activist Anna Hazare, software czar Azim Premji and four other
Indians have been named in the US-based Foreign Policy magazine's
list of the top 100 global thinkers for 2011.
Economist Abhijit Banerjee, writer-activist Arundhati Roy,
researcher Deepa Narayan and scholar Arvind Subramanian are the
other Indians in the list topped by Arab activists who helped
bring democracy to the Middle East. US President Barack Obama is
ranked 11th on the list.
Nine Indians figured in the 2010 list. The highest spot to an
Indian this year went to Premji, ranked at 14, who the magazine
called the "Bill Gates of India".
"It's not just because of Azim Premji's enormous wealth that he is
compared to the American technologist turned philanthropist," the
magazine said about India's third richest citizen with a net worth
of $13 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
"It is Premji's unprecedented philanthropy, that recently has
borne out the Gates comparison," it said noting the chairman of
the IT firm Wipro, recently contributed nearly $2 billion to a
rural education project.
Anna Hazare, who is leading a popular campaign demanding tough new
laws to curb corruption, is the next Indian who features on the
list, ranked at number 37. He figures for "asking the world's
largest democracy to live up to its billing".
"The simplicity and single-mindedness of Hazare's crusade has
awakened millions of middle-class professionals who are fed up
with India's pervasive culture of graft," the magazine said.
Economist Abhijit Banerjee, who teaches at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, was ranked 60th along with fellow
economist Esther Duflo for their book, Poor Economics, on the
Poverty researcher Deepa Narayan (rank 79) gets on the list for
"seeing the poor as more than victims", while the author of 'The
God of Small Things", Arundhati Roy (rank 94) is described as the
"voice of India's voiceless".
Arvind Subramanian, a senior fellow at Washington's Peterson
Institute for International Economics was ranked 97 on the list
for "sounding the alarm on China's economic ascendancy" in his new
book Eclipse: Living in the Shadow of China's Economic Dominance.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at email@example.com)