POWER-PACKED: The self-proclaimed leader of a new third front shines at 59th position.
New Delhi: Indian women are being recognised for the power they wield across the world.
Four Indian women feature in the Forbes list of the Hundred Most Powerful Women in the World.
chief Indra Nooyi has climbed up a few rungs to attain the number three
spot. After letting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh call the shots in the
Indo-US Nuclear Deal, Congress president Sonia Gandhi took a backseat
and slid down to the 21st position from the lofty sixth last year.
conquering the throne in Lucknow, the self-proclaimed leader of a new
third front, Mayawati, too made her debut in the elite club. The
Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief secured the 59th position in the list of
who’s who of the powerful and popular.
Mayawati has been talking of a possible successor so that she can vie for Manmohan Singh’s job.
stories of Indian women don’t stop there. Ninety-ninth but still making
the list is the founder of Biocon India, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.
Forbes recognition means that Indian women have arrived.
Mayawati as the head of India’s most populous state has been emerged
as one of the powerful political figure with her Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath stand. However,
realizing that BSP in its old clout wouldn’t be able to make it to the
all corners of the nation and all community, she won the assembly
election by orchestrating her novice ‘social engineering’ formula by
attracting electorates from upper castes and now planning to implement
it across the country.
Forbes described her as the “running to be prime minister”. The
magazine also mentioned about her alliance with upper caste Brahmins
which has subsequently resulted in increasing her party’s national
When CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat visited JD(S) leader
H.D. Deve Gowda last week to convince him about anointing BSP supremo
Mayawati as the prime ministerial candidate of the conglomeration of
regional parties, the quintessential Marxist was introduced to a
celestial prophecy: “My astrologer has predicted that I will become
prime minister again”.
Karat’s designer baby is in tatters as
too many prime minister hopefuls are banking on constellations as well
as political clout in their bid to lead the fledgling Third Front of 10
With Mayawati insisting that she be declared the prime
ministerial candidate and many regional satraps refusing to hand over
leadership, a massive battle of egos has become a constant irritant in
the Third Front’s effort to take off.
After their joint
meeting on July 23, the leaders of the 10-party alliance had announced
“joint campaigns against the UPA very soon”. Even after a month, those
campaigns are yet to go off the starting block.
There is no Laxman Rekha to it as of now,” said the JD(S) leader post his meeting with Karat.
Also, the seat sharing has become a contentious issue in the new alliance.Mayawati
New York, Aug 28 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Uttar
Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, PepsiCo chief executive Indra K. Nooyi
and Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw have been featured in the latest
annual list of “100 Most Powerful Women” compiled by Forbes
magazine.Nooyi and Gandhi rank high up at third and twenty-first
positions in the list, while Mayawati and Mazumdar-Shaw have been
ranked fifty-ninth and ninety-ninth, respectively.
The top slot in the list published in the magazine’s latest edition
has been given to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, followed next by
Sheila C. Bair, chairperson of the US-based Federal Deposit Insurance
“Gandhi, the Italian-born leader of India’s most powerful political
party, the Indian National Congress Party, has by now assumed the role
of an elder stateswoman,” the magazine said.
“Although she remains firmly at the head of the country’s ruling
party, a rising star, known by the single name Mayawati, is challenging
Gandhi’s position as the country’s most powerful woman,” the magazine
“Mayawati has aligned herself with the nationalist Hindu BJP
(Bharatiya Janata Party) and joined its members in vociferously
opposing Gandhi’s party’s historic agreement with the US on nuclear
According to Forbes, the annual ranking measured power as a
composite of public profile, calculated using press mentions, financial
heft, the money the person controls, job title and past career
“For the third year running, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is
the world’s most powerful woman. US Sen Hillary Clinton is the woman
with highest public profile, resulting from the intense media scrutiny
of her failed presidential bid.”
Nooyi, the magazine said, continued to grow PepsiCo, the $39 billion
food and beverage giant, through new product offerings like lifestyle
beverages, new line of oatmeal and granola bars, as well as
“Nooyi orchestrated a major expansion into international markets,
most notably with a $1.4 billion acquisition of a 75 percent stake in
Russian juice giant Lebedyansky,” the magazine added.
Commenting on Mayawati, the magazine said she was in the running for
the post of India’s prime minister, having become chief minister of
India’s most populous state at the age of 39 in 1995.
“In 2007, she shrewdly built an alliance with Brahmins, and the
Bahujan Samaj Party, which she heads, has started to increase its
national presence. Some say she could trail-blaze again as India’s
first Dalit prime minister.”
Mazumdar-Shaw, the magazine said, was trained in Australia as a
brewer but later founded Biocon in 1978 to make industrial enzymes with
a small Irish company - Biocon Biochemicals.
“Now a top-20 global biotech company, Biocon makes drugs, including
insulin and anti-cancer treatments, and its chairman is the dean of
India’s rapidly growing biotech industry.”
Forbes also mentioned that the Biocon founder donates half of her
dividends to fund hospitals and a health insurance programme for poor
villagers, and has won the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest
Washington, Aug 28 (IANS) With her prime ministerial ambitions,
Indian Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath leader Mayawati has crashed into the club of world’s 100
most powerful women even as Sonia Gandhi, head of India’s ruling
coalition, slipped a few notches.Making her debut at the 59th place in
the fifth annual Forbes list, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader is
said to “in the running to be prime minister, from her perch as chief
minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state”.
Gandhi, the Congress president and chairperson of the United
Progressive Alliance (UPA), has slipped to 21st position from her last
year’s sixth rank, with the “rising star” “challenging Gandhi’s
position as the country’s most powerful woman”, said the US magazine.
At No. 3, up from fifth last year, Indra Nooyi, the Indian-born
chairman of PepsiCo, is the highest-ranked woman in business as she
expands the food and beverage giant globally to counter a fall in
American preference for soda and chips.
Indian biotechnology firm Biocon’s Chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw at 99th is the third Indian on the list.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is rated the most powerful woman in
the world, topping the list for the third year running. US Federal
Deposit Insurance Corp chairman Sheila C. Bair follows her at the
second position. US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is ranked No. 7.
Gandhi, Mayawati and Shaw are the only three Indians on list, while
Nooyi is the only other person of Indian-origin. Last year’s list
included another person of Indian-origin Vidya Chhabria of the United
Arab Emirates, at 98th place, but she has dropped out this year.
Despite her fall from sixth position last year, Gandhi has outranked
people like Hillary Clinton (28th), Oprah Winfrey (36th), Melinda Gates
(40th), Laura Bush (44th) and Queen Elizabeth II (58th).
Besides, at her 59th position, Mayawati is also ranked higher than
MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath (60th), Finland President Tarja Halonen,
US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Hyundai Group Chairman
Hyun Jeong-Eun and Ireland President Mary McAleese.
Gandhi and Mayawati have also outranked Harvard University President
Drew Gilpin Faust, The New York Times Co President and CEO Janet L.
Robinson, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, London Stock Exchange CEO
Clara Furse, Western Union CEO Christina Gold, Time Inc CEO Ann Moore
and Deloitte Chairperson Sharon Allen.
“Gandhi, the Italian-born leader of India’s most powerful political
party, the Indian National Congress Party, has by now assumed the role
of elder stateswoman,” says Forbes.
But “although she remains firmly at the head of the country’s ruling
party, a rising star, known by the single name Mayawati, is challenging
Gandhi’s position as the country’s most powerful woman.
“Mayawati has aligned herself with the nationalist Hindu BJP party
and joined its members in vociferously opposing Gandhi’s party’s
historic agreement with the US on nuclear cooperation,” Forbes says,
taking note of BSP’s withdrawal of outside support to the UPA coalition
on the eve of last month’s trust vote in parliament.
“In the running to be prime minister, from her perch as chief
minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state,” Mayawati at
39, was the youngest politician elected to the post and also the first Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath to head a state government in 1995, notes the magazine.
She “commands a large following and goes simply by Mayawati. In 2007
she shrewdly built an alliance with Brahmins, and the BSP, which she
heads, has started to increase its national presence. Some say she
could trail-blaze again as India’s first Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath Prime Minister”, it said.
According to Forbes, its annual ranking of the most powerful women
in the world measures “power” as a composite of public profile and
financial heft. The economic component considers job title and past
career accomplishments, as well as the amount of money the woman
controls. In total, the women ranked on the list control $26 trillion
Others in the top 10 include WellPoint CEO Angela Braly, Anglo
American Cynthia Carroll, Kraft Foods chief Irene B. Rosenfeld, Temasek
Holdings CEO Ho Ching, Areva CEO Anne Lauvergeon and Xerox Corp CEO
Six of the 10 most powerful women are from the US, while one each are from Britain, Germany, France and Singapore.
AZAMGARH DISTRICT, India
— When Chandra Bhan Prasad visits his ancestral village in these feudal
badlands of northern India, he dispenses the following advice to his
fellow untouchables: Get rid of your cattle, because the care of
animals demands children’s labor. Invest in your children’s education
instead of in jewelry or land. Cities are good for Dalit outcastes like
us, and so is India’s new capitalism.
Mr. Prasad was born into the
Pasi community, once considered untouchable on the ancient Hindu caste
order. Today, a chain-smoking, irrepressible did act, he is the rare
outcaste columnist in the English language press and a professional
provocateur. His latest crusade is to argue that India’s economic
liberalization is about to do the unthinkable: destroy the caste
system. The last 17 years of new capitalism have already allowed his
people, or Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath , as they call themselves, to “escape hunger and
humiliation,” he says, if not residual prejudice.
At a time of
tremendous upheaval in India, Mr. Prasad is a lightning rod for one of
the country’s most wrenching debates: Has India’s embrace of economic
reforms really uplifted those who were consigned for centuries to the
bottom of the social ladder? Mr. Prasad, who guesses himself to be in
his late 40s because his birthday was never recorded, is an anomaly,
often the lone Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath in Delhi gatherings of high-born intelligentsia.
has the zeal of an ideological convert: he used to be a Maoist
revolutionary who, by his own admission, dressed badly, carried a
pistol and recruited his people to kill their upper-caste landlords. He
claims to have failed in that mission.
Mr. Prasad is a
contrarian. He calls government welfare programs patronizing. He
dismisses the countryside as a cesspool. Affirmative action is fine, in
his view, but only to advance a small slice into the middle class, who
can then act as role models. He calls English “the Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharathgoddess,” able
to liberate Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath.
Along with India’s economic policies, once
grounded in socialist ideals, Mr. Prasad has moved to the right. He is
openly and mischievously contemptuous of leftists. “They have a hatred
for those who are happy,” he said.
There are about 200 million Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath, or members of the Scheduled Castes, as they are known
officially, in India. They remain socially scorned in city and country,
and they are over-represented among India’s uneducated, malnourished
The debate over caste in the New India is more than
academic. India’s leaders are under growing pressure to alleviate
poverty and inequality. Now, all kinds of groups are clamoring for what Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath have had for 50 years — quotas in university seats, government
jobs and elected office — making caste one of the country’s most
divisive political issues. Moreover, there are growing demands for
caste quotas in the private sector.
Mr. Prasad’s latest mission
is sure to stir the debate. He is conducting a qualitative survey of
nearly 20,000 households here in northern state of Uttar Pradesh to
measure how everyday life has changed for Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath since economic
liberalization began in 1991. The preliminary findings, though far from
generalizable, reveal subtle shifts.
The survey, financed by the University of Pennsylvania,
finds that Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharathare far less likely to be engaged in their
traditional caste occupations — for instance, the skinning of animals,
considered ritually unclean — than they used to be and more likely to
enjoy social perks once denied them. In rural Azamgarh District, for
instance, nearly all Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath households said their bridegrooms now rode
in cars to their weddings, compared with 27 percent in 1990. In the
past, Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath would not have been allowed to ride even horses to meet
their brides; that was considered an upper-caste privilege.
Prasad credits the changes to a booming economy. “It has pulled them
out of the acute poverty they were in and the day-to-day humiliation of
working for a landlord,” he said.
When he was a child, Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath like him had to address their
upper-caste landlords as “babu-saab,” close to “master.” Now it is
acceptable to call them “uncle” or “brother,” just as people would
members of their own castes.
Today, Mr. Kumar, 61 and uneducated,
owns an airless one-room factory on the outskirts of Delhi, with a
basic gas-fired machine to press bolts of fabric for garment
manufacturers. With money earned there, he and his sons have built a
proper brick and cement house in their village.
are echoed in many other villages across India. But here is the problem
with Mr. Prasad’s survey. Even if it chronicles progress, the survey
cannot tie it to any one cause, least of all economic changes. In fact,
other empirical studies in this budding area of inquiry show that in
parts of India where economic liberalization has had the greatest
impact, neither rural poverty nor the plight of Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharathhas consistently
Abhijit Banerjee, an economist at M.I.T.
who studies poverty in India, says that the reform years coincide with
the rise of Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath politicians, and that both factors may have
contributed to a rise in confidence among Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath.
India’s caste prohibitions have made sure that some can prosper more
easily than others. India’s new knowledge-based economy rewards the
well-educated and highly skilled, and education for centuries was the
preserve of the upper castes.
Today, discrimination continues,
with some studies suggesting that those with familiar lower-caste names
fare worse in job interviews, even with similar qualifications. The
Indian elite, whether corporate heads, filmmakers, even journalists, is
still dominated by the upper castes.
From across India still come reports of brutality against untouchables trying to transcend their destiny.
is a measure of the hardships of rural India that so many Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath in
recent years are migrating to cities for back-breaking, often
unregulated jobs, and that those who remain in their villages consider
sharecropping a step up from day labor.
On a journey across
these villages with Mr. Prasad, it is difficult to square the utter
destitution of his people with Dalit empowerment. In one village, the
government health center has collapsed into a pile of bricks. Few homes
have toilets. Children run barefoot. In Gaddopur, the Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath neighborhood still sits on the edge of the village — so as not to
pollute the others, the thinking goes — and in the monsoon, when the
fields are flooded, the only way to reach the Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath’ homes is to tramp
ankle deep in mud. The land that leads to the Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath enclave is owned by
intermediate castes, and they have not allowed for it to be used to
build a proper brick lane.
Indu Jaiswal, 21, intends to be the
first Dalit woman of Gaddopur to get a salaried job. She has persuaded
her family to let her defer her marriage by a few years, an audacious
demand here, so she could finish college and get a stable government
job. “With education comes change,” Ms. Jaiswal said. “You learn how to
talk. You learn how to work. And you get more respect.”
education, the migrants from Gaddopur also know, they can go only so
far in the big cities that Mr. Prasad so ardently praises. Their
fabric-pressing factories in and around Delhi have been losing business
lately, as the big textile factories acquire computerized machines far
more efficient than their own crude contraptions. One man with
knowledge of computers can do the work of 10 of their men, they say.
Neither Mr. Kumar, nor the two sons who work with him, can afford to
buy these new machines. Even if they could, they know nothing about
The village Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath do not challenge Mr. Prasad with
such contradictions as he travels among them preaching the virtues of
economic liberalization. He is a big man, a success story that makes
Among the broad generalizations he favors, he says
that Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath aspire to marry upper-caste Brahmins to step up the ladder.
He married a woman from his own caste, who, he proudly points out, is
light-skinned. Across the caste ladder, fair complexion is still
preferred over dark.
“Economic expansion is going to neutralize caste in 50 years,” he predicted. “It will not end caste.”“vinaya rakkhita”
On Thursday night, August 28th, Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for .
More than 80,000 people joined him in Denver to be part of the moment,
and tens of millions more shared the experience across the country.
Watch Barack’s historic speech and share it with your friends and family today:
The first time I ever heard Barack speak was at a community meeting on the South Side of Chicago.
He won me over with the same message that inspired millions last night.
He told people who’d been knocked down that, despite everything, we
need to set our sights on a better place around the bend — and that
it’s up to each one of us to fight for it.
That’s where you come in.
More than two million supporters already own a piece of this
extraordinary campaign. Will you join them by making your first
donation right now?
Make a donation of $5 or more today:
Now that the convention is over, time will fly between now and Election Day.
And the next two days are especially important.
The August fundraising deadline is this Sunday at midnight, and we can
prove that a campaign funded by grassroots supporters can compete with and the Republicans.
The past four days in Denver — and the amazing event last night — showed the country that Americans are ready for change.
Now it’s up to each of us to make it happen.
Thanks for everything you’re doing,