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The Common Man tops Forbes list of world's most powerless people

13, Nov 2009 By Pagal Patrakar

New Delhi. Common man of India, popularly depicted by the famous sketch of cartoonist R K Laxman, has been selected as the world’s most powerless person by the American magazine Forbes, known for coming up with innovative lists of people, places, products and other stuffs. The Common Man, who has more than a billion faces, was reckoned to be incapable of bringing out any change or doing anything path breaking through exercising any sort of power. The list has five Indians in the top ten spots.

“It’s not a final word on people who feature in the list. It’s just an attempt to start a dialogue. But the list is final. The goal in compiling this list is to expose weakness and not mock it, and over time reveal how influence is as easily lost as it is hard to gain,” a press release of Forbes Magazine read announcing the release of the list that contained 67 people (one in 100 millions of us) who were deemed to be the most powerless in today’s world.

The Common Man – powerless and pleased
The Common Man – powerless and pleased

The Forbes team took many factors into consideration for compiling the list. The factors that were given maximum importance were – Whether the person is significant (in terms of being quoted by media or appearing in Google search results)? Whether others, especially those appearing in the Forbes most powerful people list, don’t give a fuck about him/her? Whether shitty websites like Faking News can get away by mocking him/her? And whether the person feels the pinch of being so powerless at regular occasions in his/her daily life?

Forbes editors ranked all of the candidates in each of these four dimensions of powerlessness. The individual rankings were then averaged into a composite score, which determined who placed above (or below) whom. The Common Man of India happened to top the list.

The list comes at a time when it’s been almost a year when common man of India had come out of his home at Gateway of India in Mumbai after terror attacks. Various politicians had to resign and eat their words as the common man looked really powerful. He looks as useless as ever today with this list coming out.

Forbes has declined to comment on the timing of the release and has appealed to people not to draw any unnecessary conclusions. Faking News has agreed. So coming back to the list, following are the top ten most powerless people in today’s world:

The Common Man: Happy to see murderers out on parole and nincompoops out on podiums of power, the guy is perhaps the least controversial to hold the top spot in the list. He feels the boot of being powerless each day and nobody gives a fuck about him, but everyone talks about him.

Pervez Musharraf: Once he called the shots in South Asia and was the darling of US administration, but now nobody knows if he’s able to refill his cigar. He keeps on issuing statements to media to be in news but journalists invariably drop his stories as Taliban comes up with a new blast and hence a breaking news each day. Experts caution that the general could go crazy and might blow himself up if things didn’t improve soon.

Homosexuals: The only ‘group’ of people that feature in the long list of powerless people. They make a lot of news and media features them a lot, but trust us, nobody gives a fuck about them, especially those who have been listed in the most powerful list couldn’t care less about these dancing folks. They can keep on taking out pride parades to humor themselves and others.

Aung San Suu Kyi: She has won Nobel Peace Prize (the same prize that was won by Obama, the most powerful person according to the other list by Forbes) and various other prizes including India awarding her Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding (?), and she has been in jail for almost fourteen years now. Next year i.e. in 2010, elections are to be held in her country, which is Burma, and nobody seems to give a fuck if she’d be released and allowed to contest the elections.

Ramalinga Raju: Ex-chairman of Satyam computers jailed for money laundering. Can you believe it? A guy who was among the prime players in India’s much valuated software industry and could play a vital role in deciding dollar exchange rate is now behind bars. Why? Just because he misrepresented some facts and allegedly siphoned off money in Swiss banks. The guy has to be absolutely powerless and asshole or else he could have been a Chief Minister of some state.

Shiney Ahuja: He is in jail for having sex with his maid. That puts him in the same league with Ramalinga Raju. He has to be absolutely powerless and asshole. Ask any other Bollywood celebrity.

Suhel Seth: A surprise entry and perhaps the most controversial one to be called ‘powerless’. But experts believe that Suhel got an entry thanks to his ubiquitous appearances on television news channels and his blogs on their websites, where he expresses his strong opinion on almost anything and talks about changing the system. Perhaps Forbes editors were told that Indian people simply don’t give a fuck to those ideas and opinions.

Ban Ki-moon: He is the secretary general of the United Nations, the same post for which Shashi Tharoor was also a candidate. He keeps on warning against military conflicts in various parts of the world, that’s his job, but that’s it, he can’t take any decisions to stop them. Even terrorists don’t threaten him. Most Indians students preparing for entrance examinations for government services know his name, most of the times he’s the (b) option among the multiple choice tests.

George W Bush: Perhaps the western counterpart of Pervez Musharraf, but currently in much better condition and hence ranked lower than the Pakistani guy. He continues to be popular but can’t get someone in jail for throwing shoes at him. Perhaps nobody is even willing to throw a shoe at him now. Recently he was in India on Halloween and no one was scared.

L K Advani: Ouch! He called Manmohan Singh a weak prime minister and Singh got featured in the most powerful people list (lying next to Osama Bin Laden). Now Forbes had added insult to his injury by putting him in the most powerless people list. But Forbes editors can’t really be blamed for it. Advani feels the pinch of being powerless almost daily these days and yet nobody seems to give a fuck.

You can write to Forbes to get the complete list of 67 people, or complete the list by adding new candidates through commenting below.