Led by India’s ‘Captain Fantastic’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni, five Indians have made it to the Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, whose ‘ideas spark dialogue and dissent and sometimes even revolution’.
Other Indians on the Time 100 list released Thursday are ‘Titan of Industry’ Mukesh Ambani, ‘Brain Mapper’ V.S. Ramachandran, ‘Philanthropist’ Azim Premji and ‘Change Agent’ Aruna Roy.
The list is topped by Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who became the ‘Spokesman for a Revolution’ in Egypt.
US President Barack Obama ranked 86 trails far behind his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (43), Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (6), WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (9) and Pakistani spy master Ahmed Shuja Pasha (17).
Ranked 52nd, Dhoni under whose leadership India won its first Cricket World Cup in 28 years, Time noted, "is now universally acknowledged as India’s best captain ever. He’s also its most likable, exuding both cool confidence and down-to-earth humility."
"Dhoni doesn’t just lead a cricket team; he’s also India’s captain of hope. And he didn’t just win India the World Cup; he also taught India how to win," it said.
The story of Mukesh Ambani ranked 61st "is straight out of the Bollywood movies of his hometown," Time said noting, "He started out in life crammed with six people into a two-bedroom tenement in the most congested part of central Mumbai."
"Ambani, 54, also took the firm his father founded – Reliance Industries – and turned it into India’s largest private-sector company, a $45 billion petrochemicals giant," it said describing it as "a new kind of Indian company, built through adroit manipulation of governments and the stock market but also enriching millions of shareholders."
Placed 79th, V.S. Ramachandran, 59, "once described as the Marco Polo of neuroscience," the Time said "has mapped some of the most mysterious regions of the mind."
"With his simple, creative and innovative ideas," Ramachandran, ‘best known for developing a therapy for phantom-limb pain in which a mirror is used to reflect the intact limb, creating the illusion that the missing one is still there," it said ‘is changing how our brains think about our minds’.
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates who has profiled ‘philanthropist’ Azim Premji for the Time, says, "If anyone personifies India’s economic transformation, it is Azim Premji, chairman of the information-technology powerhouse Wipro Ltd."
"A pioneer of India’s IT-outsourcing industry, Premji helped unleash a generation of skilled technical professionals who make up India’s growing middle class," he wrote.
Bringing up the rear for India on the Time list is ‘Change Agent’ Aruna Roy, who "starting from a tiny village in the deserts of Rajasthan in the 1980s began a long campaign to bring transparency to India’s notoriously corrupt bureaucracy."
"Many social activists clamour for India to do more for the dispossessed. A former civil servant, Roy doesn’t just condemn a broken system; she changes it," it noted.(IANS)