Dadasaheb Phalke award for Amitabh Bachchan

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar confirmed the news in a Twitter post.

September 24, 2019 08:00 pm | Updated September 25, 2019 03:08 pm IST - New Delhi

File photo of Amitabh Bachchan.

File photo of Amitabh Bachchan.

The country’s highest film honour, the Dadasaheb Phalke award, conferred for “outstanding contribution for the growth and development of Indian cinema” will be presented this year to Amitabh Bachchan.

The first intimation came via a tweet by information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar in which he stated that “The legend Amitabh Bachchan who entertained and inspired for two generations has been selected unanimously for #DadaSahabPhalke award. The entire country and international community is happy. My heartiest congratulations to him. @narendramodi @SrBachchan”.

The award, very appropriately comes in the year that marks Mr Bachchan’s golden jubilee in cinema. He made his debut in 1969 with Khwaja Ahmad Abbas’  Saat Hindustani  about seven Indians attempting to liberate Goa from Portuguese colonial rule. The same year he also did the voice over for Mrinal Sen’s  Bhuvan Shome , one of the earliest films of the Indian parallel cinema.

Interesting, the Dadasaheb Phalke award itself was first presented in the year of Mr Bachchan’s debut. It was introduced by the government in 1969 to commemorate the “father of Indian cinema” who directed  Raja Harischandra (1913), India's first feature film, and it was awarded for the first time to Devika Rani, “the first lady of Indian cinema”.

One of the most influential figures in Indian cinema for the past five decades, Mr Bachchan, with four national awards and fifteen filmfare trophies behind him, has had a many-splendoured stint in the world of entertainment. From the early family films and comedies with Hrishikesh Mukherjee-- Anand, Mili, Chupke Chupke — to odd thrillers like  Parwana  and  Bombay to Goa;  from a romance like  Kabhi Kabhie  to the much loved gentle patriarch like host that he plays now on  Kaun Banega Crorepati. 

But   the meteoric rise came through the pen of writers Salim-Javed (Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar) who created the anti-Establishment “angry young man” persona for him in Prakash Mehra’s  Zanjeer (1973)  and Yash Chopra’s  Deewar (1975).  The intense, rebellious, simmering with rage hero became a symbol of the times, dominated the screens through the 70s and 80s and is something Mr Bachchan is still most closely identified with.   

The entire nation came to a standstill when he suffered serious intestinal injuries on the sets of  Coolie  in 1982.   After a blip in the career in the late 80s and 90s, he managed to successfully reinvent himself in older roles with  Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Mohabbatein, Baghban, Pink  etc.

Mr Bachchan has been honoured with the Padma Shri in 1984, the Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015.

The Dadasaheb Phalke award comprises a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus), a shawl and a cash prize of ₹1,000,000.

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