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In the year gone by, Rajnikanth achieved huge popularity with his superbly-scripted character in the film 'Sivaji – The Boss'. On the other hand, Shilpa Shetty received worldwide recognition for the dignity with which she stood up against racial discrimination onslaughts in the British reality show 'Celebrity Big Brother'. This not only made the actress a household name and an icon in the United Kingdom, but brought immense pride for our country, propelling her as an ambassador of equality across the globe.
"Shilpa has only been an achiever, while Rajnikanth has been a great performer," commented the actresses' publicist Dale Bhagwagar on her losing out to the award. "Shilpa has emerged the most famous Indian in the UK. Hopefully, India will reward her for this accomplishment in future," he added.
Apart from Shilpa and Rajnikanth, other nominations in the entertainment category of the 'NDTV Indian of the Year' awards, included Shah Rukh Khan (who was given a 'special award') and Himesh Reshammiya.
The jury comprised former BBC correspondent Sir Mark Tully, Kiran Karnik, Shobha De, Shekhar Gupta and former chairman of ISRO Dr K.Kasturirangan, among others.