Downturn keeps Chidambaram busy

Downturn keeps Chidambaram busy

New Delhi: In a month in which the economic downturn deepened and the country’s financial capital became the staging ground for the most audacious terrorist attack ever mounted on a city, P. Chidambaram maintained his place as the most cited Indian voice in the world media.

Chidambaram began November as finance minister and ended it as home minister, replacing Shivraj Patil in the hot seat after the terrorist strike in Mumbai, the latest in a string of attacks on Indian cities. The minister, who had been tending to the economy, nudging banks to loosen credit, attempting to talk up the markets and calm the frayed nerves of investors, was given the job of overseeing internal security after 183 people were killed in Mumbai by 10 terrorists who targeted two of the city’s most prestigious hotels and its busiest railway station.

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The minister, who was the most cited in the world media in October as well from among Mint’s 20-member group of influencers, received 330 citations in the global media in November. Not surprisingly, he was the most visible face in the local media as well, with 826 press citations.

Tata group chairman Ratan Tata retained the No. 2 slot he occupied in October, when he announced that Tata Motors Ltd’s much-anticipated Rs1 lakh Nano car would be made in Gujarat and not West Bengal, where the project had been dogged by protests.

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Last month would not hold fond memories for Ratan Tata and the group, whose flagship Mumbai hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, was attacked by the terrorists who struck on the night of 26 November. The Mint Influencers Index is a monthly, objective measure based on media analysis by Dow Jones Insight, which tracks these leaders, looking at the volume of media citings for each of them as a proxy for their rising or waning influence.

The assumption is that visibility and share of voice is good for them and their companies or governments and, in the case of global media, collectively the index is a good surrogate for the growing or waning interest in India.

Graphics by Ahmed Raza Khan / Mint

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