Thought Box



by Radhika Khera December 29 2023, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 9 mins, 49 secs

I, Radhika Khera, will unveil India's modern visionaries, who advocate day after day and against all odds, for the nation that was imagined by our forefathers, the great men and women who fought for our independence and enshrined the freedom that we enjoy in our Constitution.  

In the annals of India's history, there exist luminaries whose unwavering commitment to progress and liberalism has indelibly shaped the nation's trajectory. Their pioneering ideas, relentless advocacy for equality, and forward-thinking ideologies have not only illuminated the path toward a more inclusive society but have also laid the foundations for a modern, progressive India.

From the fervent aspirations of Mahatma Gandhi and the vision of leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Balasaheb Dr B.R. Ambedkar, the architects of India's democratic framework, to the trailblazing efforts of great men such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy, whose advocacy for social reform sparked a revolution, the ‘pioneers of progress’ have stood as beacons of enlightenment.

The lives, ideologies, and contributions of these remarkable figures, along with countless others, and how their progressive, liberal values have transcended time and continue to influence the social, political, and cultural landscapes of contemporary India, are the lead light for all eleven powerful people on my list of ‘Champions of Change 2023’.

These men and women carrying the legacy of the forefathers forward through their relentless work, are those who have inspired me this year. It's through their ideals of pluralism, secularism, and social justice, that my generation of Indian people is able to envision a more equitable nation. Join me on this journey as I unravel the profound impact of their progressive liberal ethos on the nation's future.

Over to my list of the 10 best women and men who lead us towards a better tomorrow!  


Sonia Gandhiji is often regarded as a ‘champion of change’ due to her significant contributions to Indian politics and her role in shaping the nation's political landscape. She served as the president of the Indian National Congress. During her tenure, she played a pivotal role in revitalizing the party, leading it through challenging times and guiding its strategies to adapt to changing political scenarios. Soniaji advocated for inclusive policies aimed at fostering social welfare, economic development, and poverty alleviation. Her focus on social justice, education, and rural development initiatives aimed to uplift marginalized communities and bridge socio-economic gaps. She has been a vocal proponent of policies that enhance women's participation in politics, education, and economic opportunities. Sonia Gandhiji’s leadership, advocacy for progressive policies, and commitment to the welfare of the people have positioned her as a significant figure in the realm of Indian politics.  

Throughout her political career, Gandhi has upheld democratic principles and norms, emphasizing the importance of upholding the country's democratic institutions and values.


Mallikarjun Khargeji, a seasoned politician, is known for his commitment to social justice and reform based on various aspects of his background, beliefs, and political career. He hails from a socially marginalized community, which likely influenced his perspective on the importance of social justice. His personal experiences and upbringing shaped his dedication to uplift the disadvantaged sections of society. As a leader within the Indian National Congress and previously as a member of various social and political movements, Khargeji has aligned himself with the ideology that emphasizes social justice, equal opportunities, and rights for marginalized communities.

Throughout his political career, he has consistently advocated for policies and initiatives aimed at promoting social equality, empowerment of underprivileged groups, and reforms to address systemic injustices. He has been vocal about issues related to education, employment, land rights, and welfare measures for marginalized communities.

Khargeji’s advocacy for social justice and reform seems deeply rooted in his personal experiences, political beliefs, and his long-standing commitment to representing the interests of marginalized communities within the Indian socio-political landscape.


Rahul Gandhiji has been hailed as a visionary for young Indians for several reasons. He has actively engaged with them, addressing their concerns, and advocating for their inclusion in politics and decision-making processes. He has made efforts to connect with the youth through town hall meetings, social media interactions, and campaigns, encouraging their participation in shaping the country's future. During the Bharat Jodo Yatra movement, he walked, starting from Kanyakumari and covered 12 states and two union territories, for 3570 kilometres, and connected to masses galvanised by his unwavering commitment to welfare. 

Rahulji is about the need for change in various spheres, including politics, governance, and socio-economic structures. He has expressed a vision for a more inclusive, progressive, and modern India, advocating for reforms that resonate with the aspirations of young Indians. Recognizing the role of technology and innovation in India's progress, he has often highlighted the importance of harnessing these tools to drive economic growth and social development, appealing to the tech-savvy younger generation.

I view his efforts to engage with and represent the interests of the youth, along with his advocacy for progressive change, as factors that contribute to his recognition as a visionary for the future generations of our great nation.


Priyanka Gandhiji advocates for empowerment and representation of Indian women. She is admired for her charismatic and engaging personality. Her ability to connect with people, including women, on various issues, and her relatable demeanour has garnered her popularity among the populace. She has spoken on various platforms advocating for women's rights, empowerment, and gender equality.

Priyanka Gandhiji has highlighted the importance of women's participation in politics, education, and socio-economic spheres. Her presence in the political arena as a woman leader has inspired many women to consider leadership roles and active participation in public life. Her career trajectory and her commitment to public service serve as an inspiration for women.

She has also shown a keen interest in addressing social issues that impact women, such as healthcare, education, safety, and employment opportunities. Her involvement in grassroots-level initiatives aimed at women's welfare has earned her admiration.


Randeep Surjewalaji is a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and has gained recognition for his skills as a spokesperson of the party. Surjewalaji is known for his articulate and eloquent communication skills. He possesses the ability to express complex ideas and political positions in a clear and persuasive manner and exhibits a strong understanding of political issues, government policies, and current affairs. His depth of knowledge allows him to provide well-researched and informed responses during debates, press conferences, and media interactions. He is accessible and approachable by the media, which enables him to maintain a consistent presence in the public discourse.

Randeep Surjewalaji’s communication skills, comprehensive understanding of political affairs and involvement in shaping the party's messaging contribute to his recognition as one of the effective and influential spokespersons in India.


Bhupesh Baghelji, former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, garnered admiration for his efforts in championing the cause of minority, excluded, and marginalized communities in the state. His administration implemented policies aimed at the welfare and upliftment of minority communities, Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), and other marginalized groups, encompassing various sectors such as education, healthcare, employment, and social welfare.

Baghelji’s government focused on protecting the land rights of tribal communities and promoting their socio-economic development and his efforts to secure land rights for forest-dwelling tribes and initiatives for their economic empowerment were applauded.  

Baghelji has been vocal about the rights and concerns of marginalized communities, advocating for their representation and participation in governance and decision-making processes.


Jairam Rameshji, a veteran Indian politician and former Union Minister, is considered one of the popular proponents of social welfare and justice. He has actively supported and formulated initiatives addressing issues such as poverty alleviation, rural development and social inclusion, and is well known for his work in environmental conservation and sustainability. He played a crucial role in formulating and implementing policies related to environmental protection, particularly during his tenure as the Minister of Environment and Forests. He has consistently emphasized the importance of inclusive growth, advocating for policies that ensure marginalized sections of society benefit from economic development and have access to opportunities.

Known for his pragmatic approach, he combines academic insights with practical policymaking, which has helped in the formulation of effective and sustainable solutions to social challenges.


Manish Tewariji, a senior Indian politician and former Union Minister, is recognized for his legal acumen and political expertise. His legal education and experience have equipped him with a deep understanding of legal intricacies and constitutional matters. Manishji is known for his articulate and persuasive communication skills, which allow him to effectively present legal arguments, complex issues, and political positions in public forums, parliamentary debates, and media interactions. He has a keen understanding of constitutional matters, governance, and legislative procedures. His insights into constitutional law and its application in policymaking have been acknowledged.

Manishji’s ability to engage in debates and discussions, backed by legal knowledge and a comprehensive understanding of political issues, has earned him recognition as an influential voice in political circles. He is known for his strategic thinking and analytical approach to political matters, which enables him to offer nuanced perspectives on various issues.

Manish Tewariji’s understanding of policy making and public discourse has earned him the reputation of being one of the finest political legal minds in Indian politics.


Pawan Kheraji, a prominent spokesperson for the Indian National Congress (INC), is recognized as a loyalist and a powerful voice for progressive, modern ideas. His unwavering commitment to the party is well recognised. His long-standing association and active involvement in representing the party's viewpoints are regarded by one and all. Pawanji is appreciated for his articulate communication skills. He is a strong advocate for the INC's progressive and modern ideas. He offers critical analysis and commentary on government policies, providing a counter-narrative and alternative viewpoints that reflect progressive and modern ideologies.

His effective communication skills, advocacy for progressive policies, critical analysis of government initiatives, and engagement with diverse audiences have positioned him as one of the most influential voices championing progressive and modern ideas within the Indian National Congress.


Priyanka Chaturvediji can be aptly described as a bold and outspoken advocate for a contemporary, modern India, unafraid to confront powerful conservative politics. She advocates for societal reforms, women's empowerment, inclusivity, and pluralism, aligning with the aspirations of a contemporary India.

Priyankaji doesn't shy away from challenging viewpoints or policies that she believes hinder the country's progress towards a more inclusive and forward-thinking society. Her advocacy for change and reform reflects her commitment to shaping a more dynamic and evolving India. She is known for her unwavering stance on issues she believes in, often taking a firm stand against regressive, orthodox viewpoints. Her support for inclusivity and diversity reflects her vision for a contemporary India that embraces all sections of society, irrespective of caste, creed, or gender.  


Supriya Shrinateji, a journalist-turned-politician and a spokesperson for the Indian National Congress (INC), is perceived as a formidable debater. Her command over facts, data, and detailed knowledge on a wide array of topics allows her to present a compelling argument during debates. She possesses excellent communication skills and a persuasive speaking style, which enable her to articulate her viewpoints effectively and succinctly. Shrinateji's ability to convey complex ideas in a clear and understandable manner enhances her effectiveness as a spokesperson.

As a seasoned journalist and now a politician, Shrinateji has a nuanced understanding of political dynamics and demonstrates agility in responding to counterpoints or challenging questions during debates, showcasing her ability to think on her feet and provide prompt and relevant responses. 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.