Time magazine has listed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in its list for 2012. The TMC chief shares space with the likes of US President Barack Obama and billionaire investor Warren Buffet. The magazine has described the people in the list as ‘who inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world’.
Journey to the top
“Mamata Banerjee rose to the fore last year when she and a movement she built from the grassroots wrested control of her home state of West Bengal, ending three and a half decades of sclerotic communist rule. “Banerjee (57), spent years struggling on the margins, her Trinamool Congress Party a feisty rabble compared with the leviathan of West Bengal’s communists,” said the magazine about the leader.
Time to deliver!
Describing her achievements, the magazine went on to say, “On the streets, she out-Marxed the Marxists. And as chief minister of her home state, she has emerged as a populist woman of action — strident and divisive but poised to play an even greater role in the world's largest democracy.”
Also in the list
The other Indian to feature in the list is Anjali Gopalan — the founder and executive director of The Naz Foundation (India) Trust, an NGO dedicated to the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Suketu Mehta writes in the Time article, “Through her work at the Naz Foundation, Gopalan has done more than anyone else to advance the rights of gays and the transgendered in India, successfully petitioning the courts to get rid of a British-era law against sodomy. But her work isn’t just in courtrooms. She also runs a home for HIV-positive orphans. Gopalan has brought about a revolution in the status of sexual minorities in India — and has done so joyously, dancing.”