The most powerful Indians in 2012: No. 81-90https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others-do-not-use/the-most-powerful-indians-in-2012-no-8190/

The most powerful Indians in 2012: No. 81-90

Sharma managed to take some bold decisions regarding manufacturing and retail.

81. Anand Sharma,59

Commerce Minister

Rank ’11: 31

WHY

At a time when the government is perceived to be moving at a snail’s pace on the policy front,Sharma managed to take some bold decisions regarding manufacturing and retail. The announcement of the National Manufacturing Policy is very timely given the global slowdown and the worrisome state of domestic manufacturing. The Cabinet clearance of 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail and notification of 100 per cent retail in single brand also managed to send welcome signals to global investors.

POWER PUNCH

The single-minded focus that saw his meteoric rise from being an MoS of external affairs to the rank of Cabinet minister with the important portfolio of commerce and industry.

WHAT NEXT

He plans to take up the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail and aviation once the Assembly elections are over. India-EU free trade agreement and implementation of DMIC would be the thrust areas.

BY THE WAY

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He is fond of Indian classical music and ghazals. Mellifluous music plays in the background while he works.


82. Nita Ambani,48

Entrepreneur & owner of Mumbai Indians

New on the list

WHY

As the first lady of corporate India,Nita Ambani—wife of Reliance honcho Mukesh Ambani,the richest Indian—is the driving force behind Mukesh’s ventures in sports,social work and education. She heads the Dhirubhai Ambani Foundation,a non-profit in the education and healthcare sectors,the Dhirubhai Ambani International School and Project Drishti that involves the National Association of Blind. She is also the force to reckon with in the cricket arena as the de facto CEO of Mumbai Indians team.

POWER PUNCH

She became a director on the board of EIH Ltd—which runs the Trident and Oberoi chains in India— last year after Reliance acquired a 14 per cent stake in the company.

WHAT NEXT

She is expected to take active interest

in the Mumbai Indians when IPL starts later this year.

BY THE WAY

She never misses practice sessions of Mumbai Indians. Her players call her bhabhi.


83. Justice Markandey Katju,65

Chairman,Press Council of India

New on the list

WHY

Since taking over as chairperson of the Press Council of India,the former Supreme Court judge has become the news. He caused a furore by saying that journalists have poor intellectual calibre,and refused to back down. When he talks,and he does that quite often,everybody listens,especially those working in TV channels,over which he has no control.

POWER PUNCH

Though only time will tell if Katju’s relationship with the media will become stable,he has turned a toothless regulator,the Press Council of India,into an assertive body. The indication that his next move could be to check

state governments using advertisements to pressure the media is already causing anxiety. If his demand that the TV channels should also be brought under the purview of the Council is accepted,it would be a major victory for him.

WHAT NEXT

Getting the Central government to amend the PCI Act to give it more powers.

BY THE WAY

It’s not just Urdu poet Ghalib whom Katju likes; he is equally fond of Sanskrit poet Kalidas.


84. Vidya Balan,34,

Actor

New on the list

WHY

2010 and 2011 have been her breakthrough years. After her feisty role as the vengeful widow in Ishqiya to a restrained act as a girl seeking justice for the murder of her sister in No One Killed Jessica,Balan displayed her versatility as an actor in The Dirty Picture where she delivered an uninhibited performance based on Silk Smitha’s life,winning hearts and minds and earning a unique niche for herself in Bollywood.

POWER PUNCH

A clutch of Best Actress awards for the third consecutive year for unconventional roles has put her on a par with the leading ladies of the silver screen.

WHAT NEXT

Her fans will look forward to Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani,a suspense thriller where she plays a pregnant woman in search of her husband.

BY THE WAY

She considers her sister Priya’s twins,Ira and Ruhaan,as her lucky charm and makes it a point to cut a cake every month on their birth date.


85. Baba Ramdev, 40

Spiritual leader

New on the list

WHY

He is the undisputed spiritual guru of rural and small-town India. He could almost single-handedly take on the government on the issue of black money and corruption. Ramdev presides over the multi-crore Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust and has a large following,especially in north India.

POWER PUNCH

The fact that four top Cabinet ministers reached Delhi airport to receive Ramdev and dissuade him from going on his planned fast on the issue of black money at the Ramlila ground goes to show his influence and power.

WHAT NEXT

He was first courted and then rebuffed strongly by the government. That has forced him to go on the backfoot for now. His biggest strength is the

huge support that he enjoys in small-town India. Though he was eventually marginalised in the anti-corruption movement,Ramdev has the capability to strike back.

BY THE WAY

He does 300 sit-ups in the morning every day,immediately after getting up from bed.


86. Ekta Kapoor,38

TV and Film producer

New on the list

WHY

By overhauling Balaji Motion Pictures and personally handling the films arm of her showbiz company,Ekta Kapoor has made waves. A combination of quirky subjects and calculated risks in Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai and Love Sex Aur Dhoka in 2010 and Ragini MMS,Shor in the City and The Dirty Picture in 2011 have helped her get into the A list.

POWER PUNCH

Her production house has had a nearly 100 per cent success rate since 2010 and is now co-producing films with Karan Johar and Vikramaditya Motwane.

WHAT NEXT

Ekta is working on the following films: Vikramaditya Motwane’s Lootera,Sanjay Gupta’s Shootout At Wadala,Navdeep Singh’s zombie flick Rock the Shaadi,the sequel to Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai and a love story with Karan Johar as co-producer.

BY THE WAY

She started her company, Balaji Motion Pictures,from her father’s garage.


87. Subramanian Swamy,72

President,Janata Party

New on the list

WHY

By courting controversy and publicity in equal measure,he has given himself tremendous nuisance value. Achieved exactly what he wanted by stubbornly steering the 2G scam in the direction of the courts with Home Minister P Chidambaram as his prime target. His weapons of choice are the allegation and the slur,sometime even unfettered by fact. Hardly matters if some of his quotes and tweets border on the defamatory or derogatory.

POWER PUNCH

Punches far above his weight as a one-man party. It was his petition that led to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa making a personal appearance to depose in a Bangalore court in a disproportionate assets case against her.

WHAT NEXT

Swamy will challenge in Delhi High Court the verdict of the special court that said Union Home Minister P Chidambaram

had no role in the the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

BY THE WAY

He has been a university-level cricketer.


88. Sachin Tendulkar,38

Cricketer

Rank ’11: 8

WHY

Playing in his sixth World Cup,Tendulkar finally added the one piece of silverware that was missing in his crowded trophy cabinet,and that too on his home turf,at the Wankhede Stadium. Tendulkar averaged 53.55 in the World Cup tournament which India won,and hit two centuries. He failed to reproduce that performance in 2011 during India’s Test matches,but still averaged a creditable 47.25.

POWER PUNCH

The only time the crowds thronged to the stadiums during the low-key Test series against the West Indies last year was when Tendulkar was at the crease.

WHAT NEXT

With the Indian team in transition,his influential presence in the dressing room will be vital. He will look to help India regain their dominant position in Test cricket. Winning an IPL trophy with the Mumbai Indians will also be on

his mind.

BY THE WAY

His new mansion in Bandra has backyard nets where he loves facing left-arm seamers from son,Arjun.


89. Ranbir Kapoor,29

Actor

New on the list

WHY

A series of interesting roles and performances in Wake Up Sid,Rocket Singh—Salesman of the Year and Raajneeti,was topped by another standout gig in Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar this year,establishing Kapoor as the most promising young talent in Bollywood.

POWER PUNCH

His reticence paired with impeccable manners has everyone,right from industry folks to fans,charmed.

WHAT NEXT

In Anurag Basu’s Barfi,Kapoor plays a hearing-and-speech impaired conman. In Karan Johar’s production Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani,the actor is paired opposite his ex,Deepika Padukone.

BY THE WAY

His favourite Raj Kapoor movie is Shree 420 and his favourite Rishi Kapoor movie is Zamaane Ko Dikhana Hai.


90. Katrina Kaif, 27

Actor

Rank ’11: 99

WHY

Katrina Kaif has acquired huge clout with her roles in big-budget entertainers. Last year,both the films Kaif starred in,Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan,were box-office successes,making her one of Bollywood’s hottest actors.

POWER PUNCH

The actor is the most searched person by Indian Internet users. Her chartbuster item song from 2010,Sheila Ki Jawani,continues to play at parties,while Chikni Chameli from Agneepath has become the new cult anthem.

WHAT NEXT

Ek Tha Tiger,Dhoom 3 and a third film which is yet to be titled.

BY THE WAY

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She learnt to ride a motorbike for her role in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Now,whenever she feels stressed,she rides her bike around Bandra.