Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bharat Ratna for Dilip Kumar

AFTER recently watching Sanghursh I could not but admire Dilip Kumar's acting abilities. More so as the film boasts two other acting greats - Balraaj Sahni and Sanjeev Kumar.

For someone who has grown up watching Amitabh Bachchan's films Dilip Kumar was a star from an older generation. I still remember the fights we had in the family over who was better - Amitabh Bachchan or Dilip Kumar. My father's generation used to dote on Yusuf saheb and we on Mr Bachchan.

During my school days I bought Amitabh Bachchan's biography. It mentioned Dilip Kumar as his favourite actor and my long standing bias towards Yusuf saheb lessened. I started watching his films.

Gradually I realised that Dilip Kumar was more than an actor - he was an institution! His methodical approach to acting made the craft look different.

The language his character speaks fluently in 'Ganga Jamuna' (a local dialect from the rural north of India) was something of a first in a mainstream Hindi movie. 'Ram Aur Shyam' can rightly be called the mother, or rather the father, of all twins-separated-at-birth Hindi films.

Dilip Kumar shared screen space with almost all the greats of Indian cinema and somehow always stood out. Perhaps the biggest testimony to his acting skills is the fact that he won his first Filfare Best Actor Award in 1954 (the same year it was incorporated) for 'Daag' and his last Filmfare Best Actor nomination for 'Saudagar' in 1992. During the years in between he managed to win 8 Filmfare Best Actor trophies, a record he still holds.

Dilip Kumar was always a big star but the actor in him was even bigger. Today Dilip Kumar is a role model for all those who dream of a acting career in Mumbai.

Apart from movies Yusuf saheb did his bit for the upliftment of Urdu language. His own chaste urdu leaves one wanting for more. He has been working tirelessly all his life towards the betterment of Indo-Pak relations. He is also known for his charity work.

Honouring such rare individuals is natural. Dilip Kumar has touched enough lives in India and abroad with his work to deserve India's highest honour. He is already a jewel of India, only the citation has to come from the Government of India.

Awards & Honours

* National Lifetime Achievement Award (2006)
* Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award (B.F.J.A. Awards, 2005)
* Nishan-e-Pakistan (1997)
* NTR National Award (1997)
* Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1994)
* Fimfare Lifetime Achievement Award (1994)
* Filmfare Best Actor (Shakti, 1983)
* Filmfare Best Actor (Ram Aur Shayam, 1968)
* Filmfare Best Actor (Leader, 1965)
* Filmfare Best Actor (Kohinoor, 1961)
* Filmfare Best Actor (Naya Daur, 1958)
* Filmfare Best Actor (Devdas, 1957)
* Filmfare Best Actor (Azaad, 1956)
* Filmfare Best Actor (Daag, 1954)

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