Superstar Mohanlal, musician Shankar Mahadevan and classical sitar artist Pandit Budhaditya Mukherjee were among those who received their Padma Awards from President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday.
Malayalam actor Mohanlal expressed his joy on receiving the Padma Bhushan award and told ANI, “It's a great honour. It's a great achievement as an individual and as an actor. It's my 41st year in the movie industry. So I'm giving all the credits to my colleagues, my family and those who supported me in this beautiful journey.”
The five-time National Award winning actor who has starred in south Indian languages such as Vanaprasham and Bharatham and in Hindi films such as Company expressed his joy on receiving the Padma Bhushan award.
Mohanlal told ANI: “It's a great honour. It's a great achievement as an individual and as an actor. It's my 41st year in the movie industry. So I'm giving all the credits to my colleagues, my family and those who supported me in this beautiful journey.”
The Padma awards are conferred in three categories-- Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, the second, third and fourth highest civilian awards of the country respectively, only after Bharat Ratna.
The complete list of personalities from the field of cinema, music and arts was declared a while back, however, the award distribution ceremony took place today.
President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the prestigious honours to 56 of the 112 personalities at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Among those who were bestowed with the honour included Malayalam actor Mohanlal Viswanathan, Manoj Bajpayee, Prabhu Deva, Shankar Mahadevan, late actor Kader Khan, Indian artist Budhaditya Mukherjee, Singer Teejan Bai and Balwant Moreshwar Purandare.
After receiving the honour, Shankar Mahadevan said he felt more responsible to create better music now.
"Today is a very very special day. I never even thought that I’ll get a chance to go inside the Rashtrapati Bhawan and get honoured with this great fourth highest civilian award in this country and this medal which is invaluable for me. I really feel blessed, I feel honoured. I thank the government and I thank all those people who have loved my music. The award that I have got, it just increases my responsibility of creating better music, music that is from the heart. Music that belongs to our country and see to it that the music of our country reaches all over the world," he told ANI.
Indian classical sitar artist Pandit Budhaditya Mukherjee too spoke to ANI and said, “The happiness is immense and I am deeply honoured. It is a very special moment in my life and I hope to live up to the expectation my country puts in me. I am a sitar artist and I’ll hope to excel in my own field.”
Ace choreographer, actor and filmmaker Prabhu Deva was honoured with the Padma Shri award for his contributions to the field of art - dance. Music maestro Shankar Mahadevan received the Padma Shri award for his work in the field of music.
Meanwhile, critically acclaimed actor Manoj Bajpayee was also conferred with Padma Shri. He has given many phenomenal and breakthrough performances over the years in films like Aligarh, Bandit Queen, LOC Kargil, Gangs of Wasseypur and Tevar.
Veteran actor Kader Khan, who passed away on December 31 last year, was awarded Padma Shri (posthumous). He was known for his comic timing, the late actor had worked in over 300 films including Dulhe Raja, Hum, Coolie No. 1, Judaai, Anari and Himmatwala, among others.
This year's awardees comprised four Padma Vibhushan, 14 Padma Bhushan and 94 Padma Shri recipients. The Padma awards, which were announced on the eve of Republic Day, include 21 women and 11 persons from the category of foreigners, NRI, PIO, OCI and one transgender person.
The government had received nearly 50,000 nominations for this year's Padma awards.