The government of India announced the winners of the Padma Awards over the weekend. Like every year, a long list of personalities were bestowed with Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awards.
The late veteran actor Kader Khan was given the Padma Shri posthumously. The actor passed away less than a month ago on 31 December in Canada after suffering from an age related illness for a long period.
A number of other people from the Hindi film industry were also conferred with the Padma Shri. These include, actors Manoj Bajpayee and Dinyar Contractor, music composer Shankar Mahadevan and actor-director-choreographer Prabhu Deva.
Reacting on winning the award, Bajpayee said in an official statement, “Since the time I heard the news I have been ecstatic. And [I] feel very honoured. When a performance is judged on the basis of excellence it’s truly amazing and the feeling of victory is much sweeter. This is not an honour for Manoj Bajpayee the actor only but it’s an honour for the journey of conviction and the belief with which I have tirelessly worked towards my goal.”
Mahadevan had the same reaction. “You really feel humbled and honoured that you are being recognised by the government of India. It is the fourth-highest civilian honour in the country. I don’t know if I am worthy of this but yeah, I definitely feel happy,” he said to the news agency IANS.
He added that he would like to share this award with his music partners Ehsaan and Loy. “A lot of my music has been created with my two partners — Ehsaan and Loy so, I would consider them as equal recipients of this,” he said.