MUMBAI: Recognised for his immense contribution to the Indian cinema for over three decades, the Indian government has honoured legendary actor Kader Khan (late) with highest civilian award Padma Shri.
Khan is among many others who were named recipients of the country’s top award.
Kadar Khan, Gautam Gambhir, dancer and choreographer Prabhu Deva and former diplomat S Jaishankar are among 94 persons named for Padma Shri.
The other posthumous award in this year’s list is for Kader Khan, who died on December 31 last year after prolonged illness in Canada. He has been recognised for his immense contribution to the world of films as a writer and actor par excellence. He was 81.
Veteran Indian actor Kader Khan dies at 81
The awardees for the year were announced on the eve of India’s 70th Republic Day.
After the actor’s demise, Rumi Jaffrey, Kader Khan’s co-writer from Coolie No. 1, said, “It is sad that so many of his juniors have higher prestigious awards and Kaderbhai hasn’t received even a Padma Shri. I know his PR was not good and didn’t keep relations with the politicians, but he has made an immense contribution to cinema and deserves to be honoured with one.”
His iconic pairings with Govinda and Shakti Kapoor is loved and remembered even now. Some of his most notable works include Mard, Hum Hain Kamaal Ke, Coolie No. 1, Dulhe Raja, Baap Numbari Beta Dus Numbari, Hum, Coolie, Muqaddar Ka Sikander, Angaar etc. Interestingly, Kader Khan had talked about not being recognised for his contribution to cinema, back in 2016.
Talking to IANS, Kader Khan had stated, “If the government feels that I have done good work, it will honour me. It’s people’s love that they are demanding it for me”. He had added, “it’s good that I did not get one.” Taking a dig at those who have got it in 2016, Kader Khan had said, “… it’s good that they did not give me a Padma Shri. 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.”
Kader Khan, who was born in Kabul, made his debut in acting with Daag, starting Rajesh Khanna in the lead role. He starred in several movies with Amitabh Bachchan and Govinda. As a screenwriter, Kader Khan frequently collaborated with Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra.
Actor Manoj Bajpayee, one of the three Padma awardees in the field of art and films this year, is a powerhouse performer, known for films from Satya to Aligarh.
Prabhudheva, who will receive the Padma Shri this year for his contribution to the field of art and dance, is a legendary dancer who changed how film industries across India saw dance in movies.