Kolkata : External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Hutchison Essar Managing Director Ashim Ghosh have pipped popular Bengali icons like cricketer Sourav Ganguly and Bollywood actor Mithun Chakraborty to bag the “Best Bengali of the Year” award jointly.
From amongst 10 eminent personalities, Mukherjee and Ghosh were chosen the “Shera (best) Bengali of 2007” for their memorable contributions at a function organised by Bengali news channel Star Ananda here Saturday night.
Bengalis from diverse fields graced the Science City auditorium as the 24-hour news channel from the ABP Group and Star TV honoured the awardees.
Apart from Mukherjee, Ghosh, Ganguly and Chakraborty, others who were shortlisted for the award were Hindalco Managing Director Debu Bhattacharya, Bangladeshi Nobel laureate and economist Muhammad Yunus, academician and elephant expert Dhritikanta Lahiri Chowdhury, painter Arpita Singh, Bollywood filmmaker Anuraag Basu and former captain of the Bangladesh cricket team Habibul Bashar.
Though Mukherjee and Ghosh emerged the best, each one of the eight shortlisted was also awarded.
Retired General Shankar Roy Chowdhury conferred the awards at a glittering function enlivened with glimpses of the lives of the awardees.
In an informal way the awardees shared some of the personal anecdotes and their future ambitions during the ceremony.
Mukherjee candidly said that as a political worker he loves to abide by his party’s decisions. “It is my party which decides what I am supposed to do and what not. I am merely a follower,” he said.
The grand affair was followed by power packed performance by young actress Koel Mallick and renditions by singers Shaan and Nachiketa.