‘They’ll say he has joined BJP’: Ranveer Allahbadia among 23 to win National Creators Award

‘I can sense time ahead of time, event will hold important place in future,’ says PM.

WrittenBy:NL Team
Influencer Ranveer Allahabadia and Prime Minister at the event.

It was the first-ever National Creators Award. And who better to present it than “India’s most influential creator” – Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ostensibly without his creative team on stage.

There were jibes at the opposition aplenty as the PM handed out the awards for 23 winners in 20 categories at the Bharat Mandapam in Delhi on Friday, and time for some light-hearted banter too. 

The awards had been announced on official website MyGov.in to recognise the efforts of digital content creators to bring “positive” social change and innovation. The categories included best storyteller, new India champion, favourite heritage fashion icon, most impactful agri creator, cultural ambassador of the year, swachhta ambassador, disruptor of the year, best creator for social change, most creative creator, and best creator in education category.

Among more than 200 nominees were also actors such as Katrina Kaif, Kangana Ranaut, and Ranvir Shorey. Nominations opened on February 10 and voting was allowed until March 6.

“Main samay se pehle samay ko bhanp leta hoon (I can sense time ahead of time). That is why I can say that this award will have an important place in future,” the PM said at the Bharat Mandapam.

“The next few days will see the Lok Sabha election. Don’t think that this event is for that,” PM Modi said, pausing, as sections of the crowd chanted “abki baar, 400 paar”. “And I guarantee that if possible, on the next Shivratri too, or on another date, this event will be executed by me only,” he said, to chants of “Modi, Modi”. “But I have not mentioned Lok Sabha elections in that tone…because I know that you are more committed to me than I am,” he said, with the winners in the front row of the audience.

Jibes at opposition

Ranveer Allahabadia, better known by his screen moniker Beer Biceps, was among the winners as he was honoured as the best disruptor. He has seven million subscribers only on YouTube and interviews prominent personalities across fields. Last year, he also collaborated with and interviewed several BJP ministers. 

As Allahbadia mentioned yoga and meditation when asked for a fitness mantra, Modi jibed that “these people will say he is repeating what Modi says, and then will say that he has joined the BJP”. Allahbadia then said that “Modiji is perhaps talking about the youth, that is why the youth is into meditation. That’s all I am saying.”

“Many have many moods,” said the PM as Ranveer said “I feel like I am in the mood to do a podcast with you now.”

He wasn’t the only one. When Malhar Kalambe, who has 71,000 followers on Instagram and runs Beach Please, received the award under the Swachhta category, he said he wanted to collaborate with the PM for the “safai abhiyaan”. The PM said, “Can help with all kinds of cleaning. In this election too there will be a clean-up.”

The most creative creator award went to RJ Raunac and Shraddha Jain.

PM Modi also presented the heritage fashion icon award to Jahnvi Singh and the best creator in food category award to Kabita Singh. While Jahnvi has over 5 lakh followers on Instagram and talks about Hindu festivals, spiritual texts and regional textiles, Kabita’s Kabitaskitchen has over two million followers. 

Keerthika Govindasamy, whose channel Keerthihistory has 1.9 million subscribers on YouTube, got the award for the best storyteller. Her channel describes her as a history graduate “who wants to tell the real history of India that the education system has forgotten”, and her last video is a conversation with Sri Sri Ravishankar on karma and polygamy.

Singer Maithili Thakur, who has over 4.46 million subscribers on YouTube, was awarded as the cultural ambassador of the year. Her last three YouTube uploads are bhajans.

Gaurav Chaudhary, whose channel technical guruji has over 5 million followers on YouTube and the Tricolour as a display picture on Instagram, was honoured as the best creator in tech. 

Ankit Baiyanpuria, who has 7.8 million followers on Instagram and had collaborated for the PM’s Swachhta initiative with influencers in October last year, was awarded in the fitness category. Last month, he had posted a video about the threat of a Pulwama-like attack on his YouTube channel MicroStrategy.

Naman Deshmukh, who describes himself as a “tech content creator” and has 312K subscribers on YouTube, got the award in the education category while Kamiya Jani won it in the travel category. Jani’s Curly Tales, a food and travel channel, for which she also interviews actors and politicians, has 2.96 million subscribers.   

Modi joked about Ahmedabad while speaking to Green Champion award winner Pankti Pandey, who is from the city and has over 3 lakh followers on her Instagram handle zerowasteadda.

“Once a train arrived at a railway station and the passenger on the upper berth asked someone on the other side of the window ‘Which station is this?’,” the PM said. “The person on the platform said, ‘Will tell only if you give me char anna (currency unit formerly used in British India)’. The passenger replied, ‘No need, must be Ahmedabad’,” he said, as the audience burst into laughter.

Meanwhile, when heritage fashion icon awardee Janhvi Singh bowed down to touch the PM's feet as a mark of respect, the PM reciprocated by touching her feet. 

“India is such a beautiful country, and everything pertaining to its culture and tradition is beautiful. My only effort is to bring this legacy forward and remember India's roots through its fashion like sarees,” Singh said.

The PM responded, “India is known for its textile industry. However, the textile market today can only be clubbed with fashion. It cannot be singled out because this day and age is of ready-made brands. You are really helping advocate for this.”

The nominees

In a statement on X, the PM had said that the awards “are a celebration of innovation, creativity and the remarkable spirit of the creators community”.

The Prime Minister’s Office said the award is an effort to recognise excellence and impact across several domains. “The National Creator Award has witnessed exemplary public engagement. In the first round, more than 1.5 lakh nominations across 20 different categories were received. Subsequently, in the voting round, about 10 lakh votes were cast for digital creators in various award categories. Following this, 23 winners, including three international creators, were decided,” it said. 

Newslaundry had earlier reported how a research paper had suggested that with India having the largest number of YouTube users, Indian politicians are choosing to be interviewed by YouTubers instead of journalists, and political interviews in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections may see the same trend.

The paper suggested that the BJP has nearly dominated political interviews online considering the engagement received through interviews with top influencers. Apart from Curly Tales and Beer Biceps, the other top influencers quoted in the paper had only collaborated with BJP politicians.

Authored by Joyojeet Pal, associate professor at University of Michigan, and research associates Sarah Khan and Rudransh Mukherjee, the paper was titled “Influencer collaboration on YouTube: Changing political outreach in the 2024 Indian elections”.

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