|The 12th Rajiv Gandhi
Both are at the peak of their
career and felicitating with prestigious award like Rajiv Gandhi National
Awards at this high point is like more than anyone would ask for. Shahid
Kapur and Katrina Kaif will be honored with Rajiv Gandhi award at the National
Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai for their acting on August 19.
The 12th Rajiv Gandhi National
Awards will be attended by many personalities from different walks of life
and adding glamour to the event will be the performance of ace dancer
Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Esha Deol and many others. Composer
Vishal Shekhar will also perform during the award eve.
Shahid and Katrina will be
honored on this particular occasion along with some other winners in different
Preceded by a grand entertainment
extravaganza in which Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra will perform among
several others, to be shown later on Sony TV, on September 6, at 8 pm.
There are 12 awards in all
and they are meant to honour achievers who are a part of India’s progress
into the 21st century. Which, in a way, is a salute to the passion and
energy of the recipients for keeping alive Rajiv Gandhi’s dream of a progressive
India. “He was the architect of modern India,” says Sapra, “and the awards
ceremony is synonymous with India’s future.”
Strangely, Sapra had only
one meeting in his political career with the former prime minister. “It
lasted two minutes and was at the Shanmukhananda Hall in 1988,” he says
regretfully. “After that, we lost Rajivji forever.”
Sapra was an impressionable
young NSUI office bearer then. But Rajiv Gandhi must have impressed him
greatly. For when he became the Mumbai Youth Congress president in 1995,
Sapra felt he had the “responsibility and position” to do something that
would keep alive the vision of his beloved leader.
He thought up the awards,
Sunil Dutt told him to name them after Rajiv Gandhi, and the first presentation
ceremony was held at the August Kranti Maidan on December 28, that year.
“That was the 110th birth anniversary of the Congress,” recalls Sapra.
“But since then, the awards are held on August 19th, the eve of Rajivji’s
That is how it has been,
and the categories for the awards have risen over the years to number 12
in all now. They are given to personalities in Education, Sports, Industry,
Journalism and Entertainment (Best Actor and Actress), and also to a Global
Indian, a Super Achiever, a Young Entrepreneur, a Woman Achiever, a Child
Prodigy, and to somebody in the Social Field.
Past recipients have included
such eminent Indians from diverse fields as Mukesh Ambani, Kapil Dev, Anna
Hazare, Adi Godrej, Sachin Tendulkar, Shah Rukh Khan, Sania Mirza, Aishwarya
Rai (Bachchan), Sant Singh Chatwal, Dhanraj Pillai and Anand Mahindra among