The 51st Dadasaheb Phalke Award will be conferred upon actor Rajinikanth for his immense contribution in the field of Indian cinema, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said in a tweet on Thursday.
“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,” Mr Javadekar, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting, wrote in his post. The Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2019 should have been announced last year but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as were the National Film Awards for 2019. On the jury that selected Rajinikanth for the award were singers Asha Bhosle and Shankar Mahadevan, actors Mohanlal and Biswajeet, and filmmaker Subhash Ghai. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated the Tamil superstar for winning the award. “Popular across generations, a body of work few can boast of, diverse roles and an endearing personality…that’s Shri @rajinikanth Ji for you. It is a matter of immense joy that Thalaiva has been conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Congratulations to him (sic),” he tweeted.
Rajinikanth, 70, is among Indian cinema’s most iconic stars. He made his debut in the 1975 Tamil film Apoorva Ragangal and delivered superhit films such as Billu, Muthu, Baashha, Sivaji, and Enthiran. Rajinikanth also starred in several Bollywood hits such as Hum and Chaalbaaz. His last few film releases were Kaala and 2.0 in 2018, 2019’s Petta and Darbar last year. Rajinikanth will next be seen in Annaatthe.