Actor-politician Rajinikanth will receive the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2019, India’s highest film honour, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted. “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. Read Prakash Javadekar’s tweet here:
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.
Last December, Rajinikanth cancelled plans to launch his own political party after being hospitalized for fluctuating blood pressure. Two days after being discharged, he said in a statement: “With extreme sadness I say that I can’t enter politics. I alone know the pain I went through while announcing this decision. Without entering electoral politics, I will serve the people. This decision of mine will disappoint my fans and people but please forgive me.”
The Dadasaheb Phalke, awarded for excellence in cinematic achievement, is the highest honour in film and is awarded by the government. The recipient of the 2018 award was Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth’s close friend and co-star from Hum.