South Korean pop sensation Rain leads the TIME 100 poll one day before it closes on 14th April. This comes as a surprise to many, but his popularity has soared internationally in the last year owing to his peppy tunes and hot dance moves. His huge native fan base has kept him on top for quite some time now. Within a few more hours, he may, in his second appearance on this illustrious list, win the title and thus leave in his following many an illustrious figure like BeyoncÃ©, Chris Colfer, Christopher Hitchens and Barack Obama.
The hi-tech whistle blower, Julian Assange, currently at number 10, gets a second nomination by TIME after being beaten last year by Mark Zuckerberg for the Person of the Year Title. The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant workers get their due mention and they currently hold the 13th position.
Also significant is the presence of Christopher Hitchens, who is currently at number 7 above Julian Assange (No. 10) and Mark Zuckerberg (No. 24). One of the world’s foremost intellectuals, humanists and a hardened atheist, his popularity has soared following the publication of his memoirs Hitch-22. He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer shortly after and people, with or without religious beliefs, have poured their good wishes and prayers for his recovery.
The former head of The Human Genome Project, Prof. Francis Collins, one of the world’s most brilliant geneticists, and one of Hitchens’ debate opponent (Collins is a devout Catholic), has taken it upon him to experiment on Hitchens (with his full consent) and find a cure. Hitchens still writes for Vanity Fair, appears in public debates, never shies away from an interview and remains just as fiery and controversial as always, even though his cancer is in its last stages. Coincidentally, today, the 13th of April, is also his birthday.
Cast your vote for your favourite nominee within the next 24 hours. The winner gets into the TIME 100 list.