Civilian honours for Rekha, Aamir
Bollywood star Aamir Khan and celebrated Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman are among a host of artistes selected for India's third highest civilian award Padma Bhushan while screen diva Rekha and actor Saif Ali Khan have been selected for the fourth highest honour Padma Shri this year.
Aamir, 44, whose latest film “3 Idiots” was an unprecedented box office hit, grossing over Rs 375 crore worldwide, had in the past received the Padma Shri.
Reacting to being chosen for the third highest civilian honour by the Indian government, Aamir, who is now attending the Sundance Film Festival in the United States, said, "It is wonderful to get such an award".
“The first thing that comes to mind is my mother's smiling face. It has been a wonderful day for me. My film 'Peepli Live' got a good response at the Sundance Festival and then I got this news. I wish I was back home.
“I thank God for these happy moments and my well wishers and fans for their affection and support,” said Aamir.
Allah Rakha Rahman, who shone at the Oscars last year with his double golden statuette win, seems to be on an award winning spree post the success of Danny Boyle-directed “Slumdog Millionaire”.
In 2008, Rahman scored the music of the rags-to-riches drama and bagged two Oscars for the film.
Apart from the Oscars, Rahman had also been awarded with the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award, four National Film Awards and 13 Filmfare Awards.
Rekha, 55, has been selected for the Padma Shri after four decades in the Indian film industry. Daughter of late Tamil cinema star Gemini Ganesan, she shot into fame overnight with her debut film and went on to become India's screen siren.
Rekha has acted in over 150 films and maintained versatility in films like “Umrao Jaan”, “Do Anjaane”, “Ghar”, “Muqaddar Ka Sikander”, “Khubsoorat”, “Silsila”, “Utsav”, “Khoon Bhari Maang”, “Ijaazat” and “Zubeidaa”.
Saif Ali Khan has been honoured with the Padma Shri. He earned fame after the success of “Dil Chahta Hai” in 2001 and won a National Award for his performance in “Hum Tum”.
Saif said he felt very proud to be chosen for the Padma Shri and would like to thank his family members and loved ones who have supported him in the film industry.
Also among the Padma Shri award winners is photographer Nemai Ghosh who had done camera work for master director Satyajit Ray.