| Making the cut: Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary in Downton Abbey
Why Lakshmi is lonesome
As the lone Indian, Lakshmi Mittal comes in at No. 41, one behind Jemima Khan, in an eccentric list drawn up by Tatler, the glossy society magazine, of the people who really matter in British society.
Well never reveal the specifics of how people are ranked, says the magazine, which has clearly set out to be as provocative as possible.
For example, David Cameron ranks 23rd, while his wife, Samantha, is joint 4th with Kate Fall, the Prime Ministers deputy chief of staff at 10, Downing Street.
The Duchess of Cambridge — the former Kate Middleton — is 10th, but her husband, Prince William is 34th, while his younger brother, Prince Harry is 6th.
The Queen, who is marking her diamond jubilee this year, is No. 1. However, after Tatler readers had submitted their preferences, the Queen has slipped to second place behind Boris Johnson, the Tory Mayor of London.
Mittal, although billed as Europes richest man, with a personal fortune estimated at £22 billion, drops out of the top 50 altogether to 57th.
Only four other Asians make Tatlers top 500 — sculptor Anish Kapoor (140), who likes women to wear figure-hugging clothes; Salman Rushdie (381) who has been married four times; Benazir Bhuttos niece Fatima Bhutto (415); and Baroness Warsi, the Pakistani-origin co-chairman of the Tory Party.
The Tatler list includes an awful lot of pretty girls at whom the magazine is aimed — for example, actress Sophie Winkleman (7); model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (9); actress Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary in the upper class soap, Downton Abbey (11); and Madeleine Grant (15), an English literature student at Oxford who claims she once stole a kiss from Johnny Depp; Princess Beatrice, the daughter of Prince Andrew and Fergie (16); and Burberry model Cara Delevingne (18).
In fact, there already exists a register of important Indians and Pakistanis in the UK — the Asian Whos Who.
Publisher Jasbir Singh Sachar tells me: We began in 1974 and this year we will be publishing our 25th edition. We would like to give an award to a talented person of 25 — that is someone who was born in 1987, which is 13 years after we started Whos Who.
Many Condé Naste magazines have come to India, among them Vogue, GQ and Condé Nast Traveller. The technology magazine Wired is likely to follow.
The question is, if there was an Indian version of Tatler, who would be considered the people who really matter?
In the Top 100, Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi would probably come in joint 87th, I am advised by Tatler-minded folk who draw up such lists, with Mamata Banerjee at 72.
Ratan Tata would be 89, Mukesh Ambani 79, Amitabh Bachchan 80, Vijay Mallya 10, and Anil Kapoor 5. Rahul Gandhi would be 55, his sister, Priyanka 6.
As for the people who really, really matter, the ranking would be something like: Paoli Dam 4, Raima Sen 9, Vidya Balan 11, Locket Chatterjee 12, Sara Tendulkar 44, her father Sachin 45, Katrina Kaif 50 , Chanda Kochhar 62, Sabyasachi Mukherjee 65, and Nirupama Rao 68.
Poonam Pandey would be 2 and Akhilesh Yadav 3, with Virat Kohli at 1.
As in England, readers who felt the ranking was whimsical, could register their own preferences online.
| BBC big gun: Jeremy Paxman at Mehrangarh Fort
What is it about India that keeps attracting BBC TV presenters wanting to do documentaries on the country?
In Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson drove through India with a lavatory fitted on the back of his Jaguar.
John Sergeants two-part, Tracks of Empire, provided a fascinating insight into Indias rail network.
The word Empire is used again as the title of Jeremy Paxmans two-part documentary which last week attempted to answer the question: How did such a small country get such a big head?
Paxo was charming to all the natives he met. Back in England, charming is one thing he doesnt do.
Paxman, who presents Newsnight as well as the quiz show, University Challenge, is paid nearly a million pounds a year for being rude to politicians.
Fresh from talking to Lord Swraj Paul, one of the few industrialists to keep manufacturing alive in the UK — incidentally, he would like to meet Mamata Banerjee so that he can suggest ways in which she can revive manufacturing in West Bengal — I have a chat with journalist Nicholas Comfort.
Nicholas has just written a sobering book on the decline of British manufacturing, which accounted for 25 per cent of the world trade in manufactured goods when the Queen came to the throne in 1952 and has now fallen to 3 per cent in the diamond jubilee year of her reign.
In Surrender: How British Industry Gave Up the Ghost, 1952-2012 (Biteback Publishing; £20), Nicholas makes it sound like the empire striking back: The sub-continent has played an important part in all stages of this story.
As Indias economy has come of age, the worm has turned, says Nicholas, an old friend of mine from our Daily Telegraph days. Tata has acquired major steel and automotive companies to become the UKs largest industrial employer. Know-how from Jaguar and Land Rover, in particular, is feeding back into Indias fast-maturing techno- logical base.
Ashok Leyland, once a subsidiary of the defunct British Leyland, is now the flagship of the Hinduja Group, he goes on. Lord Pauls Caparo Group is driving forward innovation in Britains special metals industry.
Nicholass late father, Dr Alex Comfort, won worldwide fame with his 1972 book, The Joy of Sex.
A friend has already suggested that I subtitle my book, The Joy of Manufacturing, Nicholas jokes.
Actually, that wouldnt be a bad title.
|MIRROR MIRROR: Madhuri meets Madhuri at Tussauds
Who might be next in the crowded Bollywood corner at Madame Tussauds, where Madhuri Dixit-Nene last week joined Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan?
In addition, there is also Kareena Kapoor who is part of a Bollywood travelling exhibition.
Madhuri, who donated one of her own saris to her £1,50,000 waxwork model, expressed delight: They have captured my look beautifully!
One suggestion is that the next waxwork should be that of the baby daughter of Abhi and Ash, Beti B, dressed in a gifted nappy, preferably unused.
|PRINCES OF TRACK AND REALM: Usain Bolt (right) with Harry
Its a pity that the world 100m sprint champion, Usain Bolt, felt unable to attend the Commonwealth Games in London but he made time for Prince Harry when the latter visited Jamaica last week during his Caribbean tour. He even let cool Harry beat him a mock race.
Harry, who is representing the Queen in her diamond jubilee year, was welcomed with a maternal hug and kisses from Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaicas newly elected Prime Minister.
But despite Harrys un- doubted charm, Miller hasnt changed her mind about removing the Queen as the islands head of state and turning it into a republic.
Its not about getting rid of the Queen, who could get rid of the Queen? said Miller. Shes a wonderful, beautiful lady — such a warm and wonderful person. In terms of our history we have some things to do, its not disrespect to the Queen, she can visit at any time.