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)

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