A Living Legend:
Delhi: The Indian film fraternity is trying to seek 100,000
solidarity comments on a social networking website to urge the
government to confer the prestigious Bharat Ratna upon Bollywood
thespian Dilip Kumar.
community titled "Dilip Kumar for Bharat Ratna" on Facebook that now
has over 850 members dedicated to the cause was started at the
behest of filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt.
Bhatt said he was not the only one who wishes that the 86-year-old
be awarded the country's highest civilian honour.
is the entire industry's effort. From every region, stalwarts have
come out to appeal for him. I was just a foot soldier. It is the
Indian film industry's effort, not an individual's effort," Bhatt
told IANS via SMS.
group has been primarily created to seek solidarity from people so
that the administrators of the website can bind all the comments in
a book and submit it to the president and the prime minister.
members of the community have been asked to "leave a comment or
endorse by replying a one liner - 'I endorse that Dilip Kumar is the
most deserving person to be honoured with the Bharat Ratna'".
Dilip Kumar, who is married to actress Saira Bano, is known for his
landmark performances in films like "Devdas", "Madhumati", "Ganga
Jamuna", "Mughal-E-Azam", "Shakti" and "Karma".
of his fans as well as members of the industry have put out
Posts like "Honouring Dilip Kumar is honouring Bollywood", "He
deserves Bharat Ratna. Period" and "Bharat Ratna....most certainly.
is an icon in the truest sense of the word!" are splashed on the
online community's website.
Celebrities supporting the cause include actors like Rajeev
Khandelwal, Mukul Dev, Shabbir Ahluwalia, Varun Badola, Randeep
Hooda and Urvashi Dholakia. Film critic and filmmaker Khalid
Mohammed, director Prabhakar Shukla and popular Bangladeshi singer
Runa Laila have also joined the effort.
Kumar is one of the finest actors in the Indian film industry. He
did only 64 films in his career and is still regarded as the best.
He is like Lata Mangeshkar, you won't get another Lata...Similarly,
you won't get another Dilip Kumar. In the true sense, he is Bharat
Ratna," said Shukla, known for his film "Gudiyaa".
date no actor has received the Bharat Ratna award. In 1992,
acclaimed filmmaker Satyajit Ray was the first person from the
entertainment industry to have been conferred the honour.
Music greats like Carnatic music vocalist M.S.
Subbulakshmi, sitar player Ravi Shankar, singer Lata Mangeshkar,
shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan and classical singer Bhimsen Joshi
became its proud recipients.