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Sonia Gandhi is on Time’s most influential people of the year list

May 5, 2007

Time magazine compiles a list of the hundred most influential people of the year from all professions across the world every year. I am not familiar with the previous lists, but this year there are two lists, one compiled by them (29 women and 71 men from 27 countries) and the other, a more frivolous one a result of reader votes.

While the most influential people according to readers includes the likes of Sanjay Malakar (number three) and Aishwarya Rai (number 28) – the official list one has Sonia Gandhi, the chairperson of the ruling party at number 100. Apparently the only Indian on the list apart from Laxmi Nivas Mittal.

The other people on the official list are people like Osama Bin Laden, Queen Elizabeth II, Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, China’s President Hu Jintao, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, America’s Hillary Clinton and the Pope. So Sonia Gandhi is er…in good company.

While the list seems quite arbitrary, at the same time it gives us an idea of how the west perceives itself and also India. Not surprisingly, Americans dominate the list and over half of the most influential people in the world are supposedly Americans! Britain has around ten.

Oh yes. The list crowns Sonia Gandhi but I think its a dubious sort of crown. After reading what they have written about her, I wonder if TIME is actually making a spectacle of our country instead of honoring her.

And she (Sonia) has done all this wearing a sari. Imagine if the US were run by an Indian Hindu woman without a college degree. It’s tough: the US has never elected anyone who’s not Christian, white and male – even as Vice President. But India, which is an even bigger democracy, is run in all but name by an Italian Catholic widow with a high school education…though Manmohan Singh is Prime Minister, it is Sonia, 60, who is the kingmaker.

Funny. Or is it?

(Photos sourced from TIME)

Related Reading: The world’s women political leaders
India’s first woman woman president

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 5, 2007 8:58 am

    Americans can be very condescending with their “accolades”. I am yet to read the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest and see an African not to talk about Nigerian. I know for a fact that our presidential villa is finer than the white house and that our wealthy people are very very wealthy. i mean we have Nigerians that have their own islands and private jets, yet the only african was a white south african…one of those aparthies beneficiaries if you ask me.

  2. RED ROBIN permalink
    May 6, 2007 7:22 am


  3. May 7, 2007 5:11 pm

    It is hard to decide if they were making fun of us. Even if they were, the following sentence that says “It’s tough: the US has never elected anyone who’s not Christian, white and male – even as Vice President.” is making fun of themselves even if they meant otherwise, as I see it.

  4. May 5, 2008 4:49 pm

    here i paste number of comments for getting good reply by soniya gandhi but i couldn’t get it,and aslo my blogs have number of information but they people not concentrate over there

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