23 September, 2020

Century Makers: 20 Icons & 1 Con

It’s been a short century—still in its teens. But India already has a gallery of epoch-makers.

Illustration by Sajith Kumar
Century Makers: 20 Icons & 1 Con

India turns 71 next week and festivities tinged with a nationalistic fervour are around the corner. Given the likely turn in collective mood, even we at Outlook decided to take a break this week from our usual staple of reporting blood, gore, mayhem, distress and deprivation to join in the celebrations.

Deciding on a magazine cover is both a challenging and cumbersome task. After animated discussions and heated debates over this Indepen­dence Day special issue, we decided to encapsulate what ­defines the underlying spirit of India: of human excellence that ­flourishes against odds and the ugly depravity that swamps us at times despite the opportunities this proud republic has to offer.

To make it even more interesting, we zeroed in on 21 individuals who have made a lasting impression on this country—for both good and bad—so far in the 21st century. So, what you now have are profiles, laudatory in some cases and critical in a few, of those individuals who we believe have left noteworthy imprints. They include 20 icons and,...



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