German Chancellor Angel Merkel heads list compiled by British magazine New Statesman
Ratan Tata and Sonia Gandhi — in that order — figure in a survey of the world's “50 most influential people'' published by Britain's left-wing magazine New Statesman.
Described as “Madam India,” Ms. Gandhi is included for the political power she wields as much in her capacity as the chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance as by virtue of being a member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.
“Italian-born Sonia Gandhi is widely considered as one of the most powerful politicians in India, becoming the longest-serving president in the history of the Indian National Congress on being re-elected for the fourth time in September 2010,'' says the magazine highlighting the fact that she is “daughter-in-law of the former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.''
Mr. Tata, dubbed “Metal Head,” is hailed as a symbol of “India's emergence as an international powerhouse'' and credited with giving Indian business a global reach with the acquisition by the Tata Group of the British steel manufacturer Corus and the prestigious Jaguar Land Rover car business. His statement that his successor need not be an Indian is described as a “sign that his is a truly global business.”
The list headed by German Chancellor Angel Merkel, who is locked in a life-and-death political struggle to save the Euro, features a number of controversial figures, including the head of the Pakistan army Ashfaq Kiyani wrestling with a difficult relationship with America over fighting terrorism; the Republican Tea Party leader Michele Bachmann described as “scarier than Sarah [Palin]''; and al-Qaeda's “spiritual leader'' Anwar al-Awlaki .