...actor says he does not deserve the honour
CHIEF MINISTER Mulayam Singh Yadav honoured Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan and ten others with the Yash Bharti award at Lohia Park, Gomtinagar, here on Monday.
Abhishek is the fourth member of the Bachchan family to receive the award.
His grandfather and noted poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan, father and millennium star Amitabh Bachchan, and mother Jaya Bachchan were honoured earlier.
The Yash Bharti carries a cash award of Rs 5 lakh, besides a shawl and a citation.
The award, instituted in 1994-5 by Yadav, is given to outstanding personalities from the State who have excelled in their profession and brought laurels to UP.
For a moment, it did appear that the Monday function was all about Abhishek and his famous parents and the remaining ten awardees were nearly forgotten.
They were: well-known litterateur Dr Viveki Rai, veteran journalist Vijay Kumar, poet and teacher Udai Pratap Singh, journalist Sheetla Singh, historian Yogesh Praveen, wrestlers Jagdish Kali Raman, Talukdar Yadav, Shaukendra Tomar, Rajeev Tomar and cricketer Mohd Kaif (his father Mohd Tariq received the award on his behalf as Kaif is in South Africa). For the crowd too, Abhishek was a clear favourite among the awardees.
In his acceptance speech, Abhishek declared that he had decided to donate the Rs 5 lakh to an organisation involved in social welfare in UP. Later, UP Development Council chairman Amar Singh announced that the Bachchans had decided that the amount should be given to the UP Hindi Sansthan for popularising Hindi. Abhishek, who sat alongside his famous parents, stated that he thought he wasn’t a “deserving recipient” but having been bestowed the honour, he would accept it with humility.
Abhishek’s inclusion in the list of awardees had come in for criticism. However, on the dais, there was support for the junior B. The long list of speakers, ranging from famous poet-lyricist and UP Bhasha Sansthan chairman Gopal Das Neeraj to journalist Achyutanand Mishra, encouraged him to keep up the good work and make an attempt to reach his father’s stature.
Amar Singh too did the same. The Chief Minister then had the last word.
“I know a section of the media is busy kicking up a controversy over Abhishek’s inclusion in the list of awardees.
They say he is too young. But, I wish to remind such critics, that age has nothing to do with accomplishments. Abhishek is a deserving recipient.
He is a role model for the youth,” Yadav said.
He added, “Abhishek is the third generation of Bachchans to receive the award. It’s rare for a family to keep making its presence felt for such a long period. The Bachchans are a class apart.” Amitabh Bachchan reminded his son that every award carried responsibility.
“I would like to see you striving creatively so that you continue to make your State proud.
” The Junior B nodded. After the award function, Lucknow’s Twinkle Bajpai of Sa Re Ga Ma fame and Avijit Rai regaled the audience.