- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee are in the Leaders category, while Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India is among Pioneers.
Indian-American activist Manjusha P. Kulkarni is on Time magazine’s ‘Most Influential’ an annual list of scientists and health care leaders, climate leaders, pop culture figures and athletes divided into several categories. Kulkarni, the co-founder of nonprofit Stop AAPI Hate, is listed in the Icons category with Russell Jeung and Cynthia Choi. Kulkarni currently serves as the executive director at the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), a coalition of organizations working for the rights of the oppressed.
AAPI Hate aims for change fighting to end racism against South Asian ethnic communities in the U.S.. “Since its start, the organization has logged more than 9,000 anti-Asian acts of hate, harassment, discrimination and assault across the country,” writes poet and author Cathy Park Hong. “Stop AAPI Hate has become not only an invaluable resource for the public to understand the realities of anti-Asian racism but also a major platform for finding community-based solutions to combat hate,” Hong writes. “And its leaders have locked arms with other BIPOC organizations to find restorative justice measures so that civil rights—for all vulnerable groups—receive the protection they deserve.”
Joining Kulkarni in TIME 100 is Vice President Kamala Devi Harris, the most high-profile Indian American currently. In Harris’ profile in Times magazine, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi writes about how “America took a glorious step into the future,” after Harris’ election as vice president. “Children in America were awakened to new possibilities. People around the world saw America in a new light. There was joy in the air, not just because Kamala Harris was the first woman and first Black person and first Asian person to become Vice President, but because the country saw what Joe Biden knew: that Kamala Harris was the best,” she wrote.
Pelosi, who has known Harris “for a long time, said that the two of them are “Californians with a common motivation: family.” Talking about Harris’ mother, Shyamala Gopalan, Pelosi wrote about how she “raised her two daughters as she worked as a scientist to cure breast cancer.” Noting that Harris’ mother’s self-determination drives her to work — “whether that is providing tangible relief to families, lifting up women in the workforce or defending the right to vote,” Pelosi stated that Harris “wants everyone to have the opportunity to determine their future.”
Joining Harris in the Leaders category is Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Included in the Pioneers section is Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India. From the beginning of the pandemic, Poonawalla “sought to meet the moment,” wrote journalist Abhishyant Kidangoor in Poonawala’s profile in Time In March, Poonawala told Kidangoor that he didn’t want to have regrets when history judges his actions. “But over the course of this year, a series of issues—a fire at his plant in Pune, India; trouble securing necessary raw materials; and a vaccine export ban amid India’s second wave of COVID-19—slowed his ambitions, and left many countries scrambling to find other sources of the vaccines,” Kidangoor wrote.”The pandemic is not over yet, and Poonawalla could still help end it. Vaccine inequality is stark, and delayed immunization in one part of the world can have global consequences—including the risk of more dangerous variants emerging.”
Prominent names like singer Billie Ellish, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, tennis star Naomi Osaka, gymnast Simone Biles, and Apple CEO Tim Cook, are included in this year’s list.
“I find reason for optimism… in our 18th annual TIME100 list of the world’s most influential people,” wrote TIME CEO and editor in chief Edward Felsenthal. “It features extraordinary leaders from around the world working to build a better future, from entertainers striving to make Hollywood more inclusive to activists fighting for sustainability and human rights….They are disruptors, fixers, doers, iconoclasts, problem so