The IMPACT Person of the Year 2013 award night held at The ITC Grand Hotel, Mumbai was a spectacular event celebrating the greatest leaders of the media industry. Vineet Jain was named IMPACT Person of the Year 2013. He was given his citation and award by the Chief Guest of the evening, the Union Minister of Law Kapil Sibal.
In his opening speech for the evening, Sibal touched upon some of the most important topics of the time, shedding light on what a leader should be and how a responsible leader and a responsible citizen of the country must understand and exercise his rights and duties, in the right way.
‘Leaders are’, as Napoleon Bonaparte once said, ‘dealers in hope’. Sibal said, “You have to inculcate hope wherever you are, maybe a small organisation, maybe a large organisation, maybe a business entity, but unless you inculcate that hope within that organisation, you cannot possibly be a leader.”
In the words of Henry Kissinger, ‘A leader is one who takes people from where they are to where they have not been’. It’s all about the future, about taking people and giving them a glimpse of tomorrow.
Impactful persons have the ability to change lives. And, media, in the context of the 21st century, is an impactful vehicle through which societies are going to transform themselves and attempt to meet the challenges of tomorrow. To be an impactful person in the world of entertainment and media is of enormous relevance today because he will be impactful in the context of what India grows to be in the 21st century.
He also said, “Leadership requires two fundamental qualities. One, the quality of management – management involves doing things right, because unless you do something right, you won’t be able to make your venture successful. The other quality of a leader is to do the right thing. So if you have the management quality of doing things right and doing the right thing, then it’s an amalgamation of the best and it’s then that the excellence emerges and you’re an impactful person in the society.”
The evening also gave him a chance to address an audience that held the responsibility of carrying information to the society – the media industry. The idea of India is in danger, Sibal said. Merely believing we are in a successful democracy because 70-75 per cent of voter turnout was observed at the electoral process is not democracy – but just a mere aspect of it. And taking this information forward to the people of our society is an important duty of the media so that everyone can take informed decisions and make a better future for them.
He further added, “The kind of debate and information that is reaching out to people and the kind of mindsets that are being formed out there are in fact diluting the idea of India. India is great nation which is full of diversity – unity in diversity which we have cherished over the years ever since independence, and perhaps even before independence. In fact, if we look at India geographically, it is the only landmass in the world where we can get an amalgamation of people and there is a historical context to it and we need to cherish this diversity.”
He feels that the electronic media can do extreme destruction by misinforming people but can also make that right with the constructive things like dispensing the right information to the nation and helping make do the right thing over doing what is right for them.
Today, everything is painted either black or white – losing the colours of the mosaic of India – thus making it difficult for people to now believe there can be a middle ground to any situation. He continued, “We want leaders in this country, whether in the entertainment world or outside the entertainment world, to understand that the one thing we must cherish, that we must embrace, that we must protect is the democracy, is the idea of India.”
In his words as a poet, he closed his speech with these lines in Hindi:
“Yaad aati hai kal ki, fikr hoti hai ab ki, yaad aati hai kal ki, fikr hoti hai ab ki,
Sochta hu main tab ki, bata muhe e rabji, kya kahani hai ye sabki”
(When I’m reminded of the past, I’m anxious about the present, and wonder if the times were such – is just me, or is everyone just as anxious as me?)
IMPACT Person of the Year, 2013 had Colors as the presenting partner, and Chitralekha, Comedy Central and Godrej Properties as associate partners.