“In Prannoy’s legacy lives a hope:” Uday Shankar

MUMBAI: NDTV executive co-chairman Dr Prannoy Roy was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the recently held Red Ink Awards 2015.

Star India CEO Uday Shankar presented the award to Roy and thanked him for giving the country and the media community “not just a legacy, but a whole category of intellect, industry, business and communication’ through ‘professional television journalism.”

Shankar said, “Let me tell you a story. This is from when people like us had just gone to college and television had just come in. It was a device for occasional viewing. And suddenly one night, when I was looking for something interesting to do -- something a little more interesting than watch Krishi Darshan on TV – there popped a show, which was talking about what was happening in the US, UK and China, and there was a young man with a beard who was presenting the show. That show was called The World This Week, and that was my first interaction with what TV was meant to be.”

Talking more about Roy and the show, Shankar added, “Here we were, fed on a diet of what came out of Mandi House, and suddenly, we saw this show, which was about information, production, technology, graphics, and credibility of presentation. That was the day I decided that television was a viable and exciting career option. And when I say this here tonight, I don’t think I’m the only one who feels so.” 

Shankar, during his opening remarks, said that a large number of people who came to television were drawn by the personality, charisma and opportunity or potential to contribute because of what they saw through the eyes of Prannoy Roy. 

“There are a very few people who can retire -- at some stage I hope he will -- but there are very few people who can retire with the satisfaction that they created not just a legacy, but a whole category of intellect, an industry, business and communication,” he added.

Describing the work done by Roy, Shankar said, “This country had only Doordarshan and nothing else... this country had no reference to what modern, professional television communication could be... and in came Prannoy with his vision, content, production and everything, and set these standards and thereby saved us almost two-to-two-and-a-half decades of the growth curve, the learning curve that all of us would have necessarily had to go through in order to get to a level of professional television journalism and communication.” 

Roy became the reference point for Shankar, when he came to try his hand at TV. “We had The World This Week, NDTV, Prannoy Roy and his brand of journalism. And the sheen of that brand of journalism has never been dull. His legacy lives on, and in that legacy lives on a hope,” he concluded.

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