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Indian honours for Sridevi, Khanna, Patekar

The names of Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan recipients were announced on the eve of the country’s Republic Day

  • Indian Bollywood actress Sharmila Tagore and her daughter Soha Ali Khan - Photo by Yogen ShahE Plus DecembImage Credit:
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Bollywood actress Sridevi was among a host of achievers who have been named for the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award, on the eve of 64th Republic Day.

The 49-year-old, who made a grand Bollywood comeback in 2012 with the acclaimed film ‘English Vinglish’, boasts of a filmography of 265 movies. Starting her career as a child artist in 1967, she went on to do her first role as an adult in Tamil film “Moondru Mudichu” in 1976. It was only following scores of southern films that Sridevi found her Bollywood calling with “Sadma”.

She went on to cement her standing in Bollywood with hits like “Nagina”, “Mr. India”, “Chandni” and “ChaalBaaz” and became the reigning queen of the Hindi films in the 1980s and 1990s and won critical acclaim for “Lamhe”.

Married to Hindi film producer Boney Kapoor, Sridevi has two daughters - Jhanvi and Khushi. “I am honoured and humbled by the Padma Shri samman [honour]. Would like to thank all my well-wishers for their continuous support and faith in me,” she tweeted following the announcement.

Actor Nana Patekar, designer Ritu Kumar, south Indian star Bapu, director Ramesh Sippy singers Sudha Malhotra and Rashid Khan were among other honorees in a list which also includes sports stars.

The late actor Rajesh Khanna and actress Sharmila Tagore were also named as recipients of the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third highest civilian award.

Actor Akshay Kumar, the son-in-law of Khanna, said he was delighted with the news.

“I am really very happy. I am obliged that the government has recognised my father-in-law’s work. I am extremely happy,” said the actor.

Rajesh Khanna, fondly known as Kaka, began his career with “Aakhri Khat” in 1966. In a career spanning five decades, he became a superstar with hits like “Aradhana”, “Do Raaste”, “Safar” and “Anand”. He died in July 2012 following prolonged illness at the age of 69.

Tagore, the great-grand niece of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, was 13 when she acted in her first Bengali film “Apur Sansar” in 1959.

But the bigger recognition came her way when she entered the Hindi film industry with “Kashmir Ki Kali”. The 68-year-old’s body of work boasts of successes like “An Evening In Paris”, “Aradhana”, “Amar Prem”, “Mausam” and “Chupke Chupke”.

Her open-mindedness to roles and stories also translated to the changed content in Bollywood when she took over the reins as the censor board chief in 2004. It is during her term that experimental and bold films like “Tere Bin Laden”, “Dev D” and “Love, Sex Aur Dhokha” were released.