RANK 1 – Narendra Damodardas Modi, 66
Prime Minister of India | (Rank 2016: 1)
Because nearly three years into his term, he remains the unchallenged Number 1. Because under him, the BJP looks unstoppable, forcing the Opposition to continually play catch-up. Every key move the Modi government makes — from surgical strikes to demonetisation — is done in his name. Under him, the Prime Minister’s Office wields almost absolute power, inviting awe and criticism in equal measure. His relentless campaigning fuelled the party’s sweep in Uttar Pradesh, setting the stage for 2019. His constant communication underlines the power of his politics.
Demonetisation. Its economics may have been suspect but its politics was pure gold. He proved his critics wrong and projected the hugely disruptive note ban as a transformational reform that people must support for the greater good. And they did.
Halfway into his term, he’s looking beyond 2019. Economy and employment, rising expectations of the young remain his key challenges at home that will also define his place in the world.
By the way
NOTE: He loves photography, shoots a lot and always directs photographers even as he poses for them.
COMING NEXT ON RANK 2 AMIT SHAH