Arvind Kejriwal has been named among the world’s 50 greatest leaders by Fortune magazine with the Delhi Chief Minister being the sole Indian leader on the list topped by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Fortune’s third annual ‘World’s 50 Greatest Leaders’ list features men and women from across the globe from the fields of business, government, philanthropy and the arts who are “transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same.”
47-year-old Aam Aadmi Party chief is ranked 42nd on the list and is the sole leader from India. However, South Carolina’s Indian-American Governor Nikki Haley is also on the list at 17th while another Indian-American Resham Saujani is at the 20th spot. Fortune credits Kejriwal for his efforts to curb pollution in New Delhi through the scheme of allowing vehicles of odd and even numbers on alternate days on the city’s roads.
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“When Kejriwal unveiled a blueprint to tackle the smog in New Delhi — called the world’s most polluted city by the World Health Organization — many were sceptical. A key component: an ‘odd-even’ pilot project in which vehicles were allowed on the roads only on alternate days.
“The uplifting result of the pilot this January: roads were less clogged, hourly particulate air pollution concentrations dropped by 13 per cent, and citizens could breathe deep,” Fortune said. It said leadership is not “demagoguery, pandering, even populism” but is defined by people across the world “you’ve never heard of who are rallying followers to make life better in ways you never imagined.”
“…the New Delhi ‘government official’ risking his career to fight pollution; the Italian mayor welcoming Middle East migrants to his tiny town—improving its economy and brightening their prospects,” the US-based magazine said in a reference to Kejriwal and Domenico Lucano, the Mayor of the Italian town of Riace, who was ranked 40th on the list.
“The leaders you’ll meet here, known and new, will lift your mood and upgrade your assessment of the world’s future. Some may inspire you to join their followers. And those unheard-ofs, so seemingly ordinary, may even prompt you to rethink your own potential as an inspiring leader,” Fortune said.
Bezos, who topped the list this year, has been on the list all three times, along with Pope Francis who comes in at the 4th position followed by Apple CEO Tim Cook. The list includes German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2), Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi at (3), US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko (22), IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (36), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-chair and CEO Melinda Gates and Susan Desmond-Hellmann (41), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (48) and Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay (50).
Also on the list is Saujani, Founder and CEO of tech organization ‘Girls Who Code’. Fortune lauded the 40-year old former Wall Street attorney for her message that girls should be taught to be brave rather than perfect. Her organization aims to get more women into computer science and by the end of this year, more than 40,000 girls will have gone through its training and internship programmes,
Giving company to Kejriwal from South Asia is Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the number 10 spot. Fortune said the 68-year -old politician, the only female leader among the Organization of Islamic Cooperation member states, has “deftly navigated the competing demands of Islamic tradition and women’s rights”.
“She has committed Bangladesh, the nation with the world’s fourth-largest Muslim population, to securing legal protections for women and helping them attain more education, financial freedom, and political power,” it said, adding that Bangladesh scores better on the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index than any other South Asian country.