Former president Abdul Kalam, Ratan Tata India's most trusted 02 March 2010
Former president and space scientist Dr APJ Kalam continues to ignite minds while Ratan Tata's entrepreneurial and philanthropic vision is an inspiration for India as the country affirms its faith in these extraordinary individuals. The two men were voted the "most trusted" in a list of 100 public figures from across India, randomly chosen by the editors of Reader's Digest.
The list featured some of India's perennial favourites, including Amitabh Bachchan, Kiran Bedi, Sachin Tendulkar and A R Rahman. Indians also reveal some new preferences with the inclusion of Congress Party leader Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Metro chairman E Sreedharan and ace marksman Abhinav Bindra in the top 30.
When it comes to the most trusted professions in India, teachers, fire fighters and humble farmers lead the list.
But the verdict is abysmal for politicians, real estate agents, government officials and police officers, who rank at the bottom of the Trust Survey of 40 everyday Indian professions.
The Trust Survey, conducted for the first time in India, and the cover story in the March issue of Reader's Digest, carries fascinating findings from the Digest's exclusive, independent poll, which reveals the people and professions we trust … and those we don't. A cross section of 750 Indians were surveyed online and asked to rank the shortlisted individuals and professions they have the most faith in.
India's most trusted:
These are the architects of modern India. Their vision, determination and perseverance to overcome the odds and reach the pinnacle of success have inspired a whole generation of Indians.
Honesty, simplicity and a social consciousness are just some of the defining traits common to India's most trusted individuals….(1) APJ Abdul Kalam, former President (2) Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata group (3) Kiran Bedi, former police official (4) Narayana Murthy, co-founder of Infosys Technologies Ltd (5) A R Rahman, Oscar-winning composer (6) Viswanathan Anand, chess grandmaster (7) Dr Manmohan Singh, prime minister (8) Sachin Tendulkar, cricketer (9) R K Laxman, cartoonist (10) Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize-winning economist, who shares 10th place with space scientist G Madhavan Nair and businessman Azim Premji.
And the least trusted:
Those who failed to make it high on the list too make for interesting reading. In stark contrast to the most trusted, a general disenchantment, and low levels of transparency in their actions combined with a feeling of mistrust mark those at the tail end of the list. Among them: (90) MF Hussain, artist (94) LK Advani, opposition leader, (96) Mamta Banerjee, politician (98) Prakash Karat, CPI(M) leader (99) Lalu Prasad Yadav, politician and (100) Mayawati, the UP chief minister.
Most tusted professions:
Going by its long-held tradition of honouring those who teach, protect and provide, India continues to revere and and regard its (1) teachers (2) firefighters and (3) farmers. Scientists and members of the armed forces share 4th position, followed by doctors, pilots, surgeons, nurses and engineers.
Bringing up the bottom of the list are religious leaders, lawyers, police officers, government officials, real estate agents, and last in the list, politicians.
Ratan Tata's trust ranking is based on his having delivered on his "Nano-promise", and Rahul Gandhi having given a new meaning to grassroots politics with his promises for the common man, were voted amongst our most trusted. Ranked 29, Rahul Gandhi is the only young political leader in the list and one of only three politicians to figure in the top 30.
With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at 7th position - high for any political leader - the country reveals its continued trust in the current government. This is further confirmed by placing Mayawati, Lalu Prasad and Prakash Karat at the very bottom - the continued disdain for the mega-egos of the political class is clearly evident.