NDTV Indian of the Year Awards 2008 were announced on January 21 in New Delhi. The awards recognise exemplary contributions by exceptional Indians in various fields such as politics, cinema, sports, business, and art and culture.
Prannoy Roy, chairperson, NDTV, began the evening by paying tribute to all those who lost their lives in the Mumbai terror attacks. He urged the gathering to observe two minutes of silence as a mark of respect for the victims of the attacks.
The guest of honour for the awards function was home minister P Chidambaram. He addressed the gathering, emphasising "that the people of our country, including the government, need to change their attitude to fight against any odds and at the same time be a civilised society".
Reacting to the Satyam fiasco, Chidambaram said, "Satyam is a case of fraud and not a collapse, unlike what has happened in other countries. No bank or non-banking financial company (NBFC) has collapsed in India. Public sector banks will hire 60,000 new recruits in the coming fiscal year and we will see a 7 per cent growth."
For braving all political odds and still managing to hold her fort in the Capital, Sheila Dixit, chief minister of Delhi, was honoured with the Leader of the Year award. The first individual Olympic Gold winner from India, Abhinav Bindra, was chosen as the Sports Person of the Year. For giving Indian audiences Taare Zameen Par, actor Aamir Khan clinched the Entertainer of the Year award.
Deepak Parekh, recently entrusted with the task of bailing out Satyam, was chosen Business Leader of the Year. Kiran Seth received the award in the Art and Culture category for SPICMACAY's support and promotion of Indian music and dance for the past 25 years.
The ISRO team, represented by G Madhavan, came on stage to accept the award for the Unsung Hero, for their contribution to Chandraayan, India's mission to the moon.
In addition to these civilian honours, special recognition was conferred on some other well-known faces of the nation. The leader of the opposition, LK Advani, was given the Lifetime Achievement award. Omar Abdullah, chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, was chosen as the Generation Next Political Leader of the Year.
Copywriter, lyricist and poet Prasoon Joshi was recognised for his lyrics for the song, Maa, in Taare Zameen Par. Actor Anil Kapoor, director Danny Boyle and other crew members of the film, Slumdog Millionaire, walked away with the Global Excellence of the Year award.
The NDTV Indian of the Year Awards 2008 ceremony will be aired on NDTV 24x7 on January 26 at 7.30 pm.