Film industry wants Bharat Ratna for Dilip Kumar

Dilip Kumar

The initative started by director Mahesh Bhatt has been backed by some of the biggest names in showbiz including Aamir Khan, Kamal Haasan, Yash Chopra, Mamooty, Rakesh Roshan, Subhash Ghai, Chiranjeevi, Ramesh Sippy, Mukesh Bhatt among others.

"Dilip Kumar, the icon is as old as the Indian film industry. He is the symbol of secular India and has an unmatched career record spanning from pre-independence years till the last decade," Bhatt said.

With a plan to involve millions of Dilip Kumar fans in the initiative, a Facebook community "Dilip Kumar for Bharat Ratna" has been started which has 1000 members till date with its ranks swelling very day.

"The people of India would like to send their fervent request to the Government of India to confer the prestigious Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, for the best actor in the country, Shri Dilip Kumar," reads the web page of the community.

"The imitative is not an agenda being pushed by the film industry but it also has the support of thousands of Dilip Sahab's fans," Bhatt added.

The petition will be presented to the President, Prime Minister and the Information and Broadcasting ministry, Bhatt said.

The Facebook community supporting the petition includes prominent names like Rajeev Khandelwal, Priyanka Chopra, Kajol, Randeep Hooda, Salma Agha, Runa Laila, Mukul Dev and Khalid Mohammad.

Dilip Kumar, popularly known as 'Tragedy King of Bollywood', started his acting career with 'Jwar Bhata' in 1944, went on to act in classics like, 'Andaz' (1949) 'Deedar' (1951), 'Aan' (1952), 'Devdas' (1955), 'Mughal-E-Azam' (1960), 'Ganga Jamuna' (1961), 'Madhumati' (1958). He has won an unparalleled eight Filmfare Best Actor Awards.

The Government of India in 1994 awarded him with Dadasaheb Phalke Award-- the highest award for cinematic excellence in India.

In the year 1998, Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest civilian award of Pakistan was conferred upon the thespian.

In 1998, Kumar made his last film appearance in the box office flop 'Qila'.

Legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray was the first person from the film fraternity to receive the highest civilian award.

Apart from Ray, music icons like singer Lata Mangeshkar, shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan, Carnatic vocalist M S Subbulakshmi, sitar player Ravi Shankar, classical singer and Bhimsen Joshi have been the recipients of the honour.

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