‘Superstar’ Rajinikanth to be bestowed with Dadasaheb Phalke Award
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday announced that the Dadasaheb Phalke Award will be conferred upon ‘Superstar’ Rajinikanth for his contribution to cinema as an actor, screenwriter, and producer.
Calling Rajinikanth “one of the greatest actors” in the history of Indian cinema, Javadekar said on Twitter, “Happy to announce #Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2020 to one of the greatest actors in the history of Indian cinema Rajnikant ji. His contribution as actor, producer and screenwriter has been iconic (sic).”
The Union minister also thanked the jury, which featured singer Asha Bhonsle, actor Mohanlal, singer Shankar Mahadevan, director Subhash Ghai, and actor Biswajeet Chatterjee.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first ones to congratulate the actor for the award. He wrote, “Congratulations Thalaivar.” Thalaivar is the title fans use for Rajinikanth.
Read the tweet here:
Describing the actor with high praise, the Prime Minister said, “Popular across generations, a body of work few can boast of, diverse roles and an endearing personality...that’s Shri @rajinikanth Ji for you. It is a matter of immense joy that Thalaiva has been conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Congratulations to him.”
Soon after, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu also showered praises for Rajnikanth. “Hearty congratulations to Shri @rajinikanth on being conferred the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Over the past many years, the versatile actor has been enthralling people by portraying a vast array of roles depicting myriad hues of human experience and emotions,,” Naidu said.
He added, “My best wishes for the renowned thespian’s future endeavours!”
In what was seen as an interesting development, actor Kamal Haasan too congratulated Rajinikanth. The two of them are considered opponents in the film industry and with regard to their political ideologies. However, the duo has always claimed during public appearances that they are good friends.
Kamal wrote, “It gives me great joy to know that the Dadasaheb Phalke Award has been announced for Rajinikanth, the supreme star and my dearest friend. He is 100 per cent deserving of the award and has proven that one can win over fans by appearing (and performing) on screen.”
Rajinikanth, who has been in the cinema industry for more than 45 years, has also received the Padma Bhushan award in 2000 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2016.
The actor made his debut in the film industry with K Balachander’s movie Apoorva Raagangal in 1975. He later went on to star as the protagonist in various hit films like Baashha, Thalapathi, Padayappa, Chandramukhi, Sivaji, and Enthiran.
One of the Superstar’s upcoming projects include Annaatthe, which is scheduled for release in theatres on Diwali 2021 (November 4).
The actor had also announced his entry into politics three years ago but withdrew his plans citing health issues.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award, which was introduced in 1969, happens to be India’s highest honour in cinema. The Directorate of Film Festivals, which is a body of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in India, presents this award every year at the National Film Awards ceremony.
The first recipient of the award was actress Devika Rani, while ‘Big B’ Amitabh Bachchan happens to be the last person who was bestowed with the honour in 2018. No nominees were chosen over the years. Other recipients of the award include Vinod Khanna, filmmaker K. Vishwanath and Manoj Kumar.