TIME's 100 Most Influential People: RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani, lawyers Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju in 2019 list

Lawyers Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju were instrumental in the overturning of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code

FP Staff April 17, 2019 19:39:37 IST
TIME's 100 Most Influential People: RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani, lawyers Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju in 2019 list
  • Lawyers Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju were instrumental in the overturning of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

  • Arundhati and Menaka became beacons of hope for the Indian LGBTQ+ community, reads a profile of the duo by Priyanka Chopra.

  • TIME's list also includes comedian and TV host Hasan Minhaj, Tiger Woods, Mohamed Salah, Pope Francis, Donald Trump, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani.

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani and lawyers Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju -- who were instrumental in the overturning of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code -- are among the 100 named in TIME magazine's list of most influential people for the year 2019.

Writing the TIME100 profile for Ambani,  Chairman of the Mahindra group, Anand Mahindra, said Ambani's father Dhirubhai was a visionary in Indian business whose Reliance Industries conglomerate pioneered ways of targeting global scale. "But Mukesh's vision is now even more ambitious than that of the father whose blessings he unfailingly invokes at the launch of each initiative," Mahindra wrote referring to the scale of the launch of Reliance Jio mobile data network which has already connected over 280 million people in India with low-cost 4G. (Reliance Jio has since crossed the 300 million subscribers mark.)

Mahindra cites Ambani's promise in 2003 through an advertising tagline that his company would "put the world in the palm of your hand" and goes on to say: "It won't be long before he delivers on that promise."

TIMEs 100 Most Influential People RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani lawyers Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju in 2019 list

The petitioners in the Section 377 matter outside the Supreme Court with advocates Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju. Twitter @barandbench

"Armed with a well-planned strategy that went beyond their well-researched legal arguments, Arundhati and Menaka became beacons of hope for the Indian LGBTQ+ community. Their perseverance and commitment led an entire community to a historic win by humanising their struggles and giving them the freedom to love," reads a profile written by Priyanka Chopra for the duo.

The Supreme Court of India struck down parts of Section 377 in an unanimous verdict delivered on 6 September 2018, thus decriminalising 'unnatural' sex. The judgment came on writ petitions filed by journalist Sunil Mehra, dancer Navtej Jauhar, chef Ritu Dalmia, business executive Ayesha Kapur, hoteliers Aman Nath and Keshav Suri and 20 former and current students of the IITs.

"I am a great believer in the Constitution and the Supreme Court, and the potential of both to expand freedom in India... We are not just a country of 1.3 billion Indians. We are 1.3 billion Constitutional stakeholders, and the Court spoke for all of India yesterday," said Menaka to Bar and Bench, in the aftermath of the verdict.

TIME's list also includes comedian and TV host Hasan Minhaj, Tiger Woods, Mohamed Salah, Pope Francis, Donald Trump and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

-- With inputs from PTI

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