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Eight who set silver screen on fire

Stage is set for the Indian of the Year awards being given by CNN-IBN in partnership with Hindustan Times, reports HT Correspondent.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2008 01:47 IST
HT Correspondent

Remember that scene from Chak De! India when the girls get a pep talk from their coach? And all he says is what you all are going to do in the next 70 minutes will stay with you for ever. No one, and just no one, can take that away from you. So, go and have a good time.

No histrionics about how a victory is going to change the lot of women in India, and in fact, all over the world. Or, how a victory will mean India cannot be denied a place in the UN Security Council any more. Or that it will mean Australians never mess with India.
Hmmm. That’s a nice thought.

Let's buy cinema hall tickets for Ricky Ponting and his wild dogs. Or fix them a date with Shah Rukh Khan. No wonder he is called King Khan; that scene couldn’t have been done better.

After rewriting film history with that film — with no heroes, heroines and trees — he came back later in the year with another stunner, Om Shanti Om. This man obviously believes there is nothing called too much, and India just can't have enough of him.

The two films make him a contender for the Indian of the Year award in the entertainment category. The awards are being given by CNN-IBN in partnership with Hindustan Times. Winners from six categories — politics, business, entertainment, sports, NRI and public service — will vie for the top slot. Readers and an electoral college of 100 eminent Indians from all walks of life will select them and the final winner.

Voting for politics and business is on. From Wednesday morning, you can start voting for the entertainment category too. But first the contenders. Shah Rukh is just one of the six; there are five more, obviously. Chak De has also sent one more entry — a joint entry at that: it’s director Shimit Amin and scriptwriter Jaideep Sahni. Now, take a deep breath and think: so, who did a better job? The director-scriptwriter team or the film’s leading man SRK?

The third contender is ultimate style king Rajnikanth. It will be a travesty to call him the ageing style king, because he showed in Sivaji-The Boss that age just has nothing to do with it. For one, you cannot make out he is ageing. And two, does it matter?

The film turned out to be a big blockbuster, packing cinema halls even in the north. He can fight, sing and dance just as well as the youngest Kapoor on the block — Ranbir 'Saawariya' Kapoor — if not better: the kid can learn a few things from Rajnikanth.

There is yet another joint entry in this category. And they are the Indian Idol finalists Prashant Tamang and Amit Paul, who together whipped up a reality TV frenzy the likes of which has not been seen in this country before. When was the last time a chief minister went on air seeking votes for one of them? The Meghalaya Chief Minister did just that asking people to vote for Amit, who comes from Shillong in that state. It may not have helped, eventually, but that’s another story.

Because the other contestant Prashant had the entire police force of the country rooting for him — his seniors went on air to ask for votes and so did his colleagues and singing mates. The men in khaki won (are you surprised?) There is then the Great Action Hero Akshay Kumar, who has been called by a film magazine the alternative to the Khans (SRK, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan). He has no Lagaans or Chak Des to show on his resume, but he is good and steady business.

And there is Shilpa Shetty. She gave herself a second chance at stardom by surviving the wild cats of the UK reality TV show Big Brother. The lissome Ms Shetty then got herself more fame with an ultra-high Richard Gere kiss. You can sms your vote on 52622. Type IENT A to vote for Shah Rukh, IENT B for Rajnikanth, IENT C for Shimit and Jaideep, IENT D for Prashant and Amit, IENT E for Akshay and IENT F for Shilpa.

You can also vote online. Go to www.cnnibnindianoftheyear.com and follow the instructions.
Voting closes on January 15