With a few celebs voicing their demand for a Padma Shri to be conferred on veteran actor Kader Khan, we draw up a list of industry stalwarts who we think are worthy of the honour...
Bollywood stars may make their place in the hearts of millions, but stardom remains incomplete if their talent isn’t acknowledged at the numerous big and small award functions that take place throughout the year — or so is the general perception.
Anil Kapoor is on our list of industry celebs who deserve the Padma award; (below) Kader Khan
But then it is a widely held idea that trophies are no longer about excellence and are marred by heavy-duty lobbying. And it’s not just the credibility of film awards that is under question; even honours conferred by the state or central government spark the “lack of transparency” debate.
In a recent development, a section of the industry has demanded that veteran actor Kader Khan be bestowed with the Padma Shri for his contribution to Hindi cinema. The 77-year old will be seen on the big screen after a gap of 10 years in Ho Gaya Dimag Ka Dahi which also stars Om Puri and Sanjay Mishra. The film’s director Fauzia Arshi took the initiative of writing to the government of India with a request to bestow the “long-pending” honour on the funnyman. Bollywood figures like Amitabh Bachchan, Govinda, Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor and David Dhawan have supported the demand.
Against this backdrop, hitlist points out some of the most talented Bollywood actors who deserve a Padma award...
Though he’s mostly appeared in character roles, his talent has shone through in each of them. His stellar performances in films like Ek Ruka Hua Faisla (1986) and Maqbool (2003) have proved what he is capable of — weaving pure magic on the silver screen. He became a household name through the ’80s detective show Karamchand. His other comedy TV series like Zabaan Sambhaal Ke and Office Office were also hugely popular.
The ‘Jumping Jack’ might have started off as a mere dancing star, but it didn’t take too long for sensitive filmmakers like Gulzar to see through his true potential. Born as Ravi Kapoor, the actor surprised the audience and critics with his realistic performances in films like Khushboo (1975) and Kinara (1977). In the ’80s, he was said to be one of the highest paid Hindi actors.
Hailing from an impoverished background, the actor reached the pinnacle of success by the dint of sheer hard work, talent and perseverance. He made his acting debut with the 1976 film Mrigya and became a star with his Jimmy street dancer act in Disco Dancer (1982). He was one of the most sought-after names in the ’80s and has made immense contribution to the field of cinema — he has appeared in nearly 250-odd Hindi and regional films. In 2005, when President Pranab Mukherjee was the defence minister in UPA-I, he had recommended Mithun’s name for the Padma Shri, but the honour has not been conferred on the three time National Award-winner till date. Questioned about it in 2009, he had said: “I don’t want (the) Padma Shri if I have to beg for it.”
Dropdead gorgeous with a talent to match, Khanna kick-started his film career with Sunil Dutt’s 1968 film Man Ka Meet as a villain and went on to establish himself as the quintessential Bollywood hero. While playing typical roles in commercial movies, he also dabbled in numerous “thinking” movies like Lekin… (1990). Between 1968 and 2013, he appeared in 141 films and even played the lead in a Pakistani film, Godfather (2007). He is currently a sitting MP from Gurdaspur.
An out-and-out commercial star, Sinha excelled in roles both as the hero as well as the villain. He studied at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, which now offers a scholarship instituted in his name. His first acting opportunity was playing a Pakistani military officer in Dev Anand’s Prem Pujari (1970), although his big screen debut came with Mohan Sehgal’s Sajan, which released a year earlier — he played a bit role as a cop. What worked for him was his booming voice that instantly connected with the ’70s audience. His “Ghaslet, bachche ghaslet. Mitti ka tel…” dialogue from Mere Apne (1971) is epic. Sinha was among the 1,793 prominent persons whose names had been recommended for this year’s Padma awards,
but was ignored.
An exceptionally brilliant actor, Kapoor has, like old wine, become only better with age. The actor-producer has stood out in each of his movies, Eeshwar (1989), Pukar (2000) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008) being some of the most memorable. His performance in the eighth season of the TV action series 24 generated rave reviews from the American press and on the global film map, he ranks high among the few recognised Indian actors. Kapoor was responsible for adapting the espionage thriller series in Hindi, which was a big hit with the small screen audience.
In an industry replete with chocolate heroes, Jackie came as a breath of fresh air, courtesy his stubble and roguish good looks. He became an overnight star with only his second film, Hero (1983), helmed by Subhash Ghai. In fact, it was the director who changed his name from Jaikishen to Jackie. Among his best remembered films is Karma (1986), which proved to be the highest grosser of that year. So far, he has worked in more than 200 films in nine languages, including Hindi. And till date, the actor continues to enthrall us with his easy charm and endearing persona.
Writer Salim Khan refused to accept the Padma Shri honour this year, saying: “I just think that after 55 years and over 40 films, I deserve more than a Padma Shri for my contributions to Hindi cinema, given that my juniors have already got it years before.
Even my earstwhile partner, Javed Akhtar, has received both a Padma Shri and a Padma Bhushan.” Khan and Akhtar scripted blockbusters like Andaz, Haathi Mere Saathi, Seeta Aur Geeta, Zanjeer, Deewar, Sholay, Trishul, Don, Kranti and Mr India, Naam and Kabzaa among others.