21 Dec : Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan have been ranked among the 50 most powerful people in the world by the prestigious US-based magazine ‘Newsweek’ magazine in a list topped by President-elect Barack Obama.
Pakistan army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who controls the the country’s nuclear weapons, is placed 20th on the list of the global "power elite" at the beginning of 2009 in the magazine’s January issue.
Obama, who scripted history by becoming the first black-American to be voted to the White House, is followed by Chinese President Hu Jintao, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Markel and powerful Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
A surprise inclusion in the list, which the magazine admits is subjective, is Osama bin Laden, whom the Newsweek describes as "global terrorist."
North Korean dictator Jim Jong II also finds a place in the list.
Placing Sonia Gandhi at 17th spot, the magazine says though Indian political scene is riven by factions, Congress remains the strongest national force and rules unchallenged.
"In the world’s largest democracy, she is the queen."The magazine describes Shahrukh Khan, who occupies 41st spot, as the ‘King of Bollywood’.