No ob­vi­ous name from Hindi cin­ema is on the 2018 list. Past and present re­cip­i­ents say what this means

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - City - - FRONT PAGE - Monika Rawal Kukreja

On the 69th Repub­lic Day, when the list of Padma awardees was re­leased, the one fact that jumped out was the ab­sence of any ma­jor named as­so­ci­ated with Bol­ly­wood. The awards, given in the fields of lit­er­a­ture, art, sport, so­cial work, medicine, science, and pub­lic af­fairs, have only two names from main­stream en­ter­tain­ment this year — renowned film com­poser Il­lai­yaraja, awarded the Padma Vib­hushan, has a ten­u­ous link with Bol­ly­wood at best; and veteran ac­tor Manoj Joshi, awarded the Padma Shri, is a fa­mil­iar face, but not a name that has in­stant movie star re­call.

Joshi, who was in Phir Hera Pheri and Bhool Bhu­laiyaa, is much more than a film ac­tor. He says, “I’ve done the­atre and films in three lan­guages — Hindi, Marathi and Gu­jarati. I feel that the na­tion has recog­nised my craft and work and hon­oured me with this award.” Asked about Bol­ly­wood’s ab­sence from the Padma hon­ours this year, Joshi says, “I’m also a part of the industry, though I might have a smaller screen pres­ence. I don’t bother whether peo­ple con­sider me a Bol­ly­wood ac­tor or not; I’m do­ing my work sin­cerely.”

Com­poser-singer Kailash Kher, Padma Shri (2017) re­cip­i­ent, points out a pos­si­ble tech­ni­cal rea­son for the dry spell: “Since there’s a process in place where ei­ther you nom­i­nate your­self or some­one else from your state rec­om­mends your name, a lot of times, en­tries don’t reach the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee at all.”

Maybe nom­i­na­tions were not sent. But Il­lai­yaraja got it and so did Manoj Joshi, who is a very rep­utable name in terms of [film] act­ing and a long­term the­atre per­son­al­ity MAD­HUR BHANDARKAR FILM­MAKER

Veteran film com­poser Il­lai­yaraja (above) and ac­tor Manoj Joshi are this year’s re­cip­i­ents Past Padma award re­cip­i­ents in­clude ac­tors Vidya Balan (top) and Priyanka Cho­pra, and di­rec­tor Mad­hur Bhandarkar

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