Six Persons of Indian-origin have made to the prestigious 2020 TIME100 List of the world’s most influential people. They are: Ravindra Gupta, a professor of clinical microbiology at the Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease at the University of Cambridge; Ayushman Khurana, Indian actor, singer, and television host; Sen. Kamala Harris, Vice Presidential running mate of Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden in the United States; Indian Prime Minister Naredra Modi; Alphabet CEO and Google head Sundar Pichai; and Bilkis, Shaheen Bagh’s ‘dadi’.
Other people in the TIME 100 List are: Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, Angela Merkel, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and William Barr. To coincide with the launch of its annual list of the world’s most influential people, TIME is also hosting 2020 TIME100 honorees for a special three-part series of consecutive TIME100 Talks, TIME’s series of virtual conversations that convenes influential leaders across fields to encourage cross-disciplinary action toward a better world. This series of TIME100 Talks is airing on September 23, 24 and 25 on Time.com and across TIME’s social media platforms.
“The TIME100 is more than a list. It’s a community of hundreds of leaders from across the years and around the world whose visions can guide us and whose achievements can bring us hope,” said TIME executive editor and editorial director of the TIME100 Dan Macsai. “We look forward to convening this community for this special series of TIME100 Talks.”
Thousands of people participated in last year’s widespread protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh. Three feisty grandmothers also took part in these demonstrations surrounded by young women with prayer beads in one hand and the national flag in the other.
One of the Shaheen Bagh grandmothers (Dadi), 82-year-old Bilkis who became the face of the Shaheen Bagh protests in India, has featured among Time Magazine’s top 100 most influential personalities in the world. While she is happy about the praises garnered, she also congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has now featured four times in the magazine’s influential personalities’ list.
In the latest influential people’s list released by Time Magazine, Bilkis has been placed in the ‘Icon’ category. Bilkis told IANS, “I am very happy that I have been honored with such respect. Although I did not expect this but who knows whom God gives recognition?”
“I have only read the Quran and never went to school. But today I am happy, congratulations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too. He is also my son. I did not give him birth but that does not mater. God bless him with a long life and always give him happiness,” Bilkis added. “Our fight first is with corona, the disease must be eliminated from the world only then something can be thought of the world after that,” the 82-year-old added.
Grandmother Bilkis, who emerged as the face of the NRC-CAA protests, originally hails from Hapur. Her husband died nearly 11 years back. At present, she lives in Shaheen Bagh with her sons, daughter-in-laws and grandchildren.
Bilkis’ family is also happy that her name has featured alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Time Magazine’s 100 ‘Most Influential People’ in the world list.
The TIME coverage included a brief write-up on Khurrana by actress and friend, Deepika , Padukone. In a statement Khurrana said, “I’m truly humbled with the recognition that TIME has bestowed on me. As an artiste, I have only looked to contribute towards bringing a positive change in society through cinema and this moment is a huge validation of my belief system and my journey. I have always believed that cinema has the power to bring about change by triggering the right conversations among people and society. Hopefully, through my content choices, I have been able to contribute towards my country and countrymen.”
After dabbling for some years in theatre and television, Khurrana made his Bollywood debut with the Shoojit Sircar directed ‘Vicky Donor’. He went on to act in critically acclaimed and commercially successful films such as Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Andhadhun, Badhaai Ho, Article 15, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, and Bala.
His latest work is featured on Amazon Prime Video’s dramedy Gulabo Sitabo, where he shared screen space with Amitabh Bachchan for the first time.
Other Indians featured on the list include Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, London based doctor Ravindra Gupta, who found a cure for AIDs and Bilkis – Shaheen Bagh ‘Dadi’ who has been a vocal critic of the Indian government’s Citizenship Amendment Act, which opponents contend singles out Muslims by not mentioning them among those favored for citizenships status.