Dharamsala, Feb 6 (IANS) Mahatma Gandhi and the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama were Sunday listed by Time magazine among the world’s top 25 political icons.
Mohandas Gandhi, as the magazine called him, was credited with peaceful protests during the British Raj that helped him become the spiritual heart of the Indian independence struggle.
“Gandhi led the country in peaceful protest against foreign domination, exemplified by the 1930 Salt March in protest to a British salt tax. His rise paved the way for India’s independence in 1947.
“Though the country was later divided (and Gandhi assassinated), his role in the bloodless revolution … paved the way for other social movements including America’s struggle for civil rights,” it added.
Time’s top 25 political icons are: Mahatma Gandhi, Alexander the Great, Mao Zedong, Winston Churchill, Genghis Khan, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Adolf Hitler, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, Ronald Reagan, Cleopatra, Franklin Roosevelt, the Dalai Lama, Queen Victoria, Benito Mussolini, Akbar the Great, Lenin, Margaret Thatcher, Simon Bolivar, Qin Shi Huang, Kim Il-Sung, Charles de Gaulle, Louis XIV, Haile Selassie, King Richard
the Lionheart and Saladin.
The Dalai Lama, according to magazine, is “not only the greatest and most public advocate for Tibetan rights and the virtues of Tibetan Buddhism, but also for interfaith tolerance and peace as well to people around the world.
“To countless Tibetans, the Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader and a head of state in absentia. For decades – and from exile since 1959 – he has worked to resolve tensions between Tibet and China.
“And like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. before him, the Dalai Lama done so in a manner defined by non-violence and tolerance.
“The Dalai Lama’s humility has endeared him to presidents and religious leaders of several countries, affording him the opportunity to raise awareness and drum up support for Tibet on a global scale,” the magazine said.
The Dalai Lama, whom Beijing brands a separatist, fled into exile in 1959 and established his government-in-exile in Dharamsala.