Industry leaders' thoughts on Independence Day

Independence. We in India have had it for so many years that the India that is emerging does not know what it is like to not be free. For millions, the struggle to get freedom from the British, Portuguese and sundry other rulers are just chapters in their history books. But occasions like Independence Day and Republic Day remind us that we were once subservient and that we overcame bondage and won our freedom.

15 August is the 67th year of our independence. For sure, the Indian flag will be hoisted in neighbourhoods all over India. Smaller flags will be mounted on cars, cycles and bikes. And even smaller ones pinned on our shirt pockets. Patriotic songs will be played out on radio and on TV.

And hopefully for a day we will forget all our complaints against rising prices, economic upheaval, a political and administrative class that is showing little backbone for fair governance and well-being of its citizenry, corruption and the lack of respect that many in India have for women. Hopefully, we will remember the price that was paid for the valuable freedom that we enjoy today. And feel proud to be Indian. We, at surely are and even proudly carry it in our name.‘s young team of journalists spoke to senior professionals from the advertising, broadcasting, cable TV and marketing sectors to get a fix on their feelings on India‘s 67th Independence Day. And also to gather from them on what their favourite patriotic song or movie is. Read on to feel patriotic:

O&M India executive chairman & NCD Piyush Pandey

I am very proud to be an Indian. I think India is a very significant country with many diverse cultures and we have come a long way. In the future, I wish the country to be in a much better shape than what it is currently.

Mile Sur Mera Tumhara is my favourite patriotic song and truly depicts the light of Indian culture and unity amongst Indians.

NDTV executive vice chairperson Narayan Rao

I feel good that we live in an independent country but it shouldn‘t be taken for granted.

I‘d like broadcasting to be world class and for journalism to have high standards, credibility and ethics.

My favourite song is Saare Jahan Se Achchha.

Publicis director, CCO south Asia Bobby Pawar

Yes I am proud and happy as well that I am living in an independent country as an independent man.

I really don‘t have any ideas about where the industry is headed. If I did know, then I probably would make millions on it. However, I am very optimistic about the growth in the industry.

My favourite movie is my friend‘s Prasoon Joshi‘s film Rang De Basanti and the title song from the same movie is my favourite song.

Discovery Networks Asia Pacific, sr VP & GM, head of revenue, pan-regional ad sales & south asia, Rahul Johri

I am proud of being an Indian and happy about it. I think in the coming years the broadcasting industry will evolve as the market evolves. I see many more options on offer for viewers and I see the broadcasting industry only growing further.

My favourite patriotic song is the video Ye Mera India by Saleem and Suleiman which is on Animal Planet.

Zee, chief content and creative officer Bharat Kumar Ranga

I renamed myself from Mukesh to Bharat, when I was in the fourth standard. I fell in love with Manoj Kumar‘s character as Bharat inUpkaar. So when I was filling my form for fifth standard, I renamed myself as Bharat. This is how deeply I feel about India. Though firangi competition is welcome, but in India only Indians will rule. I am among those, who believes in the country.

It is in India, that media enjoys the stature of being the fourth pillar. It started with print and went on to books and films. There was a certain independence given to broadcasters, but that was not utilised to the maximum. Though India has done well in a lot of sectors, but growth in media has not been great. We need to break away from daily and weekly competitions to unleash the power of media.

My favourite patriotic song is Mere Desh Ki Dharti from the movie Upkaar, I still get all charged up hearing the song. Purab and Paschim was one movie which aptly brought out the power of India, and that is my favourite patriotic movie.

Draftfcb+Ulka advertising ED & CEO Ambi M G Parameswaran

I am proud to be an Indian. And I value my freedom. 

As a nation, the change I would like to see is that the slowdown, which we are witnessing, goes away. I know it will be another 12-18 months before that happens, but then we will see double digit growth after that. The GDP growth needs to regain momentum, business confidence need to rise, rural development really needs to happen, and food prices need to come down.

My favourite patriotic movie is the Tamil film Kappalottiya Thamizhan.

Star Den Media Services, CEO Gurjeev Singh Kapoor

We feel proud to be independent and we celebrated Independence Day at our workplace too on 14 August. Everyone was wearing small paper flags across their hearts proudly. We decked up the office with balloons and placed a small flag on every workstation.

In broadcasting, freedom of expression is critical and this has rarely happened in the past, but it is witnessing a change. Things have gone through a revolutionary change and kudos to the industry for bringing in this welcome change.

I love patriotic movies, but Saat Hindustani (1969) andShaheed (1965) figure among my favourites.

Zee News CEO Alok Agrawal

I feel good as an Indian. We are living in a democratic country. There are lots of things we need to do to improve. We all have some amount of influence that we can use.

We are launching an entire new initiative Bharat Bhagyavita. Our responsibility as media is to inform and empower people with knowledge and make them aware of their rights and encourage them to do something about what‘s going on.

Nothing comes to mind. I don‘t go by defining a favourite. Any patriotic song is fine. I like almost all songs.

Media Consultant, Sanjeev Hiremath

For me patriotism is a feeling and cannot be defined in a song, though I really love the Hollywood movie ‘Independence Day‘.

In the 67th year of Independence, the biggest achievement for India is that it is no longer considered as a developing nation. A lot of Indian companies are now investing in overseas business. Our GDP is robust and we are above world average. I am proud to be an Indian and the reason is its diverse culture. My only concern is that though individually we are progressing, the country collectively isn‘t. Even today 70 per cent of the population lives on 1.50 dollars a day. It makes me sad. The political scenario needs to improve.

What is good about the cable and satellite industry is that we are not 10 years behind when we compare ourselves to other countries. We have been making gradual progress and now with DAS, in the next two years we will be up close with the world cable and satellite industry.

Playtime Creations TV producer Hemal Thakakar

As an Indian we feel proud that we had so many great men and women who gave their lives for freedom we enjoy today. Somewhere I think we have failed them and have misused freedom which they got for us. I hope, pray and wish we correct that.

For broadcasters, future is shining. Digitisation is beginning of new horizon as our country gets hungry for more entertainment and infotainment. New avenues are discovered and looking at the Indian diaspora and the fact that we are a young nation, the broadcast industry is going to get a major boost.

My favourite song is the title track from the film Swades and Kandho Se Milte Hain Kandhe.

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