Self reported measures of poor health and morbidities from developing countries tend to be viewed with considerable skepticism. Examination of the social gradient in self-reported health and morbidity measures provides a useful test of the validity of self-reports of poor-health and morbidities. The prevailing view, in part influenced by Amartya Sen, is that socially disadvantaged individuals will fail to perceive and report the presence of illness or health-deficits because an individual’s assessment of their health is directly contingent on their social experience. In this study, we tested whether the association between self-reported poor-health/morbidities and socioeconomic status (SES) in India follows the expected direction or not. Cross sectional logistic regression analyses were carried out on a nationally representative population based sample from the 1998–99 Indian National Family Health Survey (INFHS); and 1995–96 and 2004 Indian National Sample Survey (INSS). Four binary outcomes were analyzed: any self-reported morbidity; self-reported sickness in the last 15 days; self-reported sickness in the past year; and poor self-rated health. In separate adjusted models, individuals with no education reported higher levels of any self-reported, self-reported sickness in the last 15 days, self-reported sickness in the last year, and poor self-rated health compared to those with most education. Contrary to the prevailing thesis, we find that the use of self-rated ill health has face validity as assessed via its relationship to SES. A less dismissive and pessimistic view of health data obtained through self-reports seems warranted.