NDTV today announced the winners of their fourth Indian of the Year at an award ceremony graced by Home Minister, Mr. P Chidambaram as Guest of Honour and attended by celebrities and luminaries from all walks of life, including Aamir Khan, Anil Kapoor, Laloo Prasad Yadav, Sheila Dixit, Omar Abdullah, L.K. Advani, Praful Patel, Kavita Karkare and Sushma Swaraj amongst others.
The winners of NDTV Indian of The year 2008 are:
1 Leader of the Year Sheila Dixit
2 Sportsperson of the Year Abhinav Bindra
3 Entertainer of the Year Aamir Khan
4 Businessleader of the Year Deepak Parekh
5 25 years of promoting Indian Culture Dr. Kiran Seth, Spic Macay
6 Unsung Hero of the Year G. Madhavan Nair & ISRO Moon Team
Special Recognition was also conferred upon
1) Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister J&K: GenNext Politician of the Year 2008
2) Cast & Crew of Slumdog Millionaire: Global Excellence of the Year:
3) Prasoon Joshi for lyrics of the song “Maa" from the film 'Taare zameen par'
"The Mumbai Bravehearts", who fought to save the lives of hundreds of innocent people in the recent terror attacks, were awarded the NDTV Indian of the Year 2008. The following were honored by this award: ASI Tukaram G. Omble, ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, Encounter Specialist Vijay Salaskar, ACP Ashok Kamte, Hawaldar Gajendra Singh, Announcer CST Vishnu Zende, Ticket Collector Sushil Kumar Sharma, NSG Director General J. K. Dutta along with his NSG commandos and Management & Staff of Hotel Oberoi, Hotel Trident and Hotel Taj.
Commencing this special evening, Dr. Prannoy Roy Chairman, NDTV said, "India is currently hit by terrible slowdown and government seems to be in a denial mode. Government needs to take immediate and big steps to revive the economic growth." Further dedicating the awards night to recent Mumbai attacks, he added, "Terrorist want to destroy peace and are waiting for us to retaliate. The only way to defeat their purpose is by spreading message of peace and defeating terrorism by peace in this land of Gandhi".
Receiving the Indian of the Year award for his Martyr son, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan"s father said, “Our loss, beacause Sandeep was the only child, is no greater than anyone else's who loses a child. So why say I have lost my only child. My son"s soul would be very happy if 50% of J& K people can be rehabilitated. I have complete faith in Indian forces to protect us and strongly disagree with those who doubt the competency of our forces."
Congratulating NDTV for turning 20 this year , P Chidambaram, the Union Home Minister and Chief Guest at NDTV Indian of the year 2008 said, "Our main objective at present should be to improve our level of preparedness and determination to respond swiftly against terrorism. I request the people of our country, including government, to change their attitude to fight against any odd and at the same time be a civilized society." Commenting further on the recent Satyam episode, Chidambaram said, "Satyam is a case of fraud and not a collapse unlike what has happened in other countries. No Bank or NBFC has collapsed in India. Infact PSU Banks will be hiring 60,000 new recruits in the coming fiscal year and we will see a 7% growth".
Actor, Director & Producer Aamir Khan on being conferred with the title of Entertainer of the year award said, "I want to take this opportunity to thank NDTV for this recognition and my audience for voting for me and encouraging me to give my best to my work over the years. It has been a complete team effort and I am fortunate to have worked with some of the best directors in the Industry". In lieu of the upcoming General Elections, Aamir said, "I request our politicians to act responsibly and field candidates with a clean track record and intelligence to govern the country."
Winning The Leader of the Year Award, Sheila Dixit, serving her third continuous term as Delhi's Chief Minister commented on her plans as a Chief Minister "My next important goal is successful Commonwealth games and to take that opportunity to transform Delhi into a world class city to live in".
On receiving a special recognition for lifetime achievement at the award ceremony L K Advani, said, "We as politicians have greater responsibility in shaping the country's future as we are always under sharp scrutiny. The country is facing terrible time but as a nation we should be optimistic and believe in ourselves to overcome these challenges."
Deepak Parekh on Winning the Businessman of the Year award was asked about his task ahead for Satyam. He said, "Large sums of money have disappeared from Satyam accounts and my team and I have a huge task of finding the truth".
The winners of 'NDTV Indian of the Year 2008' were chosen through a rigorous, multi-layered process guided by an experienced jury that comprised of Shashi Tharoor (well-known author and former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations), Rahul Bajaj (Chairman, Bajaj Auto) , Harsha Bhogle (renowned cricket commenter), Fali S. Nariman (Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India), Anu Aga (former Executive Chairperson of Thermax Group and social activist) and William Dalrymple (internationally acclaimed writer and historian).
Catch the telecast of 'NDTV Indian of The Year 2008' on 26th January 2009 at 7:30pm on NDTV 24x7.