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Updated: Apr 26, 2021

Author: Vaibhav Goyal, IV year of BA.LLB(H) from University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University (SSGRC, Hsp.), Chandigarh

“Popular across generations, a body of work few can boast of, diverse roles and an endearing personality…that’s Shri @rajinikanth Ji for you. It is a matter of immense joy that Thalaiva has been conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Congratulations to him.”

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) tweeted on April 1, 2021

Superstar Rajinikanth has been awarded the esteemed Dadasaheb Phalke Award this year. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeting on April 1 said, "Glad to declare Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2019 to probably the best entertainer in the history of Indian cinema Rajnikant Ji. His commitment as entertainer, maker, and screenwriter has been notorious."

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India's most esteemed honour given for cinemas, introduced by the Directorate of Cinema Festivals for one’s commitment to the development and advancement of Indian cinema. The honour, named after Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, who is known as the Father of Indian cinema, was introduced in 1969. The beneficiary gets a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) medallion, a shawl, and a monetary reward of Rs 10 lakh. The jury for the honour this year included veteran playback vocalist Asha Bhosle, chief Subhash Ghai, artist Shankar Mahadevan, and well-known Malayalam entertainer Mohanlal. From the Tamil entertainment world, 'Nadigar Thilagam' Sivaji Ganesan and Rajinikanth's tutor K Balachander had been awarded the honour before him. It was awarded to entertainer Amitabh Bachchan for the year 2018.

Rajinikanth is viewed as one of the well-known entertainers throughout the entire Indian cinema. His popularity has been attributed to his uniquely styled dialogues and idiosyncrasies in films, as well as his political statements and philanthropy. A philanthropist, he undertook a day-long fast in 2002 to protest the Government of Karnataka's decision to not release Kaveri River water into Tamil Nadu and donated ₹10 million (US$140,000) toward a plan to interlink Indian rivers. Rajinikanth is the lone Indian entertainer to be highlighted in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) prospectus, in a chapter named From Bus Conductor to Superstar.

Rajinikanth made his debut in 1975 with K Balachander's Apoorva Ragangal and has finished more than 45 years in Kollywood. Rajinikanth is the twelfth South Indian to get this honour. Legends like Dr. Rajkumar, Akkineni Nageshwar Rao, K Balachander have been awarded previously. The incredible entertainer has also been awarded the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan before. In the last part of the 70s, Rajinikanth quit acting because of reasons most popular to him and made his rebound with Billa, which is a remake of Amitabh Bachchan's Don. After Billa, his career went ahead and made him the top star of Kollywood close to Kamal Haasan.

Post-1975, Rajinikanth was principally seen attempting 'negative' roles in cinemas. Numerous movies followed, yet it was the 1995 movie Baashha, wherein Rajini played a wrongdoing chief, that slung him further into the way of super fame. Fifteen movies featuring Rajini were released in 1977 and the majority of them made them play characters with shades of dark, all of which he performed easily. The year 1978 was a hodgepodge for Rajini, who either attempted to play a villain or assumed a supporting role to Kannada stars like Krishna and Vishnuvardhan.

During the 1990s, Rajinikanth substantiated himself as a commercial performer and the greater part of the movies released in the decade were blockbuster hits. In any case, during the 2000s, Rajinikanth endured a progression of duds, and his film Baba brought about gigantic misfortunes. After two years, his film Chandramukhi was released and established him to the top once more. Somewhat more than 10 years after the fact, the artist set another benchmark in Indian cinema with his 2007 film Sivaji, which was the third Indian film to join the Rs 100 crore club at that point.

Rajinikanth had a significant health scare in 2011 which made him hospitalized on various occasions. After recovering, he made Enthiran with Shankar, which overwhelmed the movies. From that point, Rajinikanth went with consecutive hits like Kaala, Petta, and 2.0. Rajinikanth was most recently seen in 2020's Darbar. He is presently shooting for his next movie, Annaatthe.

Numerous entertainers don't have a clue how to utilize their hands, when not on their hips or in their pockets. The whirling of the shades, throwing cigarettes, and striking a match in style addressed that for Rajini, till he got settled on camera. He was not a prepared entertainer, nor was he prepared in dancing, stunts, and the standard presentation stuff that young entertainers furnish themselves with. Rajini is instinctual, which worked for his potential benefit.

Rajinikanth has gotten his first Cinemafare Award for Best Tamil Actor in 1984 for Nallavanuku Nallavan and Cinemafare Award selections for his exhibitions in Sivaji (2007) and Enthiran (2010). Starting in 2014, Rajinikanth has gotten six Tamil Nadu State Cinema Awards for his exhibitions in different movies. Rajinikanth got the Kalaimamani award in 1984 and the M. G. R. Award in 1989, both from the Government of Tamil Nadu. In 1995, the South Indian Cinema Artistes' Association gave him the Kalaichelvam Award. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan (2000) and the Padma Vibhushan (2016) by the Government of India. He was chosen as the Indian Entertainer of the Year for 2007 by NDTV, competing against the likes of Shahrukh Khan. The Government of Maharashtra awarded him with the Raj Kapoor Award that very year. He got the Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan Award for Excellence in Indian Cinema at the fourth Vijay Awards.

Rajinikanth was additionally named perhaps the most influential people in South Asia by Asia-week. He was additionally named by Forbes India as the most influential Indian of the year 2010. In 2011, he was awarded the Entertainer of the Decade Award by NDTV for the year 2010 by the then Indian Minister for Home Affairs P. Chidambaram. In December 2013, he was listed by NDTV as one among the "25 Greatest Global Living Legends". In 2014, he was given the "Century Award for Indian Cinema Personality of the Year" at the 45th International Cinema Festival of India held in Goa.

Aside from being an entertainer, Rajinikanth is additionally a producer and a screenwriter. In December 2017, Rajinikanth had declared to contest in the 2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly decisions. However, in December 2020, he had a minor health scare, after which he chose not to enter politics because of his chronic sickness.


Naman Ramachandran, Rajinikanth: The Definitive Biography, Penguin Books Limited, 2012

Rajinikanth honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke award: ‘I dedicate this award to my fans across around the world’, The Indian Express, April 02, 2021

S Shiva Kumar, Dadasaheb Phalke Award for Rajinikanth: The man, the myth, the legend, The Hindu, April 07, 2021

Rajinikanth to be honoured with 51st Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India Today, April 1, 2021

Rajesh Naidu, What makes Rajinikanth such a big phenomenon?, Times of India, January 28, 2017


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