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Time magazine lists two Indians among 100 'shapers of the world'

Written by: Staff

New York, May 1 (UNI) Two Indians have figured among five South Asians, on the list of Time magazine's 100 most influential people -- described as ''shapers of the world''.

The list was published in the magazine's May 8 issue, which is currently available on newsstands.

The South Asians are -- Mr Vikram Akula (India), Mr Nandan Nilekani (India), Gen Pervez Musharraf (Pakistan), Ms Mukhtaran Mai (Pakistan) and King Jigme Singye Wangchuk (Bhutan).

Mr Akula, 37, a non-resident Indian, is founder of SKS Microfinance, which disburses small venture capital loans to poor people who make the equivalent of 2 dollars or less a day.

Over the past 15 years, India's identity has undergone one of the biggest transformations that any country has ever experienced.

''One of the Indian engineer-entrepreneurs most responsible for creating the new reality that has produced this new Indian image is Nandan Nilekani,'' the magazine said.

''Seattle has Bill (Gates). Bangalore has Nandan. He is founder, and currently president of Infosys Technologies Ltd.'' The magazine questioned whether Gen Musharraf is the best bet of Western nations. ''Musharraf styles himself a blunt-talking soldier.

Yet his rule has a circus quality-half high-wire act, half tiger riding,'' the New York-based weekly said.

''Musharraf remains the West's best bet in Pakistan. The question is whether he is good enough.'' Referring to Ms Mukhtaran Mai alias Bibi, the Pakistani woman, who was assaulted by four men and paraded naked through a village, the magazine said, ''There are perhaps thousands of such honour crimes' in Pakistan each year. Survivors are more likely to kill themselves or be killed by their families than turn to a legal system.'' ''But Bibi went to court. Her bravery attracted support from international media and women's groups, and her attackers were convicted.'' The word's youngest King Wangchuk of Bhutan (he came to power in 1972) rules his people more in the spirit of Buddha than of more worldly princes.

Despite being the King, he announced that he would step down from power two years from now to pave the way for the Himalayan kingdom's first national democratic election. ''Nations must be measured by gross national happiness','' the King once said.

''The rich are not always happy, after all, while the happy generally consider themselves rich.'' The list includes US President George W Bush, Ms Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ms Condoleezza Rice, Ms Angela Merkel, Mr Junichiro Koizumi Mr Bill Gates, Ms Melinda Gates, former US President Bill Clinton and Mr Al Gore.


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