Telugu star Chiranjeevi was honoured with the Indian Film Personality of the Year award at the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI). After receiving the award, the 67-year-old superstar expressed his gratitude to the film industry and his fans.
“I thank IFFI and government of India for giving me this wonderful award and great honour. Few recognitions are special, and this award is one such. I was born into a middle-class family, to humble parents. My fame, name, charisma, all privileges, the invaluable love and affection of my fans and everything, I owe to the film industry. I was born as Konidela Siva Sankara Vara Prasad to my parents and I was re-born as Chiranjeevi in the film industry,” he said in his speech.
Chiranjeevi also reflected on his earlier decision to give up acting to pursue his aspirations in politics. And he vowed not to repeat it in his life.
“I have been in the film industry for 45 years. Out of these four and half decades, I spent a decade in politics. For some reason, I had to return to the film industry. At that time, I was skeptical about how people will receive me. (I wondered) will they shower the same kind of love and affection on me. I was having my doubts because the generation has changed. The amount of love and affection and my position in their hearts remained intact, in fact, they have doubled to my surprise. That’s the bonding I have with my fans. I promise my fans that I will never (again) leave the film industry,” he said.
“I am a slave to the love of Telugu film fans around the world. It’s because of that love I’m here today and am being honoured with such awards. I will remain grateful for your love,” the actor added.
In his speech, Chiranjeevi also acknowledged Akshay Kumar, who was sitting in the audience. And he also paid a nod to Akshay’s fitness and energy.
“Recently, my son (Ram Charan) and Akshay Kumar shook their leg in one of the TV shows. He’s my friend but now he’s competing with my son. That’s the charisma, strength and energy of Akshay Kumar,” he said.
On the work front, Chiranjeevi is now waiting for the release of Waltair Veerayya. The film is due in cinemas in January next year.