Amongst these were Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, magical composer A R Rahman, superstar Shah Rukh Khan, iconic actor Rajinikanth and prominent actress of Bollywood’s golden era, Waheeda Rehman.
The awards were presented by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, at Rashtrapati Bhawan – the official residence of the President of India.
While felicitating the awards, the President stated, “It’s indeed a pleasure for me to be amidst you this evening and to be associated with recognizing these 25 great Indians. While going through their introduction and some of their comments I found out that one striking commonality in all of them that each and every one of them believes in hard work, honesty, commitment to the job, idea to which they furnish…”
In an interview with NDTV, SRK also commented on the importance of hard work and the dedication he feels towards his work:
“To work harder you need to think better, be happier, you want to be healthier, you want to be a solider, you want to be tougher and you know what keeps me going on to be really honest, because I only work on films, I go to the studio, I wear my make-up and I do my stuff. I don’t know if it will work or not, more often then not Allah has been kind that it’s worked. What keeps me going on is awards like this, I go back, I just actually tweeted that I was in the august company of wonderfully talented people, I don’t even think I fit there, but thank you so much for considering me within that company. But I am going to work harder and am going to work happier. In 2014 you will have a harder and a happier Shah Rukh Khan.”
Amitabh Bachchan tweeted his excitement and delight at being presented the prestigious award,“NDTV honours 25 Global Indians on it’s 25th anniversary. Honours to be done by the President of India! Yours truly is one of them.”
Sources state that while receiving the award, the Big B expressed his gratitude, concluding, “The greatness is not in an individual, but the people who think about him/her in that light.”
He later blogged, “NDTv did a splendid job – the elegance the dignity the hospitality … and so much more … was a moment of great pride for us all. The distinguished company that we were placed in was the added joy. They made the programme … and long may they live ..
As the events of last night sink in, one realises what a great honour and moment in our lives the magnitude of it all exhibits. We are not deserving of it, but some feel we are. Greatness does not lie in us, it lies in the belief of others, that they think so. And so we submit to them in all humility. And we persevere as always in the days to come, to continue to propel our minds in a direction that shall keep us wishing and wanting to to perhaps reach that stage where we feel further challenged. To accomplish that which we may have not been able to overcome. To attempt, to struggle, to make effort, to move that centimetre perhaps in the right direction. To not be dissuaded by adverse comment. To be in welcoming all that which is negative and to be inspired enough to disprove it. Not in revenge, but in reinvention. Of oneself, of our being and of our own manifestations …”
A summit was organised before the ceremony, according to “the business of cinema”, during which Shah Rukh Khan performed on stage alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Waheeda Rehman.
The complete list of personalities who were honoured by NDTV are:
Amitabh Bachchan; Anish Kapur; Amartya Sen; A R Rahman; CNR Rao; Ela Bhatt; Fali Nariman; Indira Nooyi; Hari Prasad Chaursia; Kapi Dev; Leander Paes; M S Swaminathan; Mukesh Ambani; N R Narayanmurthy; Rajinikanth; Ratan Tata; Sachin Tendulkar; Dr SS Badrinath; S H Raza; Shah Rukh Khan; Venkatraman Ramakrishnan; Vikram Seth; Waheeda Rehman; Y K Hamied; Zubin Mehta