CNN-IBN Indian of the Year -Politics
From proving a proficient Finance Minister in the past to becoming the Head of Government of the World’s largest democracy, Dr. Manmohan Singh has shown his adaptability to different political roles. From being labelled a puppet Prime Minister he has gone onto finding his own feet–most evident in his handling of the recent Indo-U.S. nuclear deal. He showed his strength of character by going ahead with his foreign policy decisions despite opposition from important coalition partners. In addition his amicable and soft-spoken nature; his previous involvement in a number of international organisations such as the UN and IMF and his diplomatic skills have earned him tremendous respect the World over
CNN-IBN Indian of the Year - Business
It has taken a lot more than just being the Chairman of the Tata Group to become one of the richest, most powerful and influential men in the country. Ratan Tata, a Padma Bhushan awardee, member of the central board of the Reserve Bank of India and of the Prime Minister's Council on Trade and Industry, is a man of varied talents and great vision. It is this vision that has made the Tata Group multinational and as a result taken Indian industry to the World. In addition he is also the member of the programme board of the Bill and Milinda Gates Foundation’s AIDS initiative in India. The epitome of a repsonsible industrialist and citizen.
CNN-IBN Indian of the Year - Entertainment
Rajkumar Hirani began his career as a film editor, which was followed by a move to the field of advertising where he directed a number of ad films, only to return to film editing. 2003 saw the release of his directorial debut, Munnabhai MBBS, which completely rocked the box office and therefore an eventual sequel was only in order. It was in 2006 that Hirani gave the Indian public what they had been waiting three long years for – Lage Raho Munnabhai – calling which a blockbuster would be an understatement! Through the characters of Munnabhai and Circuit, Hirani was able to bring Gandhian ideology back to life in a more hip and cool avatar that took over the hearts of the public - both young and old alike. In addition, Munnabhai's use of an idiomatic version of Hindi, very typical of Bombay, has created a lingua revolution amongst the youth.
CNN-IBN Indian of the year - Sports
Jeev Milkha Singh
Seeded the highest Indian golfer in the World, 34-year-old Jeev Milkha Singh was nominated to this category for his exceptional performance in the recent European Tour. 2006 was a very busy year for the ace golfer and son of former Olympic sprinter Milkha Singh as well as the most fruitful he has had thus far. The Volvo China Open was the year’s first victory for Milkha Singh Jr. followed a few months later by the Volvo Masters – the biggest event on, which placed him in the final position of 16th of Order of Merit on the European Tour – making him the first Asian to do so. He then went on to cap the season with back-to-back victories in Japan at the Casio World Open and Golf Nippon Series JT Cup respectively. All these achievements have made him the first Indian to make the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings
CNN-IBN Indian of the Year - Public Service
As a civil servant in the Indian Revenue Service, Arvind Kejriwal is better known and recognised as a social activist. During his career he first hand witnessed the lack of transparency and the high levels of corruption prevalent in the government thereof. While still in his official position Kejriwal began campaigning against corrupt practices. He later resigned in order to start his own grassroots citizen's movement – Parivartan. The main objectives of Parivartan are to ensure just, transparent and accountable governance. Together with other activists, Kejriwal crusaded for the Right to Information Act, which was finally passed in 2005. Since then he has been spearheading an awareness campaign across India on the importance of a citizen's right to information in a Democracy such as ours. It is for these efforts that he was bestowed with the 2006 Ramon Magsaysay award.
CNN-IBN Indian of the Year - NRI
Claimed as the 28th ‘most powerful woman’ in the world by Forbes in 2005, Indra Nooyi is the first Indian woman to become the CEO of a U.S. company the size of Pepsico. This makes her one of the 12 women CEO in the Fortune 500 – a feat that is by no means ordinary. Nooyi’s razor sharp wit, strategic deal making skills and natural aptitude for business made her the favoured candidate to be elected to the position by the Pepsico Board of Directors. If these credentials are not enough she has also appeared on the list of the ’50 watchable women in the world’ by the Wall Street Journal.