Commemorating the achievements of iconic Indians and organisations for their remarkable contributions to the society, Network18 felicitated the winners of CNN-News18 Indian of the Year 2017 in New Delhi on November 30. The glittering ceremony witnessed the presence of some of the most prominent personalities from all walks of life – Virat Kohli, Manushi Chhillar, Rajkummar Rao, Arun Jaitley, Kapil Dev, Afroz Shah to name a few.
Avinash Kaul, Managing Director of A+E Networks | TV18 & President, Network 18, said, “CNN News18 Indian of the Year’ celebrates achievers who have been exceptional contributors to our society in their respective fields. We at CNN-News18 are privileged to recognise these achievers so that they can continue to inspire the nation.”
The event was followed widely on social media and trended on twitter with #IndianoftheYear all through the evening. The audience included not just the ones seated at the venue but also across the nation through live telecast on CNN-News18 and the live blog on News18.com.
Radhakrishnan Nair, Managing Editor, CNN-News18, said, “The CNN-News18 Indian of the Year has evolved over the last 11 years into a platform of recognition for Indians who have pushed the envelope. It has recognised people from all walks of life, from the acid attack victims who fought for justice to soldiers who fought to protect the country and to Prime Ministers running the nation. The selection process has always been of gold standards and has had its set of challenges. This year, the competition was even fiercer and a greater challenge for us.”
The CNN-News18 Indian of the Year was instituted in 2006. The award distinguishes itself by celebrating not only exemplary individuals and their achievements but also the ideas that have inspired India and impacted lives of the citizens. Over the years, the recipients of this prestigious award have included People of Chennai (2015) Prime Minister Narendra Modi (2014), the NGO Stop Acid Attacks (2013), Indian Chess Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand (2012), Anna Hazare (2011), Bihar CM Nitish Kumar (2010), A R Rahman(2009), G Madhavan Nair (2008), E Sreedharan (2007) and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (2006).
Actor Rajkummar Rao said, “We should not have preconceived notions about any film before seeing it. We have a government certified body – the CBFC – which is responsible for passing the film. Once you see a film – I don't mean only Padmavati – you often find there's no distortion of facts (or history) as is alleged. I do feel nervous, but it's that nervous energy that keeps me going. It's been a wonderful journey so far. The way Patralekha has stood by me. I hope (this good fortune) continues.”
Indian Cricket Team, Coach, Ravi Shastri, said, “South Africa tour will be an opportunity to prove ourselves. The key to success abroad is consistency. And this team has it in them to win abroad.”
Former Indian Cricket Team Captain, Kapil Dev, said, “I think the team has reached a level where they can beat anyone. Be it South Africa or Australia, I think we have a captain who understands how the team functions. The only problem that the team is going to face is that whom they are going to pick in the playing XI, as we have a very strong bench.”
Indian Cricket Team Captain, Virat Kohli, said, “It's my honour to give this award to Manushi. Hope we can keep making the county proud in the future as well. They're far more senior than us so they (the women) should be talking about us than the other way round."
On being asked to comment about the women's team's achievements, Kohli said, "We sent them our best wishes when they were headed for the World Cup and were gutted (when they didn't win). Whatever target they give us tomorrow, we're going for it. If there's any hesitation or anyone wants to oppose it, you tell me right now, or we go to our rooms knowing we're going to meet the target. So it hurts a lot not to cross the line, but it gave us a lot of confidence as a team that we could win anywhere.”
Miss World, Manushi Chhillar, said, “I worked very hard for that (MBBS) seat, and I'm not letting go of that so easily. Not even for Bollywood. Motherhood anywhere in the world is a one-way relationship. For instance, no matter what I do, I know I cannot repay my mother for what she's done for me. So it's always going to be a one-way relationship.
Sports: Kidambi Srikanth
Business: Acharya Balkrishna
Public Service: Afroz Shah
Entertainment: Rajkummar Rao
Outstanding Achievement: Team Baahubali, Mohan Lal
Outstanding Achievement in Business & CSR: Adar Poonawala
Special Achievement: Indian Women's Cricket Team, Manushi Chhillar