B’WOOD NAMES MISSING FROM PADMA HONORS
No obvious name from Hindi cinema is on the 2018 list. Past and present recipients say what this means
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