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Manoj Kumar honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke award

Veteran actor Manoj Kumar was today conferred the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award by President Pranab Mukherjee at the 63rd National Film Awards ceremony here, for his contribution to the film industry.

Veteran actor Manoj Kumar greets the audience as he arrives in a wheelchair to receive the Dadasaheb Phalke Award at the 63rd National Film Awards 2015 function in New Delhi. Pic/PTI
Veteran actor Manoj Kumar greets the audience as he arrives in a wheelchair to receive the Dadasaheb Phalke Award at the 63rd National Film Awards 2015 function in New Delhi. Pic/PTI

The 78-year-old actor, best known for his patriotic films 'Purab Aur Paschim', 'Upkar' and 'Kranti', got a standing ovation from the audience as he was taken to the stage on a wheelchair at Vigyan Bhavan to receive Indian cinema's highest honour.

The actor was sporting an orange bandana of Sai Baba and also presented the President with a crystal statue of the deity as he received the honour. Kumar, who became the 47th recipient of the award, was presented with the Swarn Kamal (golden lotus) medallion, a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and a shawl by the President.

Best known for his films 'Hariyali Aur Raasta', 'Woh Kaun Thi?', 'Himalaya Ki God Mein', 'Do Badan', 'Patthar Ke Sanam', 'Shaheed' and 'Roti Kapda Aur Makaan', Kumar became popular as "Bharat Kumar" thanks to his patriotic dramas.

He went on to star in romantic hits like 'Honeymoon', 'Apna Banake Dekho', 'Naqli Nawab', 'Do Badan', 'Paththar Ke Sanam', 'Sajan' and 'Sawan Ki Ghata'.

The actor later shifted his focus to films with patriotic theme by acting in films like "Shaheed", which was based on the life of Bhagat Singh.

Kumar made his directorial debut with "Upkaar", which is said to be inspired by the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri's popular slogan Jai Jawan Jai Kissan.
His other films that explore the idea of patriotic duty include "Purab Aur Paschim", "Roti Kapda Aur Makaan" and "Kranti", in which he got a chance to work with his idol Dilip Kumar.

Kumar's career started to decline after "Kranti". He quit acting after his appearance in the 1995 film "Maidan-E-Jung" but returned as a director to launch son, Kunal Goswami, in the 1999 film "Jai Hind" which had a patriotic theme. The film, however, did not do well at the box office.

The actor won a National Film Award for "Upkaar" and was honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1992. Recent Dadasaheb Phalke winners include iconic names like Shashi Kapoor, Gulzar, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Soumitra Chatterjee and Mrinal Sen.

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