Proud to be an Indian


By Papri Das

If you are active on social media or have been following the news, you must be familiar with how Tamil born and IIT Kharagpur alumni Sundar Pichai risen to the position of Google CEO. No sooner did the news hit the intetnet than netizens poured in with praises for him to celebrate this proud moment for India.

Pichai isn’t the only one who has done the country proud when it comes to putting India’s name amongst world leaders in technology. Previously, Indian American business executive Satya Nadella grabbed headlines when he took over as CEO of another technology giant, Microsoft Corp.

In fact, according to a recent media report, India is the current leader in startup and entrepreneurship in the Silicon valley. “Rise of Indians and Indian-Americans in the US tech world appears to be at its peak with as many as 15 per cent of startups in Silicon Valley being founded by Indians, according to a 2014 study by Professor Vivek Wadhwa,” the article reads.

IT isn’t the only front where India has garnered faith internationally. Indian Navy earned several accolades from nations worldwide for its efficient rescue operation ‘Operation Rahat’ in Yemen that saved over 5000 lives, which included a 1000 foreign nationals as well. Almost 23 countries requested assistance from India to help their citizens out of the war torn Yemen to safety.

As India steps into its 69th year of Independence, Exec Lifestyle ponders over several such reasons of taking pride as an Indian. We caught up with leading journalists, CEOs, writers and creative heads in the media to find out what they take pride in as an Indian.

Balaji Telefilms creative director Nivedita Basu shares that she finds it hard to choose from the many success stories of Indians that have made her proud to be an Indian. An avid follower of sports, if Basu had to pick, she would certainly go with 17 year old Tennis champion, Sumit Nagal who won the boys’ doubles title at the Wimbledon.

Basu says, “I also rejoiced when India announced that a missile will be named after the late president APJ Abdul Kalam. It was disheartening that his last rites were marred by the entire controversy over Yakub Memon’s hanging. Naturally media covered that more. But it’s good to see that our missile man isn't forgotten and has been given due respect through the decision to rename a missile after him.”

When it comes to patriotic songs, Basu’s favourite is AR Rahman's Vande Mataram. And although they are not patriotic movies, Chak De! India and Bhag Milkha Bhag instils a powerful feeling within her.

Known as a fearless and celebrated journalist, India Today Group consulting editor Rajdeep Sardesai shared that India is the best place to work as a journalist. “I take pride in the fact that India is the most mobile and diverse country. Young kids from different parts of the country are travelling across cities and finding their destinies. And not just nationally, Indians are shining throughout the world,” he says.

“What disappoints me is that a lot of its potential is curbed because of the inequality of opportunities that still exists,” Sardesai adds after a thought.  When asked if he worries that this very cultural diversity might be at stake after the many bans that were brought upon by the State, Sardesai confidently says that the ban culture won't go on for long. “I have faith in the current generation that will respect India’s cultural diversity and put a stop to the arbitrary banning,” he adds.

Ask him his favorite part of Independence Day and he says with a smile, “On every Independence Day I come early to office and start my day by revealing the Prime Minister’s speech from Delhi in the news. Can you find me a better way to celebrate the day?” For Discovery Network Asia Pacific executive vice president and general manager Rahul Johri, taking pride as an Indian is an inherent feeling that is not changed by any events. “I believe that taking pride as an Indian-ness is a lifelong feeling,” he adds.

A great campaigner for knowledge and learning amongst the youth, Johri is satisfied with the fact that Indians are pushing their boundaries and learning new ways to bring pride to the nation.

“As a media professional, I take pride in the young Indian population who have an immense appetite for knowledge, which is why you see them exploring beyond their comfort zones and bringing accolades to the nation. I pay an ode to the true spirit of an Indian, which is being manifested in the current mood of the country - thriving entrepreneurship. I love my country and take pride in being an Indian,” shares Johri wishing more power to every Indian to make a difference to this world.

Moreover, Sardesai isn’t the only one banking on India’s youth and its talent. Grey Advertising India chief strategy officer Dheeraj Sinha too trusts in the young and skilled Indian population. “China as a country succeeded thanks to its policies. But when you look at India, its success lies in its people and their skills. The achievement of Indians worldwide is what gives India its stature,” he quips. Well informed and keeping up with India’s global position in the financial market, Sinha’s recent column on Independence Day in a leading daily discusses marketers and their approach to the Indian consumer.

Shedding more light on the topic, Sinha adds that he has high hopes from the Indian startup scene. “In my village, a catering guy, who started with a small vendor then moved on to do business in three villages. Now he can afford to send his kids to IIT. It’s this very attitude to push through boundaries and fight against odds that makes Indians good entrepreneurs. And it shows internationally as well since India is a world leader in start ups. When people have such talents it starts mattering less, which government rules and what policies they make, as the source of power are the people, and when they shine, they make us proud,” explains Sinha.

While Sinha looks at India’s success irrespective of government policies, Doordarshan Mumbai additional director general Mukesh Sharma can’t help but appreciate the opportunities today’s youth have at their disposal. “At times I feel envious of today’s youth for having born during such a good time. I wish I was born in independent India, specially now, when there are so many opportunities. I am proud that they are making the most these opportunities and putting them to good use. I am also happy that I can see the good times for the country during my lifetime,” Sharma adds with a smile.

While our media executives enumerate reasons for taking pride as an Indian, Exec Lifestyle observes that collectively they place immense faith in the current generation of Indians to reach newer heights and make India shine brighter. On that note, exec Life style wishes you a very happy 69th Independence Day hoping that our readers too find countless reasons to take pride as an Indian.


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