Top 100 reliable Indians…

Reader’s digest conducted a poll for the top 100 reliable Indians. Here are the results. As much as I am pleased with the number 1 position, I am as displeased with the no 100 position. How could no 100 be syonymous with “reliability’!For that matter, a few more had me lift my eyebrows – 99,96,29,72, 43 ( latter ), in terms of not only finding a place on this list but also in terms of their ranking. Most of the 100 here are honorable people with honorable intentions. There are a few who could find a place in India’s 100 dishonorable list and it perplexes me as to what makes them reliable. Reliable to be unreliable? In the sports quota Sachin is rightfully in the top slot, AR Rahman bags it for the entertainment sector and amongst actors Mr Bachchan is up there. I was quite pleased with Vishy’s ranking as well, another outstanding Indian with a lot of humility. Infact, the top 10 are not the bragging, bashful lot and are truly outstanding Indians who deserve the ranking. The men and women from the media are in an interesting juxtaposition.Reliability stems from trust.Lets hope these men and women do not break it. I am sure Ramalinga Raju was in the top 100 a few years back too. Fake Junjunwala on twitter, there is a lot of responsibility on your shoulders now that we trust you and you are sitting pretty at 90.

1. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, 2. Ratan Tata, 3. Kiran Bedi. 4. Narayana Murthy, 5. A.R. Rahman, 6. Viswanathan Anand, 7. Manmohan Singh, 8. Sachin Tendulkar, 9. R.K. Laxman, 10. G. Madhavan Nair, Amartya Sen and Azim Premji. 13. Nandan Nilekani, 14. Amitabh Bachchan, 15. Lakshmi Mittal, 16. Zakir Hussain, 17. Dr Devi Shetty, 18. E. Sreedharan and Aamir Khan, 20. Prakash and Mandakini Amte, Kumar Mangalam Birla, D. Subbarao and Anna Hazare. 24. K.G. Balakrishnan, 25. Abhinav Bindra, 26. Sunil Mittal, 27. Dr. P. Venugopal, 28. Prannoy Roy, 29. Rahul Gandhi, 30. Rahul Bajaj. 31. Sanjeev Kapoor, 32. Shyam Benegal, 33. B.K.S. Iyengar and Dr. Indira Hinduja, 35. Arvind Kejriwal, 36. Sabeer Bhatia, 37. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Narain Karthikeyan, Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar and Dr. Ramesh C. Deka. 41. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, 42. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, 43. N. Ram and Jaspal Bhatti, 45. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, 46. Javed Akhtar and Jaideep Bose, 48. Medha Patkar and Mahesh Bhupathi, 50. P. Chidambaram. 51. Khushwant Singh and Deepak Parekh, 53. Shah Rukh Khan, 54. Prabhu Chawla, 55. Tarla Dalal and Bittu Sehgal, 57. Leander Paes, 58. Kiran Desai, 59. Ramchandra Guha and P. Sainath. 61. Rajdeep Sardesai, R.K. Pachauri and Chanda Kochhar, 64. Sushmita Sen, 65. Barkha Dutt, 66. Arundhati Roy, 67. Pratibha Patil, Ela Bhatt, Rajnikanth and Vikram Seth. 71. Kamal Haasan, 72. Sonia Gandhi, 73. Pranab Mukherjee, 74. Mukesh Ambani, 75. Aruna Roy, 76. Shobhaa De, 77. Anil Ambani, 78. Anurag Kashyap, 79. Arun Shourie, 80. Mohanlal. 81. Sania Mirza, 82. Aishwarya Rai, 83. Mata Amritandamayi, 84. Shashi Tharoor, 85. Tarun Tejpal, 86. Arun Jaitley, 87. Narendra Modi, 88. Sathya Sai Baba, 89. Omar Abdullah, 90. Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. 91. M.F. Husain, 92. Parag Parikh, 93. Lalit Modi, 94. L.K. Advani, 95. Ekta Kapoor, 96. Mamata Banerjee, 97. Sharad Pawar, 98. Prakash Karat, 99. Lalu Prasad, 100. Mayawati.


37 Responses to “Top 100 reliable Indians…”

  1. parmaatma Says:


    It’s more than 30 years since I saw a Reader’s Digest. I was impressed by their perseverance even in those days. For five years in a row I got at least one or two posts from them every month. So I suppose if this was 1980, I would rank them too among the reliables.

    We elect 450 lawmakers to the federal parliament. All they have to do is keep their words. And those who vote them twice or more in consecutive elections prove that they are reliable.

    I can trust Mayawati to do the right thing for people of her caste. She is reliable for them. I can trust Ratan Tata to try adding value to the Indian currency and increase my buying power. I trust Sachin Tendulkar will continue to remain with cricket for his lifetime as Sunil Gavaskar has done.

    Reliability is a qualitative measure of risk. So what we rely on, depends on how much risk we are prepared to take.

    Amitabh Bachchan is reliable for an autograph or acting in the next movie. I will buy that.Thats all the risk I can afford to take. I am a poor man. I cannot risk my life for celebrities. I cannot join the army to protect them. And I don’t expect them to do the same for me.

    This thing about a reliable celebrity is so much propaganda – the type that evokes obsequious devotion and appeals for patronage or ignites a revolt.

    Reader’s Digest hasn’t deviated from it’s mission through five generations. The mischief continues.I don’t know if they still rely on funds from the church. But I guess they do. The grand press at Salisbury park was run by priests even in those days.

    • Sudhir – Wonderful set of observations as always. Each one of these individuals are probably reliable for a peculiar reason. Now coming back to Reader’s Digest’s background was this the reason that Readers Digest was launched in China only a few years back? I wonder. I will not be surprised if Sonia is on their board too..:)

      • parmaatma Says:

        Thank you.

        Indeed. Infact I was surprised that the politburo approved of RD into China. It is a Christian Mission publication, known for distributing sedititious literature in developing countries.

        We had another parallel, our own in-house indian one called Mirror. It was not a book-magazine. More of monthly. Every few months there would be one or two religious perversions. Like Krishna was inspired by Christ! Was Buddha a homosexual? And such articles…

        These were given free to Schools run by christian missions and left in the reading rooms or libraries.

        The Diocese in Pune is headed by Father Michael Mascarenhas, a South African white by birth but settled for life in Pune. His sister runs a hospital in Lonavala.

        Although not a christian, I was a choir boy and one of his favorite students. I would spend hours in his house reading stuff and doing minor chores.

      • Sudhir – Yes, I remember the mirror. Propoganda exists amongst all known religions, some practise it more. Sometimes, the imagination of these writers borders on insanity and complete falsehood.

      • Parmaatma, what’s with the Punjabi hate? Do you have a problem with Sikhs?

        Jokes have their place, but I really do not feel that the Muslims or Hindus are subject to the same level of derogatory jokes (most of these jokes have vested interests), and so being a small successful minority in a Hindu-majority country reduces our being to a common denominator of a physical identity with a beard. I would be surprised if one could get away with such comments, if they were directed towards the Hindus or Muslims on the list here. If you are secular, then it would be better if you refrain from making ‘jokes’ out of symbols of our faith that mean much to us as Sikhs (such as the turban and beard) even though they may mean nothing to you.

  2. Reliability is the ability of a person to perform and maintain his/her functions in routine as well as hostile or unexpected circumstances. In that sense, whatever the circumstances, most of our politicians can be relied to perform to the best of their abilities and amass wealth for themselves and their kith and kin by corrupt and dishonest means, before the end of their terms. Jokes apart, Sonia, Mamta and Maya are proven performers under hostile circumstances. Rahul Gandhi is a surprise entry because he still has a long way to go, and the same can be said about Bindra and Karthikeyan too. As for Bhatti and Lalu, they can possibly justify each other’s inclusion.

    • Melwyn – Ha ha, Bhatti and Laloo can justify the other’s inclusion!, This is insanely funny..:) I am just shocked to see so many politicians appear on this list, what were the voters thinking. Not many Indian writers feature on that list sadly.

  3. Aishwarya Says:

    Hi Sharmila,

    The list should have been given another name – like the most famous/powerful/influential or something.

    Who is relying on Sanjeev Kapoor, Tarla Dalal and Ekta Kapoor? Lemme guess…a good meal and some ‘K’ serials…aha..a housewife!

    Reliable is a relative term.:)

    • Aish – Good point. For a minute even I thought this was some other Sanjeev Kapoor and not the Khana Khazana chap. Yes, we want reliably cooked food that we can watch while eating reliably made soaps I guess.

  4. parmaatma Says:


    Fiddlers on the roof. All of them. Have you seen that movie?

    There is a scene where the protagonist looks up to the heavens and says, “God! I know I am a chosen one. But for a change why don’t you choose someone else!”

    Here we go again. Making lists of the blessed ones!

    • Sudhir – Lists, awards are thrown at our faces, a plethora of them. I would tend to think that something from Times and Forbes are generally a wee bit more reliable.

    • Oh and I love fiddler on the roof..If I were a rich man..

      • parmaatma Says:


        Thank you for the video.

        Indeed, the world… it’s a-changing… it’s not the right time to release lists of the rich and the famous… not the time to flaunt wealth… no one… absolutely no one is all pervasive in todays world… not even the same God… That’s why I felt Reader’s Digest was up to no good.

        I agree, Forbes lists are more credible and even informative.

      • Welcome Sudhir, rich and famous lists are worrying..

  5. parmaatma Says:


    What if all of them are invited for a photo-op and asked to stand in pairs?

    My pairs:

    APJ Kalam – Omar Abdullah; Ratan Tata – Sathya Sai Baba;

    Kiran Bedi – M.F. Husain; Narayana Murthy – Mayawati;

    A.R. Rahman – Tarun Tejpal; Viswanathan Anand – Khushwant Singh;

    Sachin Tendulkar – Arundhati Roy; R.K. Laxman – Shobhaa De;

    Amartya Sen – Mata Amritandamayi; Amitabh Bachchan – Mamata Banerjee;

    Jaspal Bhatti – L.K. Advani; Medha Patkar – Lalu Prasad;

    Shah Rukh Khan – Prakash Karat; Prabhu Chawla – Sushmita Sen

    …and so on 🙂

    • Sudhir – Ha ha, great permutations and combinations, there could be a theory around some of them like the probability theory in TP. My favorites on the lst are Kalam, Sachin, AB,Mahesh Bupathi, RK Laxman, Rajni, Kamal, Mohanlal, Narayan Murthy, Aish, Dr Devi Shetty, Nandan..;)

      • parmaatma Says:


        My personal fav pair is Vishwanathan Anand with Khushwant Singh!

        Imagine the two in the same frame, the photographer asking them to smile at each other.

        Photographer: Smile Please..

        VA (to KS): Smile baba..

        KS: I am smiling, he can’t see it through the beard

        VA: Say, Queeeeen

        KS: Why? In Punjab we say Cheeeese

        VA: In Chess we say Queeeen

        KS: Do you play Chess? I like Chess. We played Chess in our school in the football ground.

        VA: Football Ground? How?

        KS: First I Chess somebody then catch them and then they chess me and catch me.

        (Photographer smiles)

      • Hee hee Sudhir, Good one..poor Vishy..I forgot to include Vishy in my list.

  6. Yes di,it seems like some of them were erroneously placed in this hierarchy.Surely,reliable for being unreliable!!!!!!haha

  7. I need/ have to know their definition of “Reliable” first!

  8. Sharmila, you rank even higher than AB in my list of most reliable Indians, because I can always rely on you for responses to my comments on your blog.

  9. Sudhir – I’m sure Angel will love this compliment. Lets wait to see how Sharmila takes this.

  10. Lol….This place is getting better & better ! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  11. […] Read the rest from HERE […]

  12. who is relying on 29. Rahul Gandhi, 72. Sonia Gandhi, 73. Pranab Mukherjee, 74. Mukesh Ambani, 77. Anil Ambani, 81. Sania Mirza,84. Shashi Tharoor,91. M.F. Husain,

    96. Mamata Banerjee, 97. Sharad Pawar, 99. Lalu Prasad, 100. Mayawati.

  13. […] Top 100 reliable Indians __________________ Rajumon, I was wrong!! Boolokathe ettavum valiya swayam pongi thangal aanu enna ende viswasam, innale Senate hallil vechu ikka tettichu!!! […]

  14. most of the persons in this list are devotees of sathya sai baba even from no. 1 and no.2 but name of sathya sai baba on no.88 why?

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