Bollywood star Aamir Khan has been featured on one of the seven special covers of the Time magazine listing the world’s 100 most influential people.
The list includes Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Delhi lawyer Vrinda Grover and California’s Indian-American attorney general Kamala Harris besides teenaged Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai and US President Barack Obama.
Like Aamir Khan, Malala Yousafzai, “the Pakistani schoolgirl whose advocacy for girls’ rights is just beginning” is also featured on one of the special covers.
Aamir Khan, 48, the Bollywood star who wins praise from composer A.R. Rahman, “has been chosen for using his influence to raise social awareness in India.”
“In a world of false diplomacy and evasiveness, Aamir is a straightforward man,” writes Rahman noting, “He uses his gifts as a charmer to give his audience the most bitter medicine. Hypnotized, we take it without complaint.”
“Aamir has started a movement that will help change the world in which Indians live. Jai ho!” adds the Academy Award-winning composer.
Described as “a trusted counsellor to the ruling Congress Party’s Gandhi family, Chidambaram’s experience is unsurpassed”, writes Time.
Playing “an important role as India opened its economy” in the 1990s, “his reform record has been spotty,” Time says and suggests: “To land India’s top job, he needs to revive his country’s economic fortunes. He may also need to adopt a more Indian style.”
Delhi lawyer Vrinda Grover’s “work as a human-rights lawyer and advocate for women’s rights has meant that she presses down pretty hard”, writes Time.
“Her determination to force an often recalcitrant political and legal system to change was evident in these past few heated months, as a particularly tragic rape in Delhi brought women’s rights center stage,” it notes.
Kamala Harris, 48, is described as a jurist to watch by Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to serve as US Speaker of the House.
“In 2010, after seven years as San Francisco district attorney, she became the first African American, first South Asian and first woman to be elected California attorney general,” Pelosi writes, predicting: “As a new generation of women picks up the mantle of progress, she will always be among the first to stand up and step forward.”