Prez presents Dadasaheb Phalke Award to Big B

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By Our Entertainment Bureau

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind presented Dadasaheb Phalke Award to megastar Amitabh Bachchan on Sunday, the highest honour of Indian cinema. The award was presented to Big B in a special ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

The millennium superstar was earlier supposed to receive the honour at the National Film Awards ceremony last Monday. He could not attend the ceremony due to illness.

Son of noted Hindi poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan, Bachchan made foray into Indian cinema as a voice-over artist for Mrinal Sen’s Bengali film “Bhuvan Shome”. His first film was “Saat Hindustani”, which did not fare well at the box office.

His lady luck did not smile on him for quite some time as he had a series of flops. Bachchan however, tasted success in 1973 as a lead hero with Prakash Mehra’s action film “Zanjeer”.

The film earned him the nomenclature as the “Angry Young Man”. After the success of Zanjeer he had never looked back and films like “Deewar”, “Sholay”, “Mr Natwarlal”, “Lawaaris”, “Muqaddar Ka Sikandar”, “Trishul”, “Shakti” and “Kaala Patthar” smashed all records at the box office.

The megastar has also portrayed him successfully in sensitive roles in films such as “Abhimaan”, “Millie”, “Kabhie Kabhie” and “Silsila”.

The government honoured Bachchan with the Padma Shri in 1984, the Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015 for his outstanding contributions to the arts.

The highest award of the Indian cinema has been named after Dhundiraj Govind Phalke who is respected as the Father of Indian cinema.

It was instituted in 1969, incidentally, in the year Bachchan made his debut in Hindi film industry with “Saat Hindustani”.

The award comprises a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) medallion, a shawl, and a cash prize of Rs 10,00,000.

The superstar Amitabh Bachchan,77,  attended the ceremony with his wife, veteran actor-MP Jaya Bachchan and son, actor Abhishek Bachchan.

Bachchan has stayed at the top in a career spanning over five decades. This has surprised his fans as he has been doling out hit films as ever.

“When the award was announced, it came to my mind if it was an indication for retirement but I have some work left which I have to finish,” said Amitabh Bachchan after being conferred Dada Saheb Phalke Award by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Sunday evening.

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