Centre declares Asha Parekh as 52nd recipient of Dadasaheb Phalke award

Updated on Sep 27, 2022 03:30 PM IST

The national film awards is being held four years after the tradition was broken in 2018 when more than 50 award winners did not turn up at the 65th National Film Awards ceremony to protest against the change in norm when President Ram Nath Kovind presented only 11 of the 137 awards

Veteran actress Asha Parekh. (PTI Photo)
Veteran actress Asha Parekh. (PTI Photo)
ByDeeksha Bhardwaj

In keeping with the over 60-year-old tradition, President Droupadi Murmu and information and broadcasting minster Anurag Thakur will on September 30 confer the 68th national film awards, two years after the Covid-19 pandemic suspended the prestigious event.

Veteran actress Asha Parekh has been declared the recipient of the 2020 Dadasaheb Phalke award, making her the 52nd awardee of the honour. Southern film superstar Rajinikanth was the recipient of the last Dadasaheb Phalke award.

“Honoured to announce that the Dadasaheb Phalke selection jury has decided to recognise and award Asha Parekh ji for her exemplary lifetime contribution to Indian cinema,” Thakur said.

The Dadasaheb Phalke committee comprises industry legends Asha Bhosle, Hema Malini, Udit Narayan, Poonam Dhillon and TS Nagabharana.

“She worked in more than 95 films and was the chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification from 1998-2001,” Thakur added. Parekh was also conferred with Padma Shri in 1992.

Established in 1954, the awards that come under the I&B ministry are being organised by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) for the first time after all the government’s film units were integrated under its ambit.

The government in March this year merged four film bodies, with all aspects related to the mandate of production of documentaries and short films, organisation of film festivals and preservation of films to the NFDC.

“In keeping with tradition, Hon’ble President Draupadi Murmu will be conferring the National Film awards this year,” NFDC MD Ravinder Bhakar said. “It is an honour for the winners and I congratulate them.”

Suriya and Ajay Devgn are the joint winners of Best Actor award while Aparrna Balamurali has been announced Best Actress. The Best Female Playback Singer was bagged by Nanchamma for AK Ayyappanum Koshiyum; Rahul Deshpande is the Best Male Playback Singer.

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior has been selected as the Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and Sachidanandan KR has won Best Director award for Malayalam movie AK Ayyappanum Koshiyum. The Best Feature Film award went to Soorarai Pottru (Tamil).

The national awards jury consists of eminent leaders and personalities from the film industry, including Vipul Shah (chairperson), and Dharam Gulati, Sreelekha Mukherjee, GS Bhaskar, S Thangadurai, Sanjeev Rattan, Karthik Raja, VN Aditya, Viji Thampi, Thangadura, Nishigandha as members.

The event is being held four years after the tradition was broken in 2018 when more than 50 award winners did not turn up at the 65th National Film Awards ceremony to protest against the change in norm when President Ram Nath Kovind presented only 11 of the 137 awards, instead of all.

Former minister for information and broadcasting Smriti Irani and minister of state Rajyavardhan Rathore presented the remaining awards.

HT reported in 2018 that 70 award recipients had announced in an open letter that they will not attend the function to protest the departure from the award presentation. However, several recipients who had signed the letter, such as singer KJ Yesudas and film maker Prasad Oak, later turned up. In the letter, the awardees specified that their move did not constitute a “boycott”, but was merely an expression of their disappointment over the President’s decision.

The awardees also complained that they hadn’t been informed of the President’s decision till the day of the rehearsal, on the eve of the presentation ceremony. The President’s office said the ministry had been informed of the decision weeks in advance that he would only be able to stay for an hour.

Starting 2019, Kovind stayed away from the ceremony, with the vice-president presenting the awards along with I&B ministers.

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