Actor Rajinikanth will be given the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his contribution to the film industry, Union minister Prakash Javadekar announced in a tweet on Thursday.
“Happy to announce the Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2020 to one of the greatest actors in history of Indian cinema Rajnikanth ji,” Javadekar wrote on Twitter. “His contribution as actor, producer and screenwriter has been iconic.”
The actor thanked the government for the award, ANI reported. “My heartfelt thanks to the government of India, respected and dearest Narendra Modi, Prakash Javadekar and jury for conferring upon me the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award,” he said. “I sincerely dedicate it to all those who have been a part of my journey. Thanks to the almighty.”
The award includes a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) medallion, a shawl, and a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh. Actor Amitabh Bachchan was selected for the award in 2019.
The 70 year-old-actor, who has won the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan is known for several performances, including in 16 Vayathinile, Mullum Malarum, Bairavi, Thalapathi, Baasha, Padayappa and Sivaji. His unique mannerisms and stylised line delivery made him one of the leading stars of Tamil cinema.
With roles in over 150 films, Rajinikanth also enjoys considerable success in the Hindi, Telugu, and Kannada film industries.
He had also announced his foray into politics ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, but withdrew from it due to health problems last year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was a matter of immense joy that Rajinikanth was chosen for the award. “Popular across generations, a body of work few can boast of, diverse roles and an endearing personality...that’s Rajinikanth ji for you,” he wrote on Twitter as he extended his wishes to the actor.
Actor and politician Kamal Haasan too expressed his happiness over Rajinikanth’s win. “The superstar and my dear friend Rajinikanth, who proved that fans can be won by screen appearances, deserves it 100%,” he wrote in Tamil.
Actor Chiranjeevi Konidela said he was elated to know that his dear friend was chosen for the award. “Truly deserving,” he added. “Your contribution to the film industry is immense my friend...May the force be with you.”
Here are some other reactions: