The Indian Express presents Most Powerful Indians in 2012

Powerful Indians

Power is defined as the ability to influence people and events. By that yardstick, The Indian Express power list 2012 shows power is more variable than ever before.

There are 27 new names, there's also considerable churn in the names that make up the top 30. There are seven new names in the top 30 and significant changes in ranking for others, pointing to some major developments over the past 12 months. For one, the big story of the year was clearly the Anna Hazare-led movement against corruption.

Click to view The Power List 2012

That development reflected the changing contours of political power at the national level, with the UPA government tainted by scandals, paving the way for an increasingly aggressive and more influential Opposition. There has also been a reshuffle in the list of establishment figures who have fallen or risen according to the roles they have played in the series of crises that hit the UPA-II government. There are some intriguing changes elsewhere on the list, with the 2G scandal, the global economic crisis and slowdown in reforms impacting the corporate sector.

These changes were what our jury looked at when they got down to the tough job of picking the 100 most powerful people in a country of 1.2 billion. As always, the jury's decisions were based on the candidate's ability to command influence as also the fact that power can be "negative"—the power to disrupt, to block.

The Indian Express annual power list is reflective of social, economic and political change in India. The rise of social activism is definitely reflected in the top 30 list as well as in the list of new entrants. Equally, quite a few names are connected with cinema or music, an indication that the entertainment industry has gained in influence.

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