Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar
(L-R) Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar | PTI/Bloomberg Photos
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New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla have been named among the world’s 100 most influential people of 2021 by TIME magazine.

TIME on Wednesday unveiled its annual list of The 100 Most Influential People of 2021′, a global list that includes US President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and Meghan, former US president Donald Trump and co-founder of the Taliban Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

TIME’s profile of Modi says that in its 74 years as an independent nation, India has had three pivotal leaders – Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Modi. “Narendra Modi is the third, dominating the country’s politics like no one since them.

The profile written by noted CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria alleges that Mod has “pushed the country away from secularism and toward Hindu nationalism.”

It also accuses the 69-year-old leader of “eroding the rights of India’s Muslim minority and imprisoning and intimidating journalists.

On Banerjee, her profile for the 100 most influential list says that the 66-year-old leader “has become the face of fierceness in Indian politics.”

“Of Banerjee, it is said, she doesn’t lead her party, the Trinamool Congress – she is the party. The street-fighter spirit and self-made life in a patriarchal culture set her apart, the profile says.

Poonawalla’s TIME profile says that from the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic, the 40-year-old head of the world’s largest vaccine maker sought to meet the moment.

“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, it says.

The Time profile describes the Taliban co-founder Baradar 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, says Baradar’s profile.

The list also includes tennis player Naomi Osaka, Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, music icon Britney Spears, executive director of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council Manjusha P. Kulkarni, Apple CEO Tim Cook, actor Kate Winslet and the first African and first woman to lead the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Also read: Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the quiet Taliban deal maker who holds key role for Afghan future


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