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17 Years & Counting - ITA stands tall as flag bearer of Indian Television


The year was 2000 when The Indian Television Academy – a vision, obsession and handiwork of the indefatigable duo, Anu & Shashi Ranjan, was launched. 
Together, they forged a platform on which all the divergent and disparate sectors of the TV-Industry from Broadcasters to Makers to Talent could gather as a unified and cohesive whole. The ITA, initiated many a welfare measure for the Community, while its crowning glory has been The ITA Awards - that TV-exclusive honouring of the yearly ‘Bests’ of the Medium.
We had a one-on-one with Shashi Ranjan, the Convenor of The ITA, who is also a noted Producer-Director in his own right… here are a few excerpts…
Today, ‘The ITA Awards’ has become the most coveted stamp of excellence in the Medium. How difficult or otherwise was it to achieve this status from across the widest spectrum of Channels & Production Houses?
SR: Well, we’ve had a definite edge in being the first ever ‘Platform’ to bring the entire Industry under one roof. Then, initially, a gigantic Governing Council, comprising worthies from across the medium, like, Mahesh Bhatt, Javed Akhtar, Rajat Sharma, late Ravi Chopra, Shekhar Suman and southern stalwarts like Revathi and Dr. T. Subbarami Reddy, besides others guided and steered ITA in creating a draft-plan for how to serve the TV-fraternity to the optimum. To cap it, there was this anchorage provided by the I&B Ministry that went a great way in making us the most legitimate body of Television.
These days, Awards are dime a dozen in the world of Entertainment. What, do you think, makes The ITA Awards stand out amongst the clutter?

SR: Yes, there are lots of awards, but they are basically designed to promote a particular Channel and its Programing. The ITA remains the exceptional and exemplary ‘Platform’ which has the privilege of the participation of all the GEC's and the News Channels as well. Year after year, we have been having record number of entries from the entire spectrum of Channels and Production-houses!
Which, do you think, has been your most shining hour in this endeavour so far?

SR: Out greatest achievement has been that year after year the Industry leaders have hailed The ITA Awards as the most honest and transparent undertaking. In spite of various pulls and pushes, we have doggedly remained non-biased and non-partial to the utmost.
Looking back at the past 17 years, what exactly is your feeling - total contentment, pride or that you could have done more?
SR: All of them, actually! But first and foremost, I think that as the medium is growing vertically, we need to do much more and really, we are in the midst of doing certain path-breaking things. We will go all out to serve the Television fraternity and in this, our top priority, today, pertains to TV-writing, which is the backbone of the Medium. Soon, you’ll hear more on this.
After more than a decade & a half in existence, what would you say the core ITA slogan should be?
SR: That The ITA is of Television, by Television and for Television!
- Vierendra Bhargava