Indian cinema superstar, Rajnikanth will be receiving the 2021 Dadasaheb Phalke award which is India’s greatest honor. The award is presented to people who have given their lifetime contribution to Indian cinema.
This award is named after Dadasaheb Phalke himself who was the director of Raja Harishchandra. The movie was India’s first full-length feature and received a ton of appreciation and started the era of Indian cinema. Phalke is also considered the father of Indian cinema. The award also consists of a cash prize which is worth INR 1 million i.e. $13,600.
Prakash Javadekar announced the award on Thursday and tweeted expressing his happiness. He is India’s information and broadcasting minister and said, “Happy to announce #Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2019 to one of the greatest actors in the history of Indian cinema Rajnikant Ji. His contribution as actor, producer, and screenwriter has been iconic.”
The award consisted of a jury that included filmmaker Subhash Ghai, musicians Asha Bhosale, and Shankar Mahadevan, and actors like Mohanlal and Biswajit Chatterjee. Rajnikanth began his career back in 1975 with the Tamil-language film, Apoorva Raagangal. His real name is Shivaji Rao Gaekwad and ever since he has started his career, he has featured in more than 160 films across Indian languages and attained cult status.
The actor is very popular and is almost like another God among South Indian stars and his fans. His fan base does not limit to India, he also has numerous fans in the U.S. and Japan. When every movie he is a part of nears the premiere date, it is almost like a religious event for fans. It causes a wide frenzy so much so that cinemas lay back-to-back shows at dawn in the first week of its release.
In 2017, he formally announced his decision to join politics, but since then decided not to for health reasons. His upcoming venture is a film named Annaatthe which will premiere later this year.
Previously, numerous actors, filmmakers have been awarded this honor. Past winners include filmmakers Satyajit Ray, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha, and Shyam Benegal. Among actors, the winners’ list includes Soumitra Chatterjee, Amitabh Bachchan, Rajkumar, Dilip Kumar, Sivaji Ganesan, Akkineni Nageswara Rao, and Shashi Kapoor. Meanwhile, there are also singers who include, Manna Dey, Bhupen Hazarika, Lata Mangeshkar, and Asha Bhonsle.