This year’s Padma awardees’ list raised quite a few eyebrows. Just like it has been over the last decade during the Congress-led UPA rule, the list featured names seen as close to the Government at the Centre led by BJP.
Names like Rajinikanth, Anupam Kher, Priyanka Chopra, Madhur Bhandarkar, Udit Narayan and Malini Awasthi, are among others in 2016 Padma awardees’ list. No wonder many criticised it particularly the inclusion of Anupam Kher. Social media pointed out how he had in 2010, during UPA II’s reign, questioned the authenticity of the awards. And this is what he tweeted following the announcement of the Padma awards this year: Kher had last year led the ‘March for India
’ campaign against the intolerance brigade. He was joined by Malini Awasthi and Madhur Bhandarkar – both in this year’s honours list. Now one of the finest Bollywood actors has expressed his resentment at the hobnobbing of celebrities with politicians that often reap rich rewards for the celebs.
The versatile Kader Khan said that it is good that he didn’t get one. Khan, 79, is a veteran of some of Bollywood’s most commercially successful films.
“I have neither flattered anyone in my life, nor will I ever. I don’t want these awards if they have been given to people (in the industry) who got it this time,” he told IANS hinting that blandishment could be one of the reasons why his peers got this honour.
Khan was especially critical of Anupam Kher.
“What has he done except singing praises for (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi.”
“I am not contesting the government’s decision of conferring him with the award but the only thing I want to know is the credentials that I lacked for it (the award),” Khan said. The seasoned actor who has regaled audiences with his comic as well as villainous turns in blockbusters such as “Coolie No.1”, “Hero No.1”, “Parvarish”, etc.
Khan is also an acclaimed dialogue writer. He wrote for many films including those starring Amitabh Bachchan such as “Sharaabi”, “Desh Premee”, “Lawaaris”, “Muqaddar Ka Sikandar”, and “Amar Akbar Anthony”.
He has won four Filmfare Awards and was conferred with the Sahitya Shiromani Award in 2013 for his contribution to the Hindi film industry.
An ailing Kader Khan arrives at Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali for treatment. Patanjali
Last year, Bollywood celebrities had proposed his name for this year’s Padma awards. He had then expressed his thanks to them pointing out that they had to “demand” an honour for him.
Appealing to the film industry to stay away from politics, Khan said, “I would like to urge all the actors to return from the politics. ‘Laut aao, politics tumhari manzil nahi hai‘ (Come back, politics is not your destination).”
But Anupam Kher said in an interview with a TV Channel that he is least bothered about those who are criticising his winning the award. “I pity those who think that I am being rewarded by the BJP… I am being criticised because losers have this kind of attitude, winners don’t have this kind of attitude,” he said.