Nice to see many Indian Names on ‘Times 100’ List

Time 100’ is an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, as assembled by Time.  The list was first published in 1999, when Timemagazine named the ‘100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century’

Based on the popularity of the installment, in 2004 Time magazine decided to make it an annual issue, listing the 100 people most influencing the world.

Making the list is frequently mistaken as an honor; however, Time makes it very clear that people are recognized for changing the world, for better or for worse.

Those recognized fall in one of five categories:

  • Leaders & Revolutionaries,
  • Builders & Titans,
  • Artists & Entertainers,
  • Scientists & Thinkers, and
  • Heroes & Icons.

Within each category, the 20 most influential people (sometimes pairs or small groups) are selected, for a grand total of 100 each year.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni leads five Indians who are included in the Time magazine’s list for 2011. He is ranked 52nd. Time notes, ” Dhoni 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.” It further says “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,”

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.” It further noted that  “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”.

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.”

Azim Premji is ranked 88 in the list. 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, ranked immediately after Premji at 89. Time says “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,” .

While five Indians made to this list in 2011, only one from Pakistan saw his name in the list. While Indian names were from diverse fields (cricket captain, a social activist, a professor of neurosciences and two mega-entrepreneurs); the sole Pakistani representative in the list is, the convergence point of the establishment and the fundamentalists – the ISI chief. 

(Info gathered from various sources and media reports)

A Tryst with Destiny

(A write-up by Mr Jayavant Prabhu, Doha, Qatar on India’s historical victory in Cricket World Cup 2011) 

It was a dream built brick by brick over four long years… since India’s premature exit from the 2007 world cup… through the years of attaining supremacy in test cricket… winning the inaugural T20 world cup…. launching the much envied IPL tournament ….beating Australia in Australia,  Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka and coming close to achieving the feat in South Africa

 A dream of accessing the pinnacle of limited over cricket in the home conditions of a cricket obsessed nation and in the process gifting the one missing trophy to the god of modern Indian cricket in his hometown. A dream which became a reality at around midnight IST on the second of April 2011 to the thunderous applause of a billion Indians across the world

 However it was anything but smooth sailing for the pre tournament favorites. After a decent win in the inaugural match against Bangladesh followed a heart stopping tie with England, non emphatic victories over minnows and a defeat from the jaws of victory against South Africa. At that stage the anger of a cricket crazy public ran wild with many an expert predicting an early exit for the team in the knockout stage because of inadequate attack and captain’s alleged bias for particular players.

 However after a convincing win against the Windies in the final group match the team grew from strength to strength in the knockout phase, first dispatching the defending champion back to Sydney, then winning a high pressure match in Mohali against the traditional rivals from across the border and finally outsmarting the rivals from the Emerald Isle in the big final through superior skills in all departments of the game. The final had all the drama starting from a controversial toss, a fluent century from the old warhorse Mahela, indifferent bowling at the death helping Lanka set a challenging 275 target, pangs of a 31 for 2 scoreline in the 7th over of the run chase, stability achieved by the level headed middle order and finally the flourish unleashed by the Captain supreme MS Dhoni. A perfect demonstration of a team peaking at the right moment

 At the end of it all,  many enduring images remain in memory from an Indian perspective…. of an hitherto inconsistent Yuvraj proving to be the most valuable player of the tournament, Zaheer getting the much needed wickets through his prodigious reverse swing time and again , Gambhir rising to the occasion on the big final day, Tendulkar not becoming man of the match while scoring two wonderful hundreds but winning it through a lucky 85 against Pakistan, Sehwag and Raina providing the aggressive bursts at different stages of the tournament  and above all, the Buddha of all captains hoisting the team to cup victory through the last ball six

 Jai ho India… whatever happens from hereon we will cherish this world cup victory for a  long time to come