The most powerful indians in 2009: 70-74

Raghav Bahl, Prabhu Chawla,Aamir Khan,Shobhana Bhartia & Shanti Bhushan

Written by Express News Service | Published:March 9, 2009 3:42 pm

70. Raghav Bahl,45
MD,Network18 Media & Investments
Why
He heads perhaps the fastest growing media group in India. His business news channel,CNBC-TV 18,and its Hindi counterpart,CNBC-Awaaz,are market leaders in the television business news segment. He also launched an entertainment channel in 2008.

Power punch
From anchoring programmes for Doordarshan in the 1980s,Bahl’s first break came in 1995 when he became content provider for ABNi. That led to a partnership with CNBC and the launch of CNBC-TV 18 in 1999. In 2005,he launched CNN-IBN.
What next
Bahl’s plans include making films such as Fruit and Nut with Boman Irani,syndications,and other films-related services. There is also talk of him launching a pink paper.

71. Prabhu Chawla,64
Editor,India Today
Why
He joined the India Today group when it was in its infancy. He is the weekly newsmagazine’s current editor and is also the editorial director of The India Today Group. Besides,he hosts the TV talk show,Seedhi Baat,on Aaj Tak. Chawla is known to be an extremely influential political pundit envied for his political contacts. It is said that his name was on the shortlist of people who could enter Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s PMO without the usual rigorous security check.
Power punch
His report in 1997 in the India Today titled ‘Exclusive Damning Revelations’ on the Jain Commission report brought down the Gujral government.
What next
His aspiration is to move from writing and reporting to making news. And like many journalists,turn to politics.

72. Aamir Khan, 43
Actor-Producer
Why
He is the most reliable star in Bollywood today. Aamir,who has established a successful and thriving production house,has also recently become somewhat of a star activist. With Lagaan and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na,Aamir has also established a successful and thriving production house. Other Bollywood biggies acknowledge his star power. “No matter who you are,you can’t help but love Aamir’s films,” says Akshay Kumar.
Power punch
He sold Ghajini for Rs 90 crore—the film made Rs 200 crore in just two weeks.
What next
He is all set to take on the education system with Raj Kumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots. He is making an appearance in wife Kiran Rao’s directorial debut,Dhobi Ghat. His Delhi Belly will be India’s first sex thriller.

73. Shobhana Bhartia,51
Media Baron and Rajya Sabha MP
Why
Shobhana Bhartia runs The Hindustan Times empire and doubles as an MP,having inherited her father KK Birla’s mantle. She is extremely well-connected and enjoys goodwill across party lines and in the media world,thanks to her Birla lineage and the Bhartia family she got married into at a very young age.
Power punch
She decided to defy tradition in her family and play the inheritor to her father’s legacy at a very young age—she was 29 when she joined the paper and went on to transform it. She has pushed it into launching another business paper in collaboration with The Wall Street Journal,and diversified into FM radio.
What next
Like all businesses,how she deals with the downturn could be the key.

74. Shanti Bhushan,83 and Prashant Bhushan,52
Senior
Lawyers
Why
The father-son duo is known for taking on everybody when it comes to protecting judicial integrity and competence. Shanti Bhushan served as Union law minister in the Morarji Desai ministry from 1977 to 1979.
Power punch
In July 2007,Shanti Bhushan questioned the decision to elevate Justice Ashok Kumar to the status of permanent judge. The son forced the CJI’s bench to hear the PF scam case in the open court. The court wanted to hear the case in the chambers,that is,away from public scrutiny.
What next
Recognised globally for speaking out against judicial corruption,the duo will continue to push for transparency in the selection of judges. They will continue with their ‘Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Judicial Reforms’.

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