The contribution of the Indian people–the people of India, that is–is a well-kept secret. Yet Indians have excelled in movies, as well as science and technology, and this Top 10 list is indeed a reflection of the overall talent represented by people of this country. They are also known as the late Mother Teresa was for their philantropy and caring for others, as the first entry on our list is famed for, indeed.
List of Top 10 Most Popular Indians in 2017
10. Kailash Satyarthi
The tragedy of child labor has stolen the childhoods of many children around the world. But Kailash Satyarthi is one Indian who has grown tired of it, and has aimed to do something about it. His devout campaigning against this age-old practice of acquiring cheap labor has made him the second Nobel Peace Prize winner, only behind the late Mother Teresa. He is the founder of the Save the Child Movement. He started his work against child labor when no one else was being recognized for it. Maps of India says that he is responsible for saving 83,000 children from more than 100 countries around the world.
9. Kapil Sharma
Kapil Sharma is ranked 33rd on Forbes Celebrity List of 2014. He has transitioned from being an underpaid theatre artist to a most loved show host, being the lead face of Comedy Nights with Kapil.
8. Sachin Tendulkar
He is a large figure in the world of sport, a cricketer. He is also the youngest recipient of the Bharat Ratna award. He also became the first person to receive an aviation honor without a background in the field. He was made an honorary group captain by the Indian airforce.
In the game of cricket, he is the only person to score more than 30,000 runs in all forms of cricket. He also holds the world record for the highest number of Test and ODIs.
Forbes ranks him the 51st richest sportsman in the world, not only in India–and among the world’s highest paid athletes for the same year, with total earnings estimated at $22 million.
He is only 43 years old at this writing, being born on April 24, 1973.
7. Honey Singh
He is the Eminem and Drake of India. Well, maybe not, but he is one of the best known rappers in that country. And before you decide not to take him any more seriously than that, he is also a composer that has written songs for movies and TV. He recently became the richest musician in Bollywood after he sold a song for 70 lakh for an upcoming movie. He is 33 years old, being born in March of 1983.
His music has not been without controversy, however. The Indian government began a crackdown on music with less than clean lyrics, and –as his music depicts gang rape and violence in a good light–have been the subject of court cases, according to Wikipedia.
He has been talked about in the media, and people, such as women and parents, have written and printed open letters in protest of the content of his lyrics, regarded by many to be disrespectful of women.
6. Smriti Irani
She started out as just another pretty female face. She has grown from being a TV figure known for her good looks to a Minister of Human Resource Development. According to the Maps of India website, her ascension in politics has been “steady.”
Days after getting into office, she proved her seriousness about the work she saw that needed to be done–that is, reforming education. She brought about sweeping changes. Her vision was to give a more Hindu perspective to the children’s school curriculum.
Not only is she concerned about education, but also about the quality of water in her native land. To this end, she runs an NGO that provides water solutions to villages. While clean water is something that many of us in America take for granted–except for, perhaps the people of Flint, Michigan–a third world country like India doesn’t at all. And Irani is on the front lines when it comes to making sure people have suitable water to drink.
She is currently 40 years old, according to Wikipedia, born back in 1976.
5. Salman Khan
He is one amongst the Top 10 Most Popular Indians 2017. His birthday is December 27, 1965. Controversy is no stranger to him. In fact, he began 2015 with headline attention stemming from a hit and run incident. Nevertheless, he has released a movie in 2016, with Sultan, which became one of the highest grossing Indian films of all time.
Another area of controversy that the 50-year-old has encountered centers around his support of Pakistani actors and actresses. That, in some Indian circles, is taboo. Such support, in fact, is banned by the Indian Motion Pictures Association.
The actor, singer, and movie studio owner has opened new film studios, SKPM Productions, from which he made his first film, Chillar Party, in 2014. Not long from that, he opened another film studio, known as Salman Khan films, from which he made the Canadian film Dr. Cabbie.
4. Mary Kom
She was born Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte on March 1, 1983, making her 33 years old. She is the only woman boxer, according to Wikipedia, to have won the World Amateur Boxing Medals in each of the six world championships. She qualified for the 2012 Olympics in boxing. She was also the first woman to acquire a gold medal in the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea. On September 24, 2012, she landed the position of being the Super Fight League’s Brand Ambassador.
The government of her country has appointed her to a high seat of Parliament in April of 2016, Wikipedia reports. On the 26th she was appointed to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament.
If you consider her background, it would not be surprising to you that she has excelled so much in boxing. According to Wikipedia, Kom’s father was a wrestler in his youth.
3. Anil Agrawal
He is a former scrap dealer who has turned into a billionaire. Indeed, the now 60-year-old Argawal started as a scrap salesman, and he became the founder and principal of the Vendata group, the controversial company that has now become recognized as the world’s leader in natural resources.
But it has been far from a smooth ride for the company. Just a few years ago, the company was accused of dumping slag with arsenic in near a factory in Tamil Nadu, an Indian state, poisoning the environment, and sickening many people. This became a court case, and it is alleged that until this day, the company has not paid up.
Nevertheless, Argawal is also known as a philanthropist, pledging to give back 75 percent of his wealth. According to Wikipedia, Bill Gates and the Dalai Lama has inspired him to do this.
2. Chanda Kochhar
Her life began on November 17, 1961. She is the Managing Director and CEO of the ICICI bank, which, according to Wikipedia–she played a major hand in founding. She has widely been recognized for her role in shaping retail banking throughout India.
In 1982 she studied cost accountancy. As a young woman, it was apparent that she was talented in this area. For she reveived the Wockhardt Gold Medal for Excellence in Management Studies, as well as teh J.N. Buse Gold Medal in cost accountancy.
It wasn’t until the 1990s, however, that she was chosen as one of the principals to set up the ICICI bank. She was selected as one of the core team members to establish this bank. She became the General Manager in 1994, and the Deputy GM in 1996. In several years, as head of the ICICI Bank, she led them to the award for Best Retail Bank in India in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Today she is still being recognized for her immense talents. According to Wikipedia, she is Number 40 on the India Today Power List of 2016. She is also #22 on the Forbes Asia 50 Power Businesswomen List of 2016.
1. Padmairee Warrior
Yellepeddi Padmairee Warrior was born in the early 1960’s. She got her bachelors of Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1982. She got her Master’s from Cornell University.
She joined Motorola in 1984. She was there for 23 years, and was Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Systems Group.
But her biggest claim to fame didn’t come from her years at Motorola. She has since been hailed as the Queen of the Electric Car Biz by Fortune Magazine, according to Wikipedia. As of the early 2010’s, she has been listed by Forbes as the world’s 71st most powerful female.
Electric cars are slowly, but surely, catching on in popularity as traditional energy, such as fossil fuels, continue to fade. Ms. Warrior, indeed, will become even more popular as more countries make the switch to electrically powered cars.
These above are the Top 10 Most Popular Indians 2017. This list presents a mere snapshot of the greatness of the people of this country. Indeed, Indian people have contributed to all fields of our culture, including the arts, the world of sport, and several branches of the sciences.