New York, Nov 6: One more feather was added in the cap of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, as he made his debut among the world’s most powerful people, ranked 15th on the Forbes list. Russian President Vladimir Putin has topped the list pipping his US counterpart Barack Obama for a second year in a row.
Writing on Modi, Forbes reportedly said: “India’s newest rock star doesn’t hail from Bollywood. He is the newly elected Prime Minister who sailed into office in May with a landslide victory, ushering the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) into power after decades of control by the Gandhi dynasty.”
The report further said: “He is the newly elected PM who sailed into office in May with a landslide victory, ushering BJP into power after decades of control by the Gandhi dynasty.”
The magazine described him as a “Hindu nationalist” and referred to the 2002 Gujarat riots when he was the state’s Chief Minister.
It added: “Modi is credited with massive reconstruction projects in his home state of Gujarat. His administration promises to bring economic rejuvenation to other beleaguered parts of India. The world is as impressed as the citizens of India: So far he’s toured the US and China and met with his Southeast Asian neighbours.”
It may be noted that this year’s list comprises 12 newcomers, including Modi and Egypt President Abdel el-Sisi.
Alibiba founder and China’s richest man — Jack Ma also makes a first appearance on the list after his record-breaking $25 billion initial public offering in September, as does terror group Islamic State’s chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The list of 72 most powerful people in the world also included the names of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani at 36th, ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal at 57th and Microsoft’s Indian-born CEO Satya Nadella at 64th.
A notable omission from the list reportedly is Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi, who was the highest ranked Indian last year at 21. The next Indian after Modi on the list is Ambani at 36th.
According to Forbes, Ambani has business ventures in petrochemicals, manufacturing, oil and gas production, and now wireless sectors, “the sum of which have landed him as the richest person in India for eight years running.”
It noted Reliance’s $655 million acquisition of media outfit Network18. In October, Modi inaugurated Ambani’s Reliance Foundation’s new hospital in Mumbai, “ending rumours about Ambani’s waning clout in New Delhi,” it said.
This is the second year in a row that Putin carries the crown. Obama had previously been on the top of the list for every year with the exception of 2010, when Hu Jintao, the former political and military leader of China, was ranked 1. The top five remain the same as 2013 — Chinese President Xi Jinping ranked third, Pope Francis at No. 4 and the world’s most powerful woman German Chancellor Angela Merkel ranked fifth.
This year there are nine women on the list, representing 12 per cent of the world’s most powerful — in stark contrast to being 50 per cent of the world’s population. While the same number as last year, the inaugural list from 2009 included only three women leaders. Alexey Miller, CEO of Russian gas giant Gazprom, makes a return appearance after dropping of the list in years past.
The list also includes French President Francois Hollande (17), Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei (19), Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (22), Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu (26), Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein (27), UN Secretray Geberal Ban Ki-moon (40), forner US President Bill Clinton (44), North Lorean leader Kim Jong-un (49) and Japanese leader Shinzo Abe (63).
(With Agency Inputs)