Former president APJ Abdul Kalam and industrialist Ratan Tata top the list of 100 most trusted Indians while artist MF Husain is at 91 and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati is at the very bottom, according to a survey by the Reader's Digest.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is ranked seventh, one place below chess grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand, Sachin Tendulkar is at number eight and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen at 10th place along with Wipro chairman Azim Premji and Indian Space Research Organisation M Madhavan Nair.
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi is ranked 29th in the survey published in the March edition of Reader's Digest that hit the stands Tuesday.
Others in the top 10 list of India's most trusted Indians are former police officer Kiran Bedi (3rd), Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy (4th), music composer AR Rahman (5th) and cartoonist RK Laxman (9th).
Among India's most trusted professions, teachers are at the top, followed rather surprisingly by firefighters and farmers follow at number three.
Scientists and members of the armed forces share fourth position, with doctors at sixth, pilots at seventh, pilots at seventh, surgeons at eighth, nurses at ninth and engineers at 10th.
At the bottom end of the scale of 40 most trusted professions are religious leaders (35), lawyers (36), police officers (37), government officials (38), realtors (39) and politicians (40).
“The survey was conducted online by market research firm Digital Edge that sent out 5,000 invitations, with 761 people responding by the cutoff date,” Digest editor Mohan Sivanandan told IANS on the phone from Mumbai.
“The survey covered 30 cities, with two-thirds of the respondents being under 35, possessing a bachelor's degree and three-fourth's male,” he added.
Given this, Sivanandan has added a caveat in his editorial in the Digest.
“Although we cannot claim this survey to be absolutely scientific, you’ll agree with me that the overall results mirror public perceptions fairly accurately. Equally interesting are the views and explanations from experts. On a personal note, I don’t have cause to rejoice, because journalists are ranked 30th among 40 professions, just below plumbers,” the editorial says.
Thus, the survey has more than its share of surprises, with cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni ranked at 42nd, way below shooter Abhinav Bindra (25th), while tennis star Sania Mirza is at 81st.
The respondents gave a massive thumbs down to politicians and sports administrators.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani is at 94, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee at 96, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar at 97, Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Prakash Karat at 98 and former railway minister Lalu Prasad at 99.
Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi is just one notch above Advani.
Bollywood and the small screen have their share of places with actors Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan at 14 and 18 respectively, with TV comic Jaspal Bhatti at 43, scriptwriter Javed Akhtar at 46, Shah Rukh Khan at 53, Sushmita Sen at 64, Rajnikanth at 67, Kamal Haasan at 71, director Anurag Kashyap at 78, Malayalam actor Mohanlal at 80, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at 82 and TV serial producer Ekta Kapoor at 95.
Among the other surprises in the list, President Pratibha Patil is ranked way below at 67, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia at 41, Home Minister P. Chidambaram at 50, novelist Khushwant Singh at 51 and environmentalist R.K. Pachauri at 61 along with TV anchor Rajdeep Sardesai.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi is at 72, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee at 73, Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor at 84, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Arun Jaitley at 86, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at 87 and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at 89.