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Time magazine’s latest annual list of influential people is out and features Indians including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bollywood star Ayushmann Khurrana. Here’s a look who they are and why they belong here.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who turned 70 a few days ago, has emerged as a central figure in India and the world after his party’s convincing victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He has been at the forefront of India’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic even as opposition leaders continue to blame his government for failing to handle the situation.
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Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana, who started his career with popular reality show ‘Roadies’ is the only Indian actor to make it to the Time 100 this year. He acknowledged the coveted prize on his social media pages by saying: “I'm honoured to be a part of this group: time.com/time100@TIME #TIME100." Khurrana whose bio-data reads like a dive into the surreal is responsible for dragging what was once considered niche cinema into the mainstream.
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Fellow Bollywood star Deepika Padukone wrote an article in the magazine, in a tribute to Ayushmann: “I remember Ayushmann Khurrana vividly from his debut film, Vicky Donor. He had, of course, been a part of the entertainment industry in various other ways for several years before that, but the reason you and I talk about him today is because of the impact he has been able to create through memorable films and iconic characters. Where male protagonist roles often fall into the trap of stereotypical masculinity, Ayushmann has successfully and convincingly transformed into characters who challenge those very stereotypes.” THE ‘Padmavat’ actress was on the 2018 coveted list of TIME's 100 most influential men and women .
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Sundar Pischai is living the American dream. He emigrated from India as a young adult and worked to become CEO of a $1 trillion company, cementing his reputation as a success story when he became CEO of Google (now Alphabet). “He used his natural gifts and strong work ethic to rise through the ranks of Google (now Alphabet) by leading many of their most popular products, such as Drive, Gmail, and Maps, and officially took the reins of the company in December,” CEO of JP Morgan Jamie Dimon wrote in the TIME magazine.
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The 82-year-old Bilkis, who sat in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh to protest the Citizenship Amendment Act – which helped some migrants gain easier citizenship status in India - became one of the prominent faces of resistance. While she was one among the many women who sit in protest all day and well into the night, it was the fact that she sat there in spite of her age that drew people’s attention. Talk about conviction.
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Ravindra Gupta, is name has become synonymous with hope.A UK patient walked free of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus ( HIV) in March last year due to a study led by Professor Ravindra Gupta. The ‘London survivor’ was the second HIV survivor on the planet to be cured. In the same year, he was named professor of clinical microbiology by the University of Cambridge at the Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease.
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Although they didn't make it to the list this year other Bollywood stars such as ‘Dangal’ Actor Aamir Khan had made it to the list in 2013. Aamir, who created an international presence with his 2012 TV series Satyamev Jayate, was named as a "pioneer" on the list. Satyamev Jayate examined social and economic issues like female foeticide and medical malpractices and had wide-ranging impact across the country.
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Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra made India proud once again as her name was featured in the list in 2019, alongside Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and singer Nicki Minaj, among others.
Image Credit: Insta/priyankachopra