The Prestigious Rajratna Awards-2015 awarded to recognize the valuable contribution made some distinguished personalities have made the Nagpur city proud were conferred on six distinguished personalities in the city on February 16, 2015. The incredible achievements of six men and women, who have succeeded against the odds were awarded during this programme.
The Awards was in recognition to men and women who defied stereotypes and breaking through in all areas, including sports, science, politics, community activism, human rights, health, media, legal and business. Even children who excelled in education, music and dance were recognized and awarded.
There were six categories in which an individual was nominated which include Journalism (Media), History and Literature, Sports, culture, Music, Photographers and Electronic Media and Exemplary Work.
For exemplary Journalism and Media, Veteran Journalist and Chief Editor of JIA TV S N Vinod was awarded with Shrimant Raje Raghuji Maharaj Bhonsle (First) Award.
For excellence in History and Literature, Veteran Urdu Litterateur Janab Jafar Kalim was awarded with Shrimant Raje Mudhoji Maharaj Bhonsle (Second) alias Appasaheb Maharaj Award.
For excellence in Sports, Ace Swimmer and Police Official Balasaheb Gadge was awarded with Shrimant Raje Bahadur Raghuji Maharaj Bhonsle (Fourth) Award.
For excellence in Music, Singer Sunil Waghmare was awarded with Shrimant Raje Bahadur Fatehsingh Maharaj Bhonsle Award.
For excellence in Photographers and Electronic Media, Former Camera-Woman of Door Darshan TV Ashlesha Raichaudhari was awarded with Shrimant Raje Khandoji Maharaj Bhonsle alias Chimna Bapu Maharaj Award.
For excellence in Out-standing Work, Motivator of Body Donation, Chandrakant Meher was awarded with Shrimant Raje Bahadur Ajitsingh Maharaj Bhonsle Award.
Those students who are under 18 years of age and have excelled in Exemplary Work, Sports and Education were also awarded.
They are as follows:
For excellence in Exemplary Work, Sakshi Rajesh Chavhan was awarded with Rana Pratap Maharaj Award.
For excellence in Sports, Harshada Hemant Shirke was awarded with Shrimant Raje Chatrapati Sambaji Maharaj Bhonsle Award.
For excellence in Education, Riya Vijay Gode was awarded with Shrimant Raje Bahadur Janoji Maharaj Bhonsle Award.
Mayor of Nagpur Municipal Corporation Pravin Datke while addressing the gathering said that the Raj Gharana (Royal Family) award is really a prestigious award. One should be really fortunate to receive the award. Receiving an award from the Kings who ruled over Nagpur is really prestigious honour. However, he also added that this award should be an inspiration to others in these fields to excel in their field. He claimed that this will encourage the others to work hard and excel in their field so that their hard-work too gets recognized and are awarded in future. Mayor Pravin Datke said that the selection process is not an easy one. He thanked the members of the Royal family for institution these awards.
Chief Editor of JIA TV Channel S N Vinod while addressing the audience and the awardees, he thanked the Royal Household for conferring this award on him. Being awarded with an award in the memory of erstwhile rulers of Nagpur is really honourable.
While speaking about his field in which he was recognized, he said that Media today has been divided into two worlds. To explain this he quoted an example that happened with him in his own life. He said that on the day that Babri Masjid was demolished, veteran Indian journalist, syndicated columnist and author Kuldip Nayar had allegedly claimed that if someone is responsible for the poor and distressed state of the country is only the politicians. S N Vinod had with all humility while taking permission to add to what Kuldeep Nayar had said that another important people who have added to the state of distress of the country was the media too. He went to add that he has worked with many journalist and has seen the naked state of their actions and deeds which has led to claim what he said.
S N Vinod while explaining about the media today said that when they should be playing the role of a referee, they have started playing the role of a goal-keeper. They have started going against the ethics and values of a journalist who is supposed to be impartial. He went to add that today many Corporate Houses have taken possession of the media houses. However, he claimed that this is not new. He said that former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had called the press then as Jute Press and Steel Press. Jute Press for the some of the things the media had then printed in some newspapers. Steel Press since the media house was owned by J R D Tata, who never interfered in the articles or what is printed in the paper, he owned. He said the then press Times of India owned by Sahu Jain Family, Indian Express owned by Ramnath Goenka or Statesmen never interfered in the content of their newspaper. They never dictated any terms to their journalist who had a free hand to publish the truth.
However, the state of media is in sad state and against the very ethos of democracy. He went on to explain his point by quoting about the last elections. He said that the media exposed the scams of Congress party causing BJP to win. How powerful media is, can be gauged by this. While some political parties had direct open control over the media, while some had backdoor control.
He also said that even while the media presented a colourful image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a relatively very young political party Aam Admi Party practically made a clean sweep win in the elections in Delhi. This is because the people had chosen them. The power of people or citizens therefore is equally important. While Media is the Fourth Pillar of the Society, the People or the Citizens are the Fifth Pillar. The people should come forward and question the media too. This will ensure that some control in what we write, show or present.
While quoting another example, he said that in a recent incident, when a young journalist dared to write something against a particular political leader, the owner promptly removed him from the job. This is making the young journalists afraid of fulfilling their role of a journalist.
Former Camera-Woman of Door Darshan Ashlesha Raichaudhari too addressed the audience and said that we do not love one another. If we do, we will not have the wide divide based on caste, religion, financial position etc. She claimed that we as Indians have been, are and will always be very tolerant and can live amicably with one another. It is only when some sections of the society gets pressurized into creating rift and in-turn riots. She went on to add that she is proud to have been born in India. She claimed that other countries are jealous of our knowledge, the diverse cultures, religions, languages etc.
MLA Vikas Kumbhare while addressing the audience said that this is the first time when a Shishya was felicitating the Guru. How can he who learnt everything from the Guru honour him? He went on to appologise to S N Vinod since he claimed that he had learnt a lot from him. He also appealed to the audience to be more sensitive to the really poor and needy in the vicinity of our houses or offices. He said if only we can help a few in any little way these poor and needy people, it will make a big difference to the society.
Raje Mudhoji Bhonsle went on to add that sometimes it is very embarrassing when out teachers pay respects to us. He claimed that he was a student of Bishop Cotton School. After finishing his studies, he was invited as a guest for the Independence Day Celebrations at the school. His teacher who had by then become the Principal of the school was standing behind him. Raje Mudhoji Bhonsle claimed that he had requested her to kindly sit at least 6 times during his speech. But the teacher had claimed that then you were my student but today you are our guest and a guest is to be honoured and accorded the due respects.
Poet M A Kadar in his eloquent manner gave the vote of thanks spiced with many Urdu Couplets.