Amitabh, Sachin top Zee News `Best of India' poll

NEW DELHI: If you thought that India's 'Father of Nation' Mahatma Gandhi is the greatest leader of all times, think again! An opinion poll conducted by Zee News demolishes the myth and a few others too.

In a startling revelation about the aggressive mood in the country, the poll hosted on the Zee News website shows 'Ironman' Sardar Patel doesn't just give Gandhi a tough fight, he also lodges himself ahead of the Mahatma with 30 per cent vote share. Clearly India, 56 years after achieving independence,

is looking for a leader who can face situations head on and take some bold decisions, the same way as Patel did just after independence in 1947.

Amitabh Bachchan was voted as the 'Greatest Actor' and Sachin Tendulkar as the 'Greatest Sportsman' of the country. The 'Big B' wins by the biggest margin in the entire poll breaching the 60 per cent mark.

Perfectionist and Oscar-seeker Aamir Khan settles for second place just ahead of showman Raj Kapoor. The findings of the nation-wide 'Best of India Opinion Polls' were telecast on the Independence Day on Zee News. The poll conducted on the website of the news channel reflects the opinion of 1,48,438 Indians.

Some startling facts on the militancy show that Punjab has made a successful comeback to mainstream, the state that is known for its zest for life. Punjab wins with flying colours in the 'Best State' category.

Kerala, the first state to achieve 100 per cent literacy, occupies the No. 2 spot. Industrialised Maharashtra stands third on the podium, but is given stiff competition by Gujarat.

The polls also indicate that the new India is in for

making money and being rich may not be considered a stigma. The late Dhirubhai Ambani beats JRD Tata for the top businessman slot. Narayan Murthy is on No. 3, but again locked in a close contest with Azim Premji.

Ramesh Sippy's Sholay wins hands down as the 'Best Film', far ahead of much touted Mother India and Lagaan. But for all those for whom the yesteryears' heroine Madhubala rules their hearts, she is not number one. It is dhak dhak girl Madhuri Dixit who makes the nation's hearts (mostly male, one presumes) beat. Mesmerising Aishwarya and enduring beauty Rekha must settle for

lesser positions.

In the same sentiment, Indians continue to look to the 1971 War as the 'Most Glorious Moment' of independent India. A cricket crazy country gives 1983 World Cup Victory the silver medal. Pokharan nuclear test beats Kargil War for the third place.

In what could be good news for the Bharatiya Janata Party, leading the coalition government in India, ahead of elections, Atal B. Vajpayee is the favourite prime minister. Indira Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri follow him. Nobel laureate Mother Teresa remains the 'Best Personality' of the country. Next in line is the "people's president" APJ Abdul Kalam. India's melody queen Lata Mangeshkar is third best loved.

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