The Indian Express Power List, which ranks the 100 most powerful Indians, for the year 2016 is out. And this year all the three Khans of Bollywood feature in the list. Last year it was just Aamir and Salman on the Express Power List but they are joined by Shah Rukh Khan this year.
While Aamir Khan has dropped two ranks, Salman Khan is still at no 83, the two Khans are ahead of Shah Rukh Khan, who is at No. 97. But to everyone’s surprise Karan Johar is way ahead of his close pal and favourite co-star Shah Rukh Khan. KJo is at No 76.
Deepika Padukone is at 93rd spot and Priyanka Chopra at 98th spot.
Aamir Khan, who has been in news for his intolerance comments at the Ramnath Goenka Awards, is at No 72, two ranks down from his last year’s position. The actor is currently shooting for Dangal.
According to the list, reason Aamir makes it to the list is: “Despite not making any big-screen appearance in 2015, there was no denying Khan’s influence. If an e-commerce firm signed him up for Rs 30 crore, he lent the strongest voice to the intolerance debate in the country. By the end of the year, his contract with both Snapdeal and the government’s Incredible India campaign was allowed to lapse — a fact that didn’t go unnoticed.”
Power Punch: In the midst of concerns over intolerance, Aamir, speaking at an Indian Express event, said, “For the first time, (wife Kiran) said, should we move out of India… That does indicate a sense of growing disquiet.” The Modi government appears to have put his remarks behind it — recently, Aamir Khan was invited to a private dinner hosted by the PM in Mumbai.
By The Way: He was once part of a theatre group with director Ashutosh Gowarikar and actor Raj Zutshi.
Coming in close at Rank 76 is filmmaker Karan Johar, he has slipped two positions this year.
According to the list, Why he makes it to the elite list: 2015 saw Hindi cinema’s most famous producer-director play the role of a media baron in Bombay Velvet. He also “presented” the S S Rajamouli-directed Bahubali, whose world-wide earnings were pegged at over Rs 600 crore.
Power Punch: Karan Johar, along with Aamir Khan, Ronnie Screwvala, distributor Anil Thadani and Siddharth Roy Kapur of UTV-Disney Films, is said to be planning a venture to promote smaller multiplex chains. Pics: Indian Express Power List: Amit Shah, Sonia Gandhi among the list
By the Way: He made his acting debut with Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
Salman Khan, who has had an eventful 2015 because of the verdict in 2002 hit-and-run case plus his two huge hits Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Salman, who turned 50 on December 27, remains at No. 83 this year too.
Reason Why Salman makes it to the list: 2015 was undoubtedly Salman Khan’s year. Both his releases — Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo — were the biggest hits of the year. His Eid releases continue to be much awaited. Indian Express Power List: Salman, SRK, Aamir, Sania Mirza
Power Punch: His acquittal in the 13-year-old hit-and-run case. Observing that “strong suspicion of guilt cannot be used to hold a person guilty”, the Bombay High Court acquitted Khan in December 2015.
Salman Khan is busy with his projects as actor and producer, the hit-and-run case may come back to haunt him as the Maharashtra government has appealed against his acquittal in the Supreme Court.
By the way: Salman Khan was a champion swimmer in school.
Deepika Padukone, who has given hits like Piku and Bajirao Mastani last year and has already left for Canada to shoot for her Hollywood debut ‘xXx: The Return of Xander Cage’ with Vin Diesel is at No 93 this time, six positions up from her last year’s ranking.
Reason Why: For an actor in the prime of her career, Piku was a far from obvious choice, given its non-romantic, slice-of-life subject matter. Padukone went on to hold her own against Irrfan Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, two actors who dominate any scene they are in. Her performance was key to the film’s success.
Power Punch: She broke a taboo by openly talking about her battle with depression, and founded the not-for-profit organisation Live Love Laugh Foundation to raise awareness about mental health.
By the way: She turned down Fast and Furious 7 due to her prior commitment to Goliyon ki Rasleela Ram-Leela.
Shah Rukh Khan, who is known as the Badshah of Bollywood, is at No 97 and he is new on the list.
Reason Why he makes it to the list: At 50, he is still India’s top romantic hero. Dilwale, where he teamed up with Kajol, didn’t do too well at the box office, but that has not dented his fan base or his advertising deals. His team Kolkata Knight Riders is among top IPL contenders.
Power Punch: “Religious intolerance and not being secular… is the worst kind of crime that you can do as a patriot,” Khan had said in November, lending his voice to the debate.
Shah Rukh Khan has two key releases this year. In Raees, he plays a Muslim bootlegger in Gujarat. In Fan, SRK has a double role where he plays a film star and also his biggest fan.
By the way: His first job was as an usher at a Pankaj Udhas concert in Delhi in the 1980s, for which he got Rs 50.
Priyanka Chopra, who is busy juggling between Bollywood and Hollywood, also makes it to the list at No 98. She is also a new entrant to the Express Power List.
Reason Why: She became the first South Asian to headline an American network TV series with Quantico. She also had two impressive releases in 2015 in Dil Dhadakne Do, Bajirao Mastani.
Power Punch: She was awarded the Padma Shri. She also won the People’s Choice Award 2016 for ‘Favorite Actress in a New TV Series’ for Quantico.
Prakash Jha’s Jai Gangaajal, with her in the lead, is up next. She will also make her debut as a producer with her production house backing regional cinema.
By the way: Priyanka Chopra switches to a new perfume with every new project.