Saturday, May 5, 2007


Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, steel baron Lakshmi Mittal and Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi figure in Time magazine’s coveted list of 100 most influential people, which also includes Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
But missing from the list for the first time in four years is US President George W. Bush.
In a write up on Gandhi, who is also on the cover of the magazine’s Asia edition, Time says in the 16 years since the death of her husband, she had become the face of the country’s most famous family and as leader of the Congress party, she has managed the largest political party in the country and steered it to victory.
When her party won national elections in 2004, she was offered the post for prime minister; she listened to her “inner voice” and turned it down, and anointed the economist Manmohan Singh in her stead, the magazine recalled.
For ordinary Indians, this act of renunciation held tremendous mythic resonance. Though Singh is Prime Minister, it is Sonia (60), who is the kingmaker.
The list also features Queen Elizabeth II, Sudanese President Mohamed Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, acting Cuban President Raul Castro, Iranian Supreme leader Atyatollah Ali Khamenei, Chinese President Hu Jintao, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Pope Benedict XVI.
Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barrack Obama, who are fighting for Democratic nomination for the next year’s US presidential election, secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and outspoken and staunch critic of President Bush, house speaker Nancy Pelosi are among the Americans who find their names on the list.
This year’s list features people from 27 countries, including 29 women and 71 men. But Americans predominate, constituting 54 among the 100 and Britain follows with ten.
Releasing the list, deputy managing editor Adi Iqnatius said the list contains both people who had good effect and evil influence in the world and that explains bin Laden being on the list.
Replying to question, Iqnatius agreed that the selection is subjective, adding that there were several other influential people. But the magazine had to make the make the selection, which is based on varied criteria.
Initially, the list had 1000 names, which were pared down to 100. But he conceded that predominance of Americans could be due to the fact that the magazine is located in New York.
Time magazine compares Lakshmi Mittal, CEO of Arcelor Mittal, with Scottish-American Industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who consolidated steel industry in the US and is widely respected as a philanthropist, saying Mittal appears to reincarnation of Carnegie.
“Both gave notoriously glamorous parties. Carnegie was, and Mittal is, famously generous and charitable, although Mittal has given millions of dollars without fanfare to tsunami relief and other causes,” Time said of the two steel magnates.
Yet arguably, Mittal (56) overshadows Carnegie in some ways. Carnegie’s US Steel was the first American company to achieve a 1 billion dollar market capitalisation. Arcelor Mittal seems likely to become the world’s first 100 billion dollar market-cap steel company, the write up notes.
The geographic scope of Arcelor Mittal, with 320,000 employees in 60 countries, also vastly exceeds the US Steel’s.
In a write-up on Nooyi, Time magazine said, the shocking thing isn’t who she is but the world she has inherited. “Globalism was not new when she joined PepsiCo more than a decade ago but the global part has changed. As Pepsi’s strategist, she’s a former management consultant, Nooyi helped position PepsiCo for growth in China, the Middle East and her native India,” the write up notes.


At May 5, 2007 at 7:32 PM, Blogger krystyna said...

Hi Raghu!
Thanks for sharing this inform. I'm not political person, but good to know what's going on in my new country and in the world.
Keep up your great work!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

At May 6, 2007 at 5:03 AM, Blogger --Sunrise-- said...

Hello... Sunrise here... I didn't understand the comment you left on my blog, please?


At May 10, 2007 at 2:09 AM, Blogger Shubhojit said...

Well honestly I never agreed fully with the list. Mittal is ok but Sonia! Ah yes! she inherits the family name. Thats all it takes. Wonder when our countrymen will get matured enough to realise how much bad that family has done to India.

At May 11, 2007 at 8:10 AM, Blogger Jac said...

That was very nice digging and focussing.
Why not Sonia ? Why is she always at the critics end ?
We should give credits to personalities and not to politics.

Well done, raghu


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