Shah Rukh Khan 

Shah Rukh Khan (Image Credit: TIME Magazine)

Bollywood’s King Khan made a return to the big screen this year with director Siddharth Anand’s Pathan alongside Deepika Padukone and John Abraham.   The ambitious action thriller is among the highest-grossing Indian films ever and Khan was a big reason why. His performance in the film and his commitment to the sheer physicality of the role received much praise. Apart from his work in films, he is also committed to philanthropy in the health, womens’ safety, and disaster relief sectors.

S.S. Rajamouli

S.S. Rajamouli (Image Credit: TIME Magazine)

One of India’s biggest film-makers ever, this director has helped bring Telugu cinema – and by extension South Indian cinema – into the global spotlight. While the Baahubali films were groundbreaking in their own right, 2022’s RRR catapulted Rajamouli  to global fame after the track Naatu Naatu won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. 


Padma Lakshmi

As the longtime host of the reality cooking show Top Chef, watching Padma Lakshmi on screen has been a fixture for an entire generation of television viewers. Apart from hosting a  highly successful food show, she is also an author, actor and activist. The ease with which Padma Lakshmi  talks about food on camera is tempered with a steely resolve when it comes to talking about her difficult childhood and her commitment to issues like inequality, women’s rights and immigration reform.  

Sherry Rehman

Sherry Rehman (Image Credit: TIME Magazine)

As Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change, Sherry Rehman made waves at COP27, the UN Climate Summit held in Egypt in 2022. At the time, Pakistan was suffering from a flood that killed more than 1700 people. During the summit, Rehman bravely fought on behalf of vulnerable communities that face the brunt of the climate crisis. Her efforts helped bring about a historic decision whereby the international community agreed to set up additional funds to support vulnerable communities against climate change. 

Tanay Gokhale is a Community Reporter at India Currents through the California Local News Fellowship cohort of 2023. Born and raised in Nashik, India, he moved to the United States for graduate study in...