This year’s TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People 2020 has its share of South Asians – but their stories are as varied as they come. From top people in Tech to politicians to humble civilians. There is reason to be elated for the inclusive approach and perhaps more reason to cheer about the underlying message that was written about each person. Let’s check out these TIME ‘tested’ South Asians.
Indian origin HIV biologist, Professor Ravindra Gupta is the professor of Clinical Microbiology and Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow in Clinical Science at The University of Cambridge and faculty at the Africa Health Research Institute in Durban, South Africa. In March 2019, Gupta led a team demonstrating HIV remission in an HIV positive man with advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma following an ‘unrelated’ stem cell transplant.
The only actor from Bollywood to feature in this list, Ayushmann Khurrana truly deserves it. With a knack of choosing scripts with out-of-the-box themes, he is famous for his roles in “Andhadhun,” in which he played a blind man, a man suffering from erectile dysfunction in “Shubh Mangal Saavdhan,” a gay man in “Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan 2′” and a bald man in “Bala.”
Taking the election on with her part South Asian heritage, Kamala Harris broke barriers in California, made history in the US Senate, and now she’s the first Black woman and first Indian American to be nominated for Vice President by Joe Bidden of the Democratic Party.
He may have been named as one of the most influential leaders in the world but in a more negative light than TIME has ever spoken about him before. Karl Vick, an editor at TIME wrote, “Though almost all of India’s Prime Ministers have come from the nearly 80% of the population that is Hindu, only Modi has governed as if no one else matters.”
Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase has aptly put who this man is, “Sundar Pichai’s uniquely American story—emigrating from India as a young adult and working his way to become CEO of a $1 trillion corporation—represents the best of what we aspire for our society.”
Perhaps the most iconic South Asian in the list is this 82-year-old Indian woman who became the voice of the marginalized Muslim community during the protests against the CAA in New Delhi, India. Fondly called ‘Dadi,’ as Indian journalist wrote, “she became a strength to activists and student leaders who were being thrown behind bars for standing up for the unpopular truth in a democracy that was sliding into authoritarianism, and inspired peaceful copycat protests across the country.”
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the world goes by, Pallavi is optimistic to a fault and believes in building her world on her own rather than depending on others to make things right.