Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla have made it into the TIME Magazine’s '100 Most Influential People of 2021' list this year. The list which came out on Wednesday is divided into six categories Icons, Pioneers, Titans, Artists, Leaders and Innovators.
Prime Minister Modi’s profile penned by the prolific CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria read, "Narendra Modi (70) is the third, dominating the country's politics like no one since them." He added that India has seen three key leaders – Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi since it gained independence in 1947.
Mamata Banerjee’s profile by senior journalist Barkha Dutt on the US-based publication called her “a fortress against the expansionist ambition of Narendra Modi”. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo’s profile further stated, “Of Banerjee, it is said, she doesn’t lead her party, the Trinamool Congress – she is the party. The street-fighter and self-made life in a patriarchal culture set her apart.”
The TIME Magazine’s list of influential personalities has also acknowledged one of the key players behind India’s vaccine diplomacy when COVID-19 crisis reached its peak – Serum Institute of India’s Adar Poonawalla. "The pandemic is not over yet, and Poonawalla could still help end it. Vaccine inequality is stark, and delayed immunisation in one part of the world can have global consequences-including the risk of more dangerous variants emerging," the TIME Magazine profile of Poonawalla by journalist Abhishyant Kidangoor read.
Besides PM Modi, West Bengal CM Banerjee and SII CEO Adar Poonawalla, the list also features former US President Donald Trump, the current World Trade Organisation chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council executive director Manjusha P Kulkarni, Russian activist Alexei Navalny, tennis player Naomi Osaka, actor Kate Winslet, music icon Britney Spears.
Businessman-turned President Donald Trump’s profile penned by Nancy Gibbs stated that even though he has left the White House, he continues to be a magnetic force in American politics. The list features the first African-American woman to lead the World Trade Organisation Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. “As we face a constant barrage of vaccine misinformation, bureaucratic slowdowns across both government and industry, and the rise of variants that underscore the urgency of the situation, Okonjo-Iweala has shown us that to end the pandemic, we must work together to equip every nation with equitable vaccine access,” reads Iweala’s profile by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s profile written by Phil Knight states that Tim Cook has character, compassion and courage besides high IQ and this is what separates the good from the great. Interestingly, the list also features the Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. Baradar has been named as the deputy to the head of interim government in Afghanistan Mullah Akhund. Baradar’s profile describes him as a “quiet, secretive man who rarely gives public statements or interviews.”
“Baradar nonetheless represents a more moderate current within the Taliban, the one that will be thrust into the limelight to win Western support and desperately needed financial aid. The question is whether the man who coaxed the Americans out of Afghanistan can sway his own movement,” his profile further read.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal
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