Karan Johar, Ekta Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut awarded the 'Padma Shri'
New Delhi, Jan 25: Filmmakers Karan Johar, Ekta Kapoor and actor Kangana Ranaut are among the six cinema personalities to be awarded the Padma Shri, officials said on Saturday. Singers Suresh Wadkar and Adnan Sami as well as veteran TV actor Sarita Joshi have also been conferred with the fourth highest civilian honour of the country.
Karan said he was humbled to receive the honour. "Overwhelmed by so many emotions right now. Humbled, elated and also thankful for the opportunity to live my dream everyday, to create and to entertain. I know my father would be proud and I wish he was here to share this moment with me," the director said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Son of veteran Bollywood producer late Yash Johar, Karan started his career as a director in Hindi cinema with the 1998 hit "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai".
The 47-year-old, who runs Dharma Productions, went on to direct several commercial blockbusters in "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham..." (2001), "My Name Is Khan" (2010), "Student of the Year" (2012) and "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" among others. Karan has also produced several critically-acclaimed films -- "Wake Up Sid", "Agneepath", "Hasee Toh Phasee", "Kapoors & Sons" and "Raazi". Ekta, who started her showbiz journey with soap operas, most notably "Kyunki Saas Bhi Bahu Thi", is the daughter of veteran actor Jeetendra.
She launched her banner Balaji Telefilms in 1994 and backed many popular TV shows, eventually branching out into movie production. Ekta, 44, has produced films such as "Love Sex Aur Dhoka", "Once Upon a Time in Mumbai", "The Dirty Picture", "Udta Punjab" and "Veere Di Wedding". The producer took to Twitter to thank the fraternity members after she was flooded with congratulatory messages on the social media platform.
Kangana, a three-time National Award Winner, is the only Bollywood actor to receive the Padma Shri this year. The 32-year-old actor, who made her debut in movies in 2006 with "Gangster", is regarded as one of the most successful female artistes of this generation.
After a series of films with Mahesh Bhatt's banner, Ranaut found success with Madhur Bhandarkar's "Fashion", for which she won her first National Film Award in 2009. She went on to win two back-to-back National Film Awards for her performances in "Queen" (2014) and "Tanu Weds Manu Returns (2015). Kangana's latest release is "Panga".
Wadkar, 64, a veteran in the music industry, started his career as a playback singer in 1978 with song "Seene mein jalan" for "Gaman". He has lent his voice to memorable tracks like "Aye zindagi gale lagaa le", "Aur is dil mein", "Pardesi pardesi", "Sapne mein", "Raat ke dhai baje" and "Jag Ja".
In his over four-decade-long career, Wadkar has collaborated with celebrated composers RD Burman, Shiv-Hari, Ilayaraja, Khayyam, AR Rahman, Bappi Lahiri, Vishal Bhardwaj and Hridayanath Mangeshkar. Sami, 48, now an Indian-citizen, made a mark for himself in country's indie-pop scene with single "Kabhi toh nazar milao", for which he collaborated with veteran playback singer Asha Bhosle.
In his reaction, he tweeted. "The greatest moment for any Artiste is to be appreciated & recognised by his/her government. I am overwhelmed with infinite gratitude for being honoured with the 'Padma Shri' by the Government of India. It has been a 34 years musical journey.. 'Bohot Shukriya'!!" He released various albums in the early 2000s and also served as music composer for films "Lucky: No Time for Love" (2005), "Dhamaal" (2007) and "Shaurya" (2008). Sami, born in London to a Pakistani Air force veteran, applied for Indian citizenship in 2015 and became a citizen of the country in January 2016.
Joshi, a household name and a popular theatre personality, started her acting career as a child artiste and made her TV debut in 1980s with "Titliyan". Some of her most iconic shows are "Hasratein", "Ek Mahal Ho Sapno Ka", "Baa Bahoo Aur Baby" and "Bh Se Bhade". Joshi, 78, has also featured in movies such as "Nazar", "Darna Zaroori Hai", "Dasvidaniya", "Singham Returns" and "Simmba".
She was bestowed with the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for acting in Gujarati in 1988.
"I am very happy and humbled with this honour. I am working from an early age, I have never worked for awards, for me work is worship. I have always worked from heart and given my best in whatever I have done. I will be known as Padma Shri Sarita Joshi, this is such a big honour. I am happy as my children are happy," Joshi told PTI.
The Padma Shri for this year has been awarded to a total of 118 eminent personalities across fields of art, literature and education, medicine, trade and industry, sports, public affairs, social work and science and engineering.