While the three Forces chiefs might lament the fall in armed forces recruitments, the Indian Soldier got the two thumbs up cutting across all categories from jury members and voters alike and declared the NDTV Indian of the Year 2007. The Indian Soldier was also declared the Unsung Hero of the Year. The awards were given away at a glittering ceremony in the National Capital on January 17, 2008.
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh received the Leader of the Year award for 2007, while former President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam received a special NDTV Inspirational Indian of the Year award.
Mukesh Ambani was declared Business Person of the Year, while R K Pachauri, who heads the global panel on climate change, won the Global Indian of the Year award. Sportsperson of the Year was chess master Vishwanathan Anand, actor Rajnikanth was declared Entertainer of the Year. Not to be left behind, Shah Rukh Khan bagged a special award in the entertainment category. A R Rehman was declared Indian of the Year in the music category.
The other special award winners included footballer Biachung Bhutia, DLF Chairman K P Singh and Jaideep Sahni, who was instrumental in rejuvening hockey through the film ‘Chak De! India’.
The winners of NDTV Indian of the Year awards were chosen through a rigorous, multi-layered process, starting with the NDTV editorial board, which began by shortlisting nominees in each category after painstaking research. The nominees were then made public and votes are invited through SMS polls, online votes, opinion polls and TV shows. The results were assessed by Ernst & Young, the auditors and validators for the awards. Finally, the jury selected its favourites.
The jury for the 2007 awards comprised eminent personalities such as Sir Mark Tully (former BBC South Asia correspondent and Indophile), Kiran Karnik, Shobha De, Shekhar Gupta, and former Chairman of ISRO Dr K Kasturirangan, among others.