PM Modi, Paytm founder in Time’s ‘most influential people list’

Nearly three years after he came to power, Modi's vision of India's economic, geopolitical and cultural supremacy is far from being realised, the profile read.

By: PTI | New York | Published:April 20, 2017 6:28 pm
TIME's list of most influential people, TIME magazine, TIME's 100 most influential, top 100, narendra modi, prime minister modi, Paytm founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, india news, indian express news Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma were the only two Indians to make it to an annual list of ‘100 most influential people in the world’ this year released by the Time magazine on Thursday. The list features pioneers, artists, titans, leaders and icons from around the world honoured for “the power of their inventions, the scale of their ambitions, the genius of their solutions to problems that no one before them could solve.”

The magazine has also included US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Theresa May in the new list of 100 most influential people. The profile of Modi, 66, written by author Pankaj Mishra, said that in May 2014 – long before Trump seemed conceivable as a US president – Modi became the prime minister of the world’s largest democracy.

“Once barred from the US for his suspected complicity in anti-Muslim violence, and politically ostracised at home as well, this Hindu nationalist used Twitter to bypass traditional media and speak directly to masses feeling left or pushed behind by globalisation, and he promised to make India great again by rooting out self-serving elites,” it said.

Nearly three years after he came to power, Modi’s vision of India’s economic, geopolitical and cultural supremacy is far from being realised, the profile read, but his “extended family of Hindu nationalists have taken to scapegoating secular and liberal intellectuals as well as poor Muslims.”

“Yet Modi’s aura remains undimmed. He is a maestro of the art of political seduction, playing on the existential fears and cultural insecurities of people facing downward or blocked mobility,” it said.

Modi’s elections victory in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most politically significant state, by a landslide confirmed that “elected strongmen are the chief beneficiaries of a global revolt against elites.”

For 43-year-old Sharma, Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani wrote that when India’s government unexpectedly scrapped 86 per cent of the country’s currency notes in November, Sharma “seized the moment”.

As Indians scrambled to exchange the banned notes for new currency, Paytm, Sharma’s digital payments startup, went on a promotional spree, inviting Indians to start using Paytm’s digital wallet to pay for everyday goods and services. “It worked. By the end of 2016, Paytm had 177 million users, compared with 122 million at the beginning of the year,” Nilekani wrote.

Sharma had “catapulted himself into a nation’s consciousness. It was a masterstroke by a small-town boy who studied in a Hindi medium school before conquering the country’s Anglophone startup world,” he wrote.

Paytm is now backed by the chief of China’s Alibaba, Jack Ma, and Sharma is branching out into the more heavily regulated world of banking, with plans to offer digital accounts. “He will face new challenges from deep-pocketed and more-experienced competitors. But knowing Vijay, he will win the next time around too,” his profile read.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App now

  1. Y
    yoda
    Apr 21, 2017 at 12:30 pm
    Panda Mishra continues to be a colonial boot licker. Has always baited India under Modi, clearly does not believing in respecting the democratic mandate of India. Time Magazine would have done well to get someone with a more balanced mindset to write this piece.
    Reply
    1. T
      Trollbuster
      Apr 21, 2017 at 4:51 am
      When congress was in power they looted the country with scams and Sonia hi was in the list as the most influential person . Now bjp looted the country with demonitization and hurray he is in the list . Now we know how it works . It's that simple!
      Reply
      1. R
        Ram Charan
        Apr 21, 2017 at 4:30 am
        Looters get their due, from their counterparts from US and UK lobby. BJP is the biggest looter among all.
        Reply
        1. R
          RU Mutra
          Apr 21, 2017 at 4:04 am
          The profile by Mishra is a typical ranting of a Sickular Congressi Slave. It was no surprise that he wrote all that BS. What more do I say than he could not get past the riots even when the courts and the law under the supervision of the congress government cleared him from all charges. It was understandable that he has a doubt if it was non-congress govt but that was not the case. so this raving and ranting is just opportunism to malign the PM and a case of sour grapes on the part of Mutra
          Reply
          1. P
            Paul
            Apr 21, 2017 at 3:26 am
            Modi leaving Muslims behind is incorrect.
            Reply
            1. M
              M. Raman Panicker
              Apr 21, 2017 at 10:32 am
              They lag because they are still attached to the umbilical cord.
              Reply
            2. M
              Mahender Goriganti
              Apr 21, 2017 at 2:14 am
              Times report means nothing. Modi is leader of 1/4th of the world po tion, biggest democracy, did most daring things (demonetization of normally functioning country successfully and transforming a banana country into a hopeful & prosperous future power house), any politician in a democratic world has ever done in the last
              Reply
              1. M
                Mahender Goriganti
                Apr 21, 2017 at 2:09 am
                The commentaries of its own by Islamic express coupled with discourses from Western disinformation con reporters of Times (slave master of West) as cool aids for its audience.
                Reply
                1. S
                  SubbuI
                  Apr 21, 2017 at 1:11 am
                  NALAYAK NMODI THE MASTER POLARISER AND FEKU TOCTHE CORE HAS MADE THE LIST FOR ALL WRONG REASONS.BENG A GOOD HUMAN IS MORE IMPRTANT THAN BEING INFLUENTIAL.THIS SAFFRON DICTATOR IA AS INFLUENTIAL AS HITLER IN 1940S AND WILL GO HIS WAY ONLY
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    Mahender Goriganti
                    Apr 21, 2017 at 2:10 am
                    Slave minded sheep will always follow slave masters gospels as truth.
                    Reply
                  2. H
                    H
                    Apr 20, 2017 at 10:35 pm
                    FK with Time magazine list. Israeli ILLUMINATI controlled media!
                    Reply
                    1. L
                      laxman
                      Apr 20, 2017 at 8:30 pm
                      y not feku influenced so many people gau atankis to kill so many dalits and muslims - so many died due to demonitisation automatically feku goes in list of hitler mussolini - atleast they were devils to save their countries but this feku saves only his masters sitting at nagpur - but finally they wl ditch him
                      Reply
                      1. S
                        Sid
                        Apr 20, 2017 at 7:52 pm
                        “elected strongmen are the chief beneficiaries of a global revolt against elites.” whom elite he talking about people not known him before nor today.
                        Reply
                        1. Load More Comments