Months after Steve Forbes vilified demonetisation, his magazine cites noteban as Narendra Modi’s success

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New Delhi | Updated: May 9, 2018 1:40:48 PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been ranked among the world's top 10 most powerful people of 2018 by Forbes magazine.

modi karnatakaA supporter of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wearing a face mask of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi flashes victory sign during an election campaign rally in Bangalore, India, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. Modi is in Karnataka to campaign for his Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of Karnataka state elections which are scheduled to be held on May 12, 2018. (AP Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been ranked among the world’s top 10 most powerful people of 2018 by Forbes magazine. At the ninth position, PM Modi is ahead of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (ranked 13), United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May (14), Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (15) and Apple CEO Tim Cook (24).

Forbes has listed four points to explain Modi’s popularity and influence. It says, “India’s populist prime minister remains hugely popular in the second most populous country on earth, with a population of 1.3 billion people.”

It further says the Indian prime minister has “raised his profile as a global leader in recent years during official visits with Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.”

Further, Forbes says, Modi has emerged as a key figure in the international effort to tackle climate change, as warming affects millions of his country’s rural citizens.”

Though Modi has taken several decisions in the last four years of his rule, Forbes specifically cites demonetisation among the four points it has mentioned in praise of the Indian prime minister. “In November 2016 he unexpectedly announced plans to eliminate India’s two largest banknotes in a bid to reduce money laundering and corruption,” Forbes says.

Forbes citing demonetisation in praise of Modi is interesting as it comes around 16 months after Steve Forbes, chief editor of the international magazine had literally vilified noteban.

In a scathing article that appeared in January 24, 2017 issue of the magazine, Steve Forbes had said, “What India has done is commit a massive theft of people’s property without even the pretense of due process–a shocking move for a democratically elected government.”

“By stealing property, further impoverishing the least fortunate among its population and undermining social trust, thereby poisoning politics and hurting future investment, India has immorally and unnecessarily harmed its people, while setting a dreadful example for the rest of the world,” he added.

While compiling the list of world’s most powerful people, Forbes considered people from all parts of life. Their power was measured on four criteria – whether the person enjoys power over a large section of people; their financial resources; their power in multiple spheres and whether they used it actively.

The Forbes list of most powerful people of the world this year is topped by Chinese president Xi Jinping. He is followed by Vladimir Putin, President, Russia; Donald Trump, President, United States; Angela Merkel, Chancellor, Germany; Jeff Bezos, CEO and Founder,; Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome, Roman Catholic Church; Bill Gates, Cofounder, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince, Saudi Arabia.

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