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India’s Top 70 Indians – 43 to 50. #IndiaAt70

  1. Pt. Ravi Shankar: Just above Pt. Hariprasad Chourasia we have another Hindustani musical legend Pt. Ravi Shankar. He is known for his Sitaar. The difference between Hari and Ravi is that Hari is known for spending more time in India, whereas Ravi Shankar was busy glob trotting and giving performances across the World. He performed in Japan, US, UK, Germany, France and many other countries in 1950s and 60s when the India was mostly seen as a 3rd world country ridden in poverty and superstition. His popularity peaked with the famous band “Beatles” partnering with him. That’s an ultimate recognition for this legend whom I put at 43rd place.


  1. Sachin Tendulkar: “Sachin Tendulkar” – “God of Cricket” Sachin Tendulkar is the Indian Cricketer and is World’s greatest cricketer of all time and is compared to the all-time cricketing legend Don Bradman. He scored 100 international centuries, he is the first one to score 15,000 runs, 51 and 49 centuries in Test and ODI, first player to score double century in ODI Cricket. His awards include Arjuna Award, Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan and finally he is Bharat Ratna which is India’s top most award. He also completed his long-lived dream of winning World cup in 2011 in India. That said, the top three achievements of him are scoring 664 runs partnership at age of 15, his debut for Indian team at the age of 16 facing Brutal fast bowlers from Pakistan in Pakistan and becoming youngest player to score a test century when he travelled to England. Sachin is the name that won many hearts and inspired crores of Indians. He is 44th in my list of 70!!


  1. Shahrukh Khan: King Khan, Baadshah of Indian Cinema, these are some of the titles that come to mind when we think of Shah Rukh Khan. At 45th position I have SRK who put Indian movies on international platform. Whether its DDLJ or Kuch kuch hota hai, Kambhie khushi kabhie ghum or kal ho na ho or My name is Khan, World knows Indian commercial cinema primarily because of SRK. He is India’s first International super star. Started his career in late 80s with Television, SRK made his foray into Hindi films in early 90s playing anti hero but DDLJ turned everything for him and made him the undisputed baadshah of bollywood!! Rest as you know is history!!!


  1. Hari prasad Chourasia:At 46 I have Pandit Hari Prasad Chourasia a well know classical instrumental flutist. He is a household name in 1960s 70s and 80s for the flute he plays and the popularity he acquired. He did many national and international shows and made flute a very popular instrument. He partnered with another classical music legend Pt. Shiv kumar sharma to form Shiv-Hari duo who gave music to many of Yash Chopra’s super hits like Silsila, Chandni, Lamhe etc. For Telugu audience his flute was widely used in K. Vishwanath’s movie “sirivennela”!!


  1. Rajesh Khanna: At 47th position I have Rajesh Khanna, the first Indian Super star. Stardom in India has reached unimaginable heights with the arrival of Rajesh Khanna as a romantic hero. He shot into limelight with “Aaradhana” in 1969 which became a silver jubilee hit. He gave a new lease of life in playback singing to Kishore Kumar where he teamed up with him in delivering innumerable number of hits. His stature is such that we have examples of thousands of young girls marrying to the photograph of Rajesh khanna to writing letters to him with their blood!! Such is the madness of this super star who delivered 15 back to back Super Hits between 1969 and 1972. This is also the super star who lost all his stardom with the same speed that he acquired it by giving 17 back to back utter flops in late 1970s. For the present generation he is known more as Akshay Kumar’s father in law, than the First Original Super Star!


  1. Sunil Mittal: At 48 we have Sunil Bharti Mittal – The Originator of Indian Telecom Industry. Sunil Bharti Mittal’s story is an inspiring story. He graduated from Punjab University in 1970’s and started small business on his own, but with urge of expanding more he moved to Mumbai from Ludhiana to meet his ambitions. He then clinched the Delhi Cellular License with the help of French Company Vivendi when government awarded mobile phone services license. He started AirTel which became the first mobile service provider to reach 2 million subscriber mark. AirTel is also the first Indian telecom company to go international and is providing services in Africa. It is also first non-tele services company to start a Digital TV connection called AirTel Digital TV. At present AirTel is 2 Billion worth Business, employing thousands.


  1. Maniratnam: Who can forget “Nayagan” or “Roja” or “Bombay” or “Dil se”. These are just samples of the genius that Maniratnam is. He put South India firmly on the map of India as well as the World with his unique style of film making. I put him on 49th position for this. Till Mani Ratnam’s arrival South Indian cinema was always looked down by Bombay as as an inferior entity. But Maniratnam has changed it all. Almost every movie of his was dubbed in Hindi and critically acclaimed. He was the one who put Kamal Hassan on Top with “Nayagan” and gave a Super star image to Rajnikanth through “Thalapathi” and launched the legendary AR Rahman as music Director in “Roja”. Well deserved to be at 49th position for the contribution he made to Indian Cinema!!


  1. Raja Ramanna: Many of you might be wondering who he is! He is the father of Nuclear Technology in India. He worked for BARC, ISRO and DRDO and he built India’s nuclear technology from the scratch. He was the person behind “Operation Smiling Buddha”, India’s first nuclear test conducted in Pokhran in May, 1974. This nuclear test made the World to stand up and take note of India’s development in science and Technology. Raja Ramanna is one person we should all be proud of and attribute India’s nuclear technology to. He is 50th in my list of Top 70.

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