 1.7 to 2.5 million people died during that time.
5. Saddam Hussein:
Quote – â€œBaghdad is determined to force the Mongols of our age to commit suicide at its gates.â€
Association â€“ war with Iran, Gulf war I and II, killing of Kurd, Shias.
Although he was rising the ladder of power, Saddam shot the sky when he became President in 1979. It was exactly at that time that an Iranian Revolution was on the way in the neighboring Iran. Soon, the two countries went to war. The Shiaâ€™ ideology of Iran was countered with â€œSunniâ€ Iraq â€“ something which continued afterward. Within Iran, despite the majority of population being of Shia, the ruling Sunni elite alienated them. Not only them, the Kurds in the north were chased â€“ it is believed that chemical weapons too were used against them. Under Saddam, Iraqâ€™s relation with the West went from close partners to deep foes. The country was invaded in 2003 and Saddam was arrested, later executed.
6. Slobodan Milosevic:
Quote – â€œThe loss of national identity is the greatest defeat a nation can know, and it is inevitable under the contemporary form of colonization.â€
Association â€“ Genocide during the Yugoslavian war.
It was only recently that Milosevic was found died in his prison cell, when the International Criminal Court was hearing a trial against him. The court charged him with alleged crime against humanity when he was ruling the country during the Bosnian war 1991-1995. It was he who oversaw the breakup of Yugoslavia forming new countries like Croatia, Bosnia, etc. But the breakup was not smooth and was tinted with blood. Milosevic, it is alleged in the trial, was the one who saw it and knew it.
7. Kim Jong-Il:
Quote – â€œI donâ€™t know what can be gained from it.â€
Association â€“ Nuclear armament, Reeducation camps.
Kim Jong-il has been ruling North Korea since 1994. Although portrayed as clown, he is the one who is embarking the country on the path of nuclear armament. Inside the country, he rules with a tight hand; dissent is unacceptable and tackled with â€œreeducation camps.â€ The controversy is â€“ while there is no food for people to consume, the leader is spending millions for an ambitious nuclear program.
8. Idi Amin:
Quote – â€œYou cannot run faster than a bullet.â€
Association â€“ Hijacking of a plane, invasion of Tanzania.
His full title was "His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular." Idi Amin seized power in Uganda in a 1971 coup. Hs military dicatorship drove out what was left in the country. Nearly 300,000 civilians are said to have been tortured during his time. One of the well-known association with Idi Amin is his hijcaking of the famous 1976 Air France at Entebbe. He was chased out and exiled in 1978.
9. Benito Mussolini:
Quote – â€œItâ€™s good to trust others but, not to do so is much betterâ€.
Association – Fascism.
Mussolini was among the founders of Italian Fascism, which included elements of nationalism, expansionism, social progress and anti-communism. Moreover, the elements of subversion and propaganda were incorporated in it. He shot to prominence in 1930s earning a title for himself. It was: After 1936, his official title was "His Excellency Benito Mussolini, Head of Government, Duce of Fascism, and Founder of the Empire." After World War II, when he had sided with Axis, he was chased and killed.
10. Augusto Pinochet:
Quote – â€œSometimes democracy must be bathed in blood.â€
Association â€“ Torture, military coup.
Pinochet was favored military ruler of the West in Chile, whose economic policy draws mixed reaction. Nonetheless, what is not forgotten is his rise to power. General Augusto Pinochet seized power through a military coup in 1973. Like all military rulers opt to do, he dissolved all the constitutional institutions, banned parties and imposed censorship. As if it was not enough, he chased against his opponents who were associated with the Left movement. It is said that about â€œ3,000 alleged opposition members were assassinated or mysteriously disappeared, and an additional 27,000 were imprisoned and tortured.â€