Rajinikanth to receive 51st Dadasaheb Phalke award, says Javadekar
Actor Rajinikanth will receive the 51st Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest award in Indian cinema, Union minister Prakash Javadekar announced on Twitter on Thursday.
"Happy to announce #Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2019 to one of the greatest actors in history of Indian cinema Rajnikant ji. His contribution as actor, producer and screenwriter has been iconic," Javadekar tweeted.
The prestigious award is named after the father of Indian cinema, Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, and was instituted in 1969. The award is conferred by the government for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian Cinema.
The award is comprised of a Golden Lotus and a cash prize of ₹10 lakh.
"India every year gives Dada Saheb Phalke award to a film personality. This year this selection has been made by a jury comprising Asha Bhonsle, Mohanlal, Biswajit Chatterjee, Shankar Mahadevan and Subhash Ghai," Javadekar was quoted as saying by PTI.
"They unanimously recommended that superstar Rajinikanth be conferred with Dada Saheb Phalke award and we accepted it," the Union minister said.
The south Indian superstar, who was earlier expected to launch a political party in January 2021, announced his decision to abandon his plan to foray into politics. On December 29 last year, Rajinikanth, citing his health condition vis-a-vis the coronavirus pandemic announced that he would not join politics. He had undergone a renal transplant in 2016 and is on immuno-suppressants.
The 70-year-old, who has more than 160 films to his credit, was given the Padma Bhushan in 2000 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2016 by the government. He has also received several state and international accolades for his work as a south Indian icon.
Many people hoped to see Rajinikanth contest the ongoing Assembly elections. A large number of the actor's fans gathered in Chennai urging him to join politics in January this year.
Appealing to his fans, Rajinikanth said, "Some of my fans along with expelled cadres of Rajini Makkal Mandram have protested in Chennai against my decision of not entering politics. I have taken my decision, I appeal to everyone to not indulge in such things (protest) as it pains me."
Rajinikanth, who completed 45 years in the film industry in August last year, will soon resume shooting for the upcoming Tamil film Annaatthe.