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Politics: Lalu Prasad Yadav

PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images

Politics: Lalu Prasad Yadav

Age: 60
Indian Minister of Railways President, Rashtriya Janata Dal Party

Perhaps the most charismatic of Indian politicians, "Lalu" sprung to national prominence in 1992, emerging as a protector of Muslim rights in Bihar, a state with nearly 100 million people where he served as chief minister. But he has been implicated—and jailed—for numerous scandals, including a scam in which his government misappropriated millions of dollars set aside for subsidized fodder for farm animals. As head of India's railways, Yadav has led a near-miraculous turnaround of the world's largest employer, which was facing a $12 billion deficit, increasing capacity, adding air-conditioned carriages for the poor, and improving efficiencies. Now, as he proudly points out, even Harvard Business School students have to study his achievements.