‘Superstar’ Rajinikanth is set to be bestowed with the 51st Dadasaheb Phalke award, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javedkar 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,” Javedkar stated in a tweet.
Following the announcement, Prime Minister Modi also took to Twitter to congratulate the actor on 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,” the tweet said.
The award is given for outstanding contributions to the growth and development of cinema and includes a golden lotus medal and a cash prize.
The jury for the award this year included veteran playback singer Asha Bhosle, director Subhash Ghai, singer Shankar Mahadevan, and popular Malayalam actor Mohanlal.
From the Tamil film industry, ‘Nadigar Thilagam’ Sivaji Ganesan and Rajinikanth’s mentor K Balachander had received the award before him. It was awarded to actor Amitabh Bachchan for the year 2018.
My heartfelt thanks to the government of india, respected & dearest @narendramodi ji, @PrakashJavdekar ji and the jury for conferring upon me the prestigious #DadasahebPhalkeAward I sincerely dedicate it to all those who have been a part of my journey. Thanks to the almighty 🙏🏻
— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) April 1, 2021
In a statement, Rajinikanth also expressed his gratitude to his bosom friend Raj Bahadur who identified his acting skills when he was a bus conductor, and his elder brother Sathyanarayana Rao Gaekwad who made many sacrifices for shaping him as an actor even when the family was reeling under poverty.
Besides, he thanked and dedicated the award to his mentor, film director K Balachandar, for shaping him as Rajinikanth. He also thanked other film producers, directors, technicians, distributors, theatre owners, media, and his fans across the world.
Rajinikanth thanked Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, Leader of the Opposition MK Stalin, MNM founder Kamal Haasan, leaders of political parties at the state and national level, friends and well-wishers.
Tamil Nadu CM Edapaddi Palaniswami in his message hailing the award said, “I congratulated Dada Saheb Phalke awardee Rajinikanth over the phone. This award recognizes your hard work in the film industry. I pray to God that you receive many more awards and live long.”
Rajinikanth’s long-time friend and Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan said the award, highest to be bestowed on a performing artist, is 100 percent appropriate for Rajinikanth while DMK President MK Stalin said that though ‘delayed’ the recognition was welcome.
“It is a great pleasure that the highest award, the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, has been announced to Rajinikanth, the supreme star and my dearest friend. The award is 100 percent appropriate for Rajini, who has proven that he can win over fans by appearing on screen,” Haasan tweeted.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced on Thursday that the veteran actor will be bestowed with the Dada Saheb Phalke award for the year 2019, making him the third cinema personality after the late thespian Sivaji Ganesan and late director K Balachander, also Rajinikanth’s mentor, to have been chosen for the award from Tamil Nadu.
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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 1, 2021
Stalin described Rajinikanth as a “dear friend” and an “unparalleled performer” and expressed joy over him being selected for the award.
“Delayed but welcome,” he said in a tweet.
He wished that Rajinikanth, “a symbol of acting and friendship,” continues with his journey in filmdom.
PMK leader and former union minister Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss also congratulated the superstar.
“Actor Rajinikanth has been honored with the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, the highest award of the film industry in India. Award winning close friend @rajinikanth Congratulations,” he tweeted.
AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, national-award winning lyricist Vairamuthu, popular comedian Vivekh, and a number of film personalities greeted the actor on being selected for the award.
Wishes also poured in from Karnataka as state Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, BJP’s Tamil Nadu in-charge C T Ravi and state ministers joined millions of others in greeting the Tamil superstar Rajinikanth.
“Heartfelt congratulations to the globally acclaimed film actor, fondly addressed as Thalaiva by his followers and superstar Rajinikanth, on being honored with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award. On behalf of all the Kannadigas, I wish him all the best,” the Chief Minister tweeted.
Ravi, the BJP national general secretary, and party’s Tamil Nadu in-charge, tweeted, “Heartiest Congratulations to Thalaiva @rajinikanth on being awarded the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2021.”
“One of the greatest actors of His generation, the contribution of Thiru Rajinikanth to Indian cinema is exemplary. I share this happiness with His crores of fans,” he added.
Deputy Chief Minister Dr. C N Ashwath Narayan and Health Minister Dr. K Sudhakar too greeted the actor.