Narendra Modi, the icon of the Hindu right wing, may have lost the popular vote on Time magazine’s top 100 poll this year, but he is the owner of a distinction none of the others, including the winner, has.
Modi drew the largest number of votes of any person on the list, leaving people like Barack Obama, Lady Gaga and Anna Hazare far behind.
Narendra Modi, worshiped by many right wing Hindutva activists as a modern-day protector of their faith, drew a total of 5.23 lakh votes on the Time poll, more than ten times as many as U.S. President Barack Obama did.
Anti-corruption icon Anna Hazare, in comparison, got just about 0.27 lakh votes and the Russian President Vladimir Putin got just 1.07 lakh votes.
However, unlike most of his competitors, more than half of the votes that Modi got were unfavorable, negating much of the effect of the online ‘vote’ campaign run by his supporters.
While Putin got 2 votes in favor of his inclusion in the Time 100 list for every 1 vote against, 50.9% of all votes Modi got was against him.
He was, however, not alone in having his chances spoiled by ‘negative’ voting. The first black U.S. President, Barack Obama, too had a near even split between the ‘ayes’ and the ‘nos’ in the 49,000 votes he attracted.
Unlike Modi, Obama — the target of an conservative attack often based on the color of his skin — scraped through with 52% favorable votes.
According to the votes, popular agitator Anna Hazare seems to have the least number of enemies. About 88% of the 27,000 votes he got were favorable.
Despite attracting the highest number of votes, Narendra Modi was not the person to get the maximum number of ‘yes’ votes — mainly because of the large number of negative votes.
In terms of the sheer number of ‘yes’ votes, the first two were from the world of the Internet, giving them, perhaps, an unfair advantage in the online poll.
The ‘person’ who got the highest number of ‘yes’ votes was the activist hacker group Anonymous, which was behind attacks such as those on Master Card and Visa after the latter blocked money being sent to Wikileaks.
Anonymous, which got about 3.96 lakh ‘yes’ votes, was followed by Erik Martin, the general manager of the popular ranking and voting site Reddit.com.
Modi was third in terms of ‘yes’ votes, with a total of 2.57 lakh votes. However, unfortunately for him, he also got another 2.67 lakh ‘no’ votes.
However, Modi and Obama did not do as badly as some other politicians, particularly Obama’s would-be challengers in the upcoming American presidential election later this year.
All of Obama’s three top Republican challengers — Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich — have what can only be called ‘terrible’ online reputation issues, going by the votes.
Gingrich had a whopping 81.5% of votes falling in the negative territory, followed by Santorum with 76.6% negative votes and Romney with 72.9% ‘no’ votes.
The person with the highest proportion of ‘no’ votes was the American singer Jessica Simpson, who led with 89.5% negative votes.
Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher, who recently divorced from his long-time wife Demi Moore, was ranked number 3 in the overall negativity factor. 84.4% of those who voted on Kutcher viewed him as ineligible for qualifying for the Time 100 list.
The person with the highest proportion of ‘yes’ votes was the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, with just 5.4% of her votes carrying a ‘no’. India’s Hazare was sixth from the top in favorability rating in a list of 200.
Pakistani politician Imran Khan was one of the most favorably voted politicians in the world, with only about 18% of his 1.42 lakh votes being negative.
The voting for Time Magazine’s top 100 poll has been closed and the final list, selected by its editors, will be revealed on Tuesday, April 17th.
Narendra Modi had recently featured on the cover of the magazine, arguably the most prestigious in the world.