Advocates Menaka Guruswamy, Arundhati Katju on Time’s 100 ‘most influential’ people list

Supreme Court advocates Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju, and Reliance Industries’ chairman Mukesh Ambani were among the Indians who have been named in Time magazine’s prestigious list of 100 most influential people in the world for 2019.

Katju and Guruswamy led the fight for equal rights for the LGBTQ community in India and were lead lawyers representing the petitioners seeking to decriminalise homosexual activity between consenting adults, which was punishable by up to 10 years in jail according to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

“Arundhati and Menaka have helped take a giant step for LGBTQ+ rights in the world’s largest democracy,” wrote actor Priyanka Chopra in her profile of the advocates. “In their committed fight for justice, they have shown us that we as a society must continue to make progress, even after laws are changed, and that we must make an effort to understand, accept and love.”

Businessman Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra Group, wrote a profile for Ambani. “Back in 2003, Ambani promised Indians in a well-known advertising tagline that his company would ‘put the world in the palm of your hand’. It won’t be long before he delivers on that promise,” Mahindra said.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, United States President Donald Trump, former first lady of the US Michelle Obama, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed were among the politicians mentioned on the list. Indian-American comedian Hasan Minhaj also appeared on the list.

Among artists, Oscar-winning Lady Gaga and Rami Malek, Taylor Swift, BTS music band, Dwayne Johnson, Sandra Oh, Brie Larson and Ariana Grande were mentioned. Pope Francis, who was also mentioned on the list, had a profile written by Archbishop Charles J Scicluna.