Versatile thespian Rajinikanth will be conferred this year’s prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his contribution to Indian cinema. This was announced by the Indian government on Thursday.
“Happy to announce Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2020 to one of the greatest actors in history of Indian cinema Rajnikant ji. His contribution as actor, producer and screenwriter has been iconic,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India’s highest award in cinema. The recipient is honoured for their “outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema” and is selected by a committee consisting of eminent personalities from the Indian film industry.
Soon after the announcement by the Information and Broadcasting Minister, Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah rushed to Twitter to congratulate the 70-year-old southern Indian superstar.
“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,” the Vice President wrote.
Modi also lauded the veteran actor’s contributions to Indian cinema. “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.”
On his part, the Indian Home Minister tweeted: “Rajnikanth ji is a true legend, a versatile actor, whose acting and cinematic talent has millions of fans across the world. I join our countrymen in congratulating Shri @rajinikanth Ji for being conferred the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award.”
Later in the day, Rajinikanth himself took to Twitter to share a long note in his mother tongue, Tamil. “I wholeheartedly thank the central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for conferring me Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest award in the Indian Film Industry,” he wrote.
“I thank my bus driver and friend Raj Bahadur who discovered my acting talent and encouraged me, my brother Sathyanarayana Rao Gaekwad who sacrificed a lot while we were struggling in poverty to make me an actor, my guru K Balachander for creating ‘the Rajinikanth,” the actor added.
Born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, Rajinikanth made his debut in 1975 Tamil drama Apoorva Raagangal. Subsequently, he made his Bollywood debut. He achieved stardom in the 1990s. The regional film Baashha, released in 1995, in which Rajinikanth played a crime boss, earned him a ‘god-like’ status in Tamil Nadu.
He is widely regarded as one of the greatest actors in the history of Indian cinema, whose popularity has been attributed to his uniquely styled dialogues in films. He has won many awards, including four Tamil Nadu State Film Best Actor Awards. He is the only actor to be featured in a school board syllabus, in a lesson’ From Bus Conductor to Superstar.
The Indian government earlier honored the philanthropist with two civilian awards — the Padma Bhushan in 2000 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2016.
Source: United News of Bangladesh