Aaj Tak, the leading News Channel for 13 straight years, announced the 2nd Edition of Hindi Heartland Summit Agenda Aaj Tak. This is the second year since it started in 2012. It is meant for debate, discussion and ideation with the change-makers of the country. In line with the last year, this year brought the most powerful personalities and thought leaders together to set a vision for 2014. The platform will delve into all aspects that occupy national attention and will celebrate thought leadership across varied subjects. The event was held on December 4 and 5, 2013, in New Delhi. I attended the event live and shall be covering both the days in two separate posts. Do read both !
Day One Begins: With a smart bag that I got upon registration I walked to the bloggers seat in the hall where the biggest people in India right from celebrities to Politicians will be seen in the next 48 hours in anticipation that I too will have a good time. Well I had a great one as I got a chance to interact with my love Shahrukh Khan, however more of that later.
The first session began with Vande Mataram sung by the melodious rising talent of the nation Aakash, that is how we do it in India isnt it? With a complete patriotic spirit! Post a short and smart welcome address by Aroon Purie, Chairman & Editor – in – Chief, India Today Group, the event started on a melodious note, India being the center point of convergence of art, with the singing sensation of the nation Sonu Nigam. He was very humble and believed that he works for his creative satisfaction, not fame or money. He also entertained the audience with the most popular song till date "Abhi mujheme kahin..." and "Sandese aate hain". The best part was when he was asked why he sang different types of songs, he said he started with very sad songs like "Acha sila diya tune", well who doesnt know this song! This was followed by Sonu singing very sad songs for actors much above his age group like Anupam Kher, while songs for younger actors such as Jugal Hansraj were sung by much older singers such as Udit Narayan. Therefore to proove himself when he got to sing for Subhash Ghai "Ye dil deewana..." finally rescued him from the "ruined lover' image he said.Legendary Ghazal singers such as Pankaj Udhas and Talat Aziz also came to hear Sonu Nigam, that was amazing.
After the fun and melody, it was time to discuss the Agenda of the next ruling party that would have the nation's future in its hands as we wait to vote in 2014. It was therefore a dialogue between Jairam Ramesh,Minister of Rural Development and Nitin Gadkari,Former President, BJP. However it seemed that these leaders didn't want to open up. they were diplomatic and united. Also they said that its media who doesn't want them to be together else where will the breaking news come from? However I really liked Nitin Gadkare's persona and it was great to hear him live. He said half of the world is mad for Moi and the other half is going crazy opposing him!
Next was a woman I deeply admire, Hina Rabbani Khar, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan, and the session was wit-fully named as "Kaho Na Pyar Hain" and hosted by my favourite Rahul Kanwal. She is a woman who rose to power in a nation like Pakistan and if one saw her live one would know why. She was smart, do the point, diplomatic and politically correct. A few points she made were in Pakistan during elections no major party makes a propaganda to destroy India and get votes, whereas in India they do so against Pakistan. When asked that whenever India tries to extend a hand of friendship, there is a Kargil war? Why isnt Nawaz Sharif doing anything for peace between two nations as he had promised before? She didnt have satisfactory answers to these, all she said was we cannot progress if we sit with our past. Really? That was over the top. However she also took a firm stand in some issues and said I am against the views an ideology of Hafiz Saeed. Well people also avoided questions which would make her go back difficult. But yes having said that, one cannot blame her for the way things are and I hope she achieves great success and higher posts in her political career, as she wished for Malala who she said made a great ambassador for Pakistan. After having a closer look at the women of Pakistan from the Wagah Border I really wish a woman rises to power there and that encourages more women.
From the lands of Pakistan we went to the region near the LOC closest to us, in the session Mission Kashmir, with one of the most handsome Chief Minister, Jammu & Kashmir Omar Abdullah. He gave some very interesting, strong and straight forward answers. He said I can go in a helicopter anywhere and everywhere in my state, nobody has any rights to tell me anything!He also said he hopes there will be at least IPL matches and slowly even international cricket.
After the handsome Omar Abdullah we had Rajnath Singh, president of BJP. He was a very simple man, they actually got a"Charpai - a cot" on the stage to give the feel of the times he started his political career from. He was asked very tough questions but he was sure of himself. He said it will always be Moi and not him though being the party president as a chief minister. He said that there were only minute differences between Advani and Modi, which can happen between any two people. BJP over all was cashing on the fact that they were not a party from a single family and via the example of Modi who started as a tea seller and now might be the prime minister of India.
After the bombardment of politics the next session was the light hearted "Gutthi, Agenda... Agenda, Gutthi...Gutthi, Chai Chai Guthi" with Sunil Grover aka Gutthi. Sunil Grover is a sensation himself. He was entertainment to the fullest. Also as the next session was with Ramdev baba, who happened to be there and Sunil Grover just couldn't control himself he went crazy! I really enjoyed it and will wait to hear much more from him.
The next session was "Dharam Ya Dhanda"with Yoga Guru -Swami Ramdev, Acharya Pramod Krishnam -Dharam Guru. I hated this session, these swamiji's instead of answering directly were creaming ans shouting on top of their voice in the microphone. Gave me a headache. However they believed that as great saints have always saved the world whenever there were calamities, they too were one of those! I was like seriously?
This was followed thankfully by another lighter session, and one I was waiting for The Perfectionist actor - Aamir Khan. He really thinks a lot before responding, even before saying what makes him angry. That was the Lol moment. He clarified all the doubts about Tare Zameen Par that he wanted to leave the movie not being satisfied with direction, so the direction was then given to him. He also had worked out for an year to do Dhoom 3 and reduce to single digit body fat, to resemble the body of a magician. He said that my movies are perfect only when all its individual units are perfect, whereas for Salman, he alone is enough to make a super hit movie!He also gave me an autograph, or rather I should say I managed to get one...well....both :P.
After Aamir Khan the atmosphere was made colourful right before the cocktail session by Ghulam Ali saab, Pankaj Udhas and Talat Azia. Talat Aziz is so handsome! It was so great to hear each one of them sing their best ghazals and to hear it live. Talat Aziz made a great point which was derived from one of his sessions with Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji "if the problems with Pakistan are to be solved, music was the best way". Well I think its the best way to solve all problems isn't it?
And finally it was time for the Gala Dinner Session with none other than the heart-throb of the nation and my first love Shahrukh Khan. He was charming and the best part was I got to ask him a question , to which he responded at length. (A separate at length post shall be coming up exclusively on his session). The show stealer was surely SRK with his witty nature. He did loongi dance and Dard-e-disco! Watch the videos for a complete insight.