Veteran actor Anupam Kher and singer Udit Narayan have been awarded Padma Bhushan.
Classical singer Girija Devi was also selected for Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award.
65-year-old Rajinikanth, one of the most celebrated actors of his generations with fans according him the status of a demi-god, is already a recipient of Padma Bhushan.
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Responding to the announcement, his younger daughter Soundarya tweeted, “Proud daughter!!!!! Appa is now Padma vibhushan shri Rajinikanth.”
Proud daughter !!!!! Appa is now Padma vibhushan shri Rajinikanth 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
— soundarya rajnikanth (@soundaryaarajni) January 25, 2016
Since making his debut with K Balachander’s “Aboorva Ragangal” in 1975, the actor saw a steady rise to stardom, which continues even today. The Tamil superstar has also acted in Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Bengali films. His famous movies are “Thalapathi”, “Nallavanuku Nallavan”, “Sivaji” and “Enthiran” among many others.
Devi, 86, already a Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan recipient, is known as thumri queen for popularising the genre. She is also an exponent of khyal and tappa.
Anupam Kher, known for his outstanding character roles in a career spanning over three decades, will receive Padma Bhushan with Udit Narayan, who ruled Bollywood playback singing in the ’80s and ’90s.
Both Kher and Narayan are already Padma Shri winners.
Actors Ajay Devgn and Priyanka Chopra, 33, have been named for Padma Shri awards, besides a posthumous Padma Shri for actor Saeed Jaffrey.
Devgn, a two-time National award winner, is known for his intense performances in films like “Zakhm”, “The Legend of Bhagat Singh”, “Omkara”, “Gangajal”, “Apaharan” and “Drishyam”.
“I feel deeply humbled yet elated to receive such honour from my own country. This announcement today makes it special for me when I’m filming abroad for my new film ‘Shivaay’. I’d like to acknowledge that Padma Samman puts an extra responsibility on me and I promise to serve my country for as long as I can,” Devgn, 46, said in a statement.
Priyanka Chopra, who won the National award for “Fashion”, has turned up critically acclaimed performances in movies like “Kaminey”, “Agneepath”, “Barfi!”, “Mary Kom” and “Bajirao Mastani”.
Saeed Jaffrey, who passed away last year, starred in as many as 100 Hindi films, including acclaimed projects like Satyajit Ray’s “Shatranj Ke Khiladi”, “Gandhi” and “My Beautiful Laundrette”.
National Award winning filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, known for showcasing real life issues through his films, will be conferred the Padma Shri honour, it was announced on Monday. He will receive the honour in April here.
“Really grateful, honoured to be awarded Padma Shri. I accept it with all humility, this great respect bestowed by my government and my country,” Bhandarkar tweeted on Monday after the list was announced by the government.
Really grateful,honoured 2 be awarded Padma Shri.I accept it with all humility, this great respect bestowed by my Government and my country.
— Madhur Bhandarkar (@imbhandarkar) January 25, 2016
He added: “I thank my producers, technicians, actors and my friends for this great honour and most importantly my family for their support”.
I would like to thank my Producers,technicians,actors and my friends for this great honour and most importantly my family for their support
— Madhur Bhandarkar (@imbhandarkar) January 25, 2016
The Padma awards, which are announced on the eve of the Republic Day, are conferred by the President at a function in Rashtrapati Bhawan in March/April every year.
National Award winning filmmaker Nila Madhab Panda of “I Am Kalam” fame, who has been chosen for the prestigious Padma Shri, said the honour will inspire him to work in the direction of making more films on the country’s pertinent issues.
The announcement that Panda will be conferred with the fourth highest civilian honour came on Monday (January 25).
Reacting to it, Panda told IANS: “I am very happy that I will get the Padma Shri. It’s a great achievement to me. I am sure that it will inspire me to work in the direction of making more films on several issues of the country.”
Nila Madhab Panda took to twitter:
Gratitude, humbled and Honored to be announced for “Padmashree”.
— Nila Madhab Panda (@nilamadhabpanda) January 25, 2016
(With PTI/IANS inputs)