The 70-year-old superstar received a standing ovation as he walked on stage to receive the award from Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.
Superstar Rajinikanth was awarded with Dadasaheb Phalke Award at 67th National Film Awards at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan. Dadasaheb Phalke Award was presented on Monday along with the National Film Awards. The 70-year-old superstar was honoured with a standing ovation as he walked on stage to receive the award from Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. A video was also played in the background that had special messages for the actor from Khushbu, Amitabh Bachchan, Mohanlal and AR Rahman, famous musician as he received the award. The actor was accompanied by family, wife Latha and son-in-law Dhanush at the ceremony. His son-in-law Dhanush was also present at the ceremony. He received the National Award in the Best Actor category for the film Asuran.
Rajnikanth thanked people in an emotional speech who played an important part in his life. A special mention, the actor dedicated this award to his mentor guru K Balachander sir. He also remembered his brother Sathyanarayana Rao Gaekwad who brought him up like a father teaching great values and teaching spirituality to him.
Talking about his humble beginnings and knack that he had for acting, the actor said that one of his friends from Karnataka, bus transport driver, his colleague, Raj Bahadur was the first who spotted acting talent in him. He also encouraged him to join the cinema. He further extended thanks to all the producers, directors, technicians who worked with him and co-artists, distributors, executors, media, press, and all the fans. Expressing special thanks to Tamil people, he said, “I thank the Tamil people who have given me the life that I have today. I would have been nobody without their constant support and love,Jai Hind!”, the actor concluded.
Amitabh Bachchan while speaking about Rajnikanth said there are no words in dictionary to describe this personality of the Indian film industry. From humble beginnings to achieving what he has now is beyond words.
Mohanlal talked about the actor’s ‘unique style and charisma’. He said, the actor’s mannerism and trademark walk have been a trend-setter and part of his huge superstardom. Suresh Krissna, director of Baasha, said Rajinikanth is still a simple man at heart. “Rajinikanth never even wanted a make-up van nor he asked for extra help for him. You will always see him sitting with everyone enjoying tea with them. He will just sit on his chair, put a wet cloth on his eyes and sleep on the sets,” he added.
Talking about Rajnikanth, AR Rahman noted that the thing which amazes him the most about Rajni sir is his transformation. “Once he puts on his make-up and comes before the camera, he is like a different person altogether. Like lighting. This is the most amazing thing I learned from Rajni sir”.
Before leaving for Delhi on Sunday, he briefly met the media outside his residence in Poes Garden. He noted that he felt sad that he couldn’t celebrate this honour with K Balachander.
The actor briefly met the media outside his residence in Poes Garden before leaving for Delhi on Sunday. He said that he felt sad that he couldn’t celebrate this honour with K Balachander; a man who launched Rajinikanth’s acting career and continued to play a huge role in nurturing and shaping his talent.
“I am extremely happy to receive the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. It is the highest honour in Indian cinema. I feel sad that KB sir (Balachander) is not here with us at this time.” . He also added that he never thought that he would receive this honour.