New York, Feb 6 (PTI) Indian political geniusesMahatma Gandhi and Emperor Akbar have been listed among the''Top 25 Political Icons'' of all time by TIME magazine, alongwith Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and Mao Zedong,the father of modern China.
Released on the 100th birth anniversary of the late USPresident Ronald Reagan, the TIME list figures names like thegreat conqueror Alexander the Great and some of history''s mostpolarising figures like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
Gandhi''s experiments with satyagraha -- the genesis ofthe non-violent methods of protest pioneered by him -- and hisleadership of India''s freedom movement that has inspired manyrevolutionaries of later years, led him to the top of the listof the 25 all time greats.
Describing Mohandas Gandhi as a figure "few will everforget", the prestigious magazine said his struggle paved theway for other social movements including America''s strugglefor civil rights.
"While working as a lawyer in South Africa, hepioneered the concept of satyagraha, or, civil disobedience inresponse to tyranny, helping Indians there campaign for civilrights," it said.
"Working with Jawaharlal Nehru, the nation''s futureprime minister, Gandhi led the country in peaceful protestagainst foreign domination, exemplified by the 1930 Salt Marchin protest to a British salt tax. His rise paved the way forIndia''s independence in 1947," it said.
Gandhi, who left behind a universal influence, hasinspired leaders like American civil rights movement leaderMartin Luther King and South Africa''s anti-apartheid championNelson Mandela, and also US President Barack Obama.
The 16th century Mughal Emperor Jalaluddin MohammadAkbar, a figure who played a major role in unifying thelargely scattered fiefdoms in northern India, also finds aplace in the elite list.
The ethos of pluralism and tolerance pioneered by theMuslim ruler in a Hindu-majority India underline the values ofthe modern republic of India, the magazine said.
The third Mughal ruler of India
presided over aflourishing of the arts, sponsoring artisans, poets, engineersand philosophers at a time when Europe was still in itspre-Renaissance stage.
"If ever a leader merited a tautology, it was theMughal Emperor Akbar the Great. Under Akbar, a fragilecollection of fiefs around Delhi grew into the great MughalEmpire, a diverse and sprawling kingdom across northernIndia," the magazine said.
"He was a canny warlord whose conquests gave rise toone of the early modern world''s wealthiest states. Moreover,while a Muslim, Akbar was spiritually curious and hostedreligious scholars from Hindu gurus to Jesuits at his vast,diverse court," it said. .