The Fortune Magazine has featured the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, in the third annual list of top leaders across the world. He is at the 42nd place among the world’s 50 great leaders. The Aam Aadmi Party leader is the only Indian to have been featured in the magazine. Kejriwal government’s ‘odd-even’ plan – an attempt at road rationalization to curb the pollution levels of Delhi is what acted as a trajectory to place him on the list of great leaders.
The Odd-Even Plan
The pollution level in Delhi reached a very critical stage in December, 2015, with Delhi air termed as the most polluted in the world. In a step towards making Delhi air viable for breathing, the government proposed and implemented the Odd/Even Car number System in January 2016. Under this system, the last digit of the license number was taken into consideration to determine if the vehicle fell into the odd or even category. The odd and even numbered cars are allowed to ply on the roads on alternative days. The rule is applicable only on private vehicles and does not include vehicles registered outside Delhi. Exceptions were also made in case of women drivers and professionals such as doctors.
Arvind Kejriwal rubbed shoulders with some of the prominent leaders of the world including Bezos, who has been on the list all the three times and topped the list this year. Pope Francis came in at the 4th position and Apple CEO Tim Cook at 5th position. Among the other South Asian leaders are Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina at number 10 and Tshering Tobgay, the Prime Minister of Bhutan, at number 50. The list includes German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2), Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi at (3), US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko (22), IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (36), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-chair and CEO Melinda Gates and Susan Desmond-Hellmann (41), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (48) and Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay (50).
Fortune magazine reiterated that that leadership is not “demagoguery, pandering, even populism”. The magazine believes leadership is defined by the tasks taken to hand, and in case of Kejriwal, it was to make the world a better place to live in. Fortune magazine said that a leader who is focussed on making the world a better place does not rally for followers as in the case of Kejriwal who risked his career to make Delhi less congested and pollution free. Fortune magazine said, “It isn’t enough to be accomplished, brilliant, or admirable. We recognize those who are inspiring others to act, to follow them on a worthy quest, and who have shown staying power”. The magazine also went on to appreciate Kejriwal for unveiling a blueprint to tackle the smog in New Delhi with the “odd-even” pilot project that demonstrated “uplifting result”. The magazine observed that “roads were less clogged, hourly particulate air pollution concentrations dropped by 13%, and citizens could breathe deep”. According to Fortune magazine, the 50 leaders to feature in the magazines have one thing in common – their deeds are for a brighter future. It is indeed heartening to see that Indian leaders are emerging as a conscious lot, working towards the betterment of the world.
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