NEW YORK: Pakistani-American actor-writer Kumail Nanjiani, Deepika Padukone, Virat Kohli have been featured on Times’ 100 Influential People in the World list sharing space with names like Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Nicole Kidman, Gal Gadot and Greta Gerwig.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, of Pakistani descent, along with #MeToo founder Tarana Burke is also part of the list.
Kumail is featured in the Pioneers section of the list, which honours people who have broken new ground in their respective fields of work.
In the accompanying note by writer Judd Apatow, Kumail has been hailed as “the new comedic voice that we need”:
“Kumail is one of our most hilarious, unique stand-up comedians. But what is most exciting about him is that he is the new comedic voice that we need. His incredibly funny Saturday Night Live monologue made it impossible not to see the ridiculousness of intolerance. He reminds people how fundamental a misunderstanding it is that a community of almost 2 billion people is to be feared. We’re lucky to have Kumail. We need a thousand more.”
Deepika’s note was penned by her xXx: Return of Xander Cage co-star Vin Diesel.
He wrote: “Making that movie, Deepika took committed to a whole other level. That’s who she is as a performer. She wants the whole movie to shine, which is a rare thing. Anyone could talk about how beautiful she is, and anyone could tell you about her unmatched comedic timing. But she isn’t just a star. She’s an actor’s actor, dedicated to the craft.”
Deepika was the only Indian actress to feature on the list. She is currently one of the highest paid actors of Indian cinema today, along with 18 brands in her portfolio and a strong social media presence.
Apart from her work as an artist, Deepika’s philanthropic side has seen her spreading awareness on the condition of mental illness. She has spoken about her battle with depression and has been working towards creating awareness with her NGO The Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLF).
Indian cricketer Virat Kohli was on the list of Titans. His note was penned by Sachin Tendulkar who is considered as one of the greatest cricketers of all times.
Sachin wrote, “The U-19 World Cup in 2008 was very important for India, as it would define the next bunch of youngsters who would go on to represent the nation. That was the first time I watched this young, passionate player lead India. Today Virat Kohli is a household name and a champion in cricket. Even back then, his hunger for runs and consistency was remarkable, something that has become the hallmark of his game.”
“Every sportsman knows what it’s like to have good spells and bad ones too. Virat took the criticism he faced during a disappointing West Indies series and returned home with a goal: to improve not only his technique but also his fitness level. He’s never looked back.”
According to Time, the 100 Most Influential list “is a designation of individuals whose time, in our estimation, is now. The TIME 100 isn’t a measure of power, though many on the list wield it. Nor is it a collection of milestones accumulated,” but it is in fact, “those with stunning lifetime achievements.”
It is “always a reflection of its moment.”