At a time when there is a virtual scramble for first State Dinner of US President Barack Obama on November 24 in honour of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a US news outlet has come out with its own top 10 wish list of the invitees.
Topping the list released by Politico — known for coverage of the Capitol Hill and the White House — is top industrialist Mukesh Ambani, who met the President early this year. He is followed by writer-turned-activist Arundhati Roy.
“As India has assumed a larger role on the global stage, Roy has spoken out against globalisation, Indian poverty and the country’s nuclear weapons programme — though she has often stirred up controversy,” Politico said and put Thomas Friedman, author of The World is Flat next on the list, followed by Bollywood stars Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
“Rai and Bachchan (or Aish and Abhi, as they are known to their fans) are the biggest stars of Bollywood. They have billions — not millions — of fans; Bachchan has starred in more than 40 movies, and Rai can earn up to USD 15 million per film. If Obama needed to boost his popularity around the world, here is his ticket to the heart of India,” it said.
West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi too makes it to the wish list on the basis of him being the grandsons of Mahatma Gandhi; given the personal admiration of the Father of the Nation by Obama.
“But politics and admiration for Mohandas aren’t the only things that Gopalkrishna and Obama have in common — both have written books, and both have two daughters,” it said.
Bobby Jindal, the first Indian-American to be elected as Governor of a US State, Raj Goyle — the fast emerging young Democratic leaders are the two Indian-American politicians in the wish list; which also includes Raghubir Goyal, White House Correspondent, India Globe.