TIME Magazine released its list of the most influential people in the world and asked US President Barack Obama to write about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who features in the list. Here is what Obama wrote for Modi, calling him the ‘reformer-in-chief’ of the world’s largest democracy.


India’s reformer-in-chief

As a boy, Narendra Modi helped his father sell tea to support their family. Today, he’s the leader of the world’s largest democracy, and his life story—from poverty to Prime Minister—reflects the dynamism and potential of India’s rise.

Determined to help more Indians follow in his path, he’s laid out an ambitious vision to reduce extreme poverty, improve education, empower women and girls and unleash India’s true economic potential while confronting climate change. Like India, he transcends the ancient and the modern—a devotee of yoga who connects with Indian citizens on Twitter and imagines a “digital India.”

When he came to Washington, Narendra and I visited the memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We reflected on the teachings of King and Gandhi and how the diversity of backgrounds and faiths in our countries is a strength we have to protect. Prime Minister Modi recognizes that more than 1 billion Indians living and succeeding together can be an inspiring model for the world.

The list features Julianne Moore, Emma Watson, John Oliver, Jorge Ramos, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Tim Cook, Kim Kardashian, Malala Yousafzai, Haruki Murakami, Christopher Nolan and Chanda Kochhar among other iconic people from around the world.