Tamil cinema’s biggest superstar Rajinikanth is the recipient of the prestigious Dada Phalke Saheb award . The jury that selected Rajinikanth for this honour included singer Asha Bhosle, singer-composer Shankar Mahadevan, filmmaker Subhash Ghai , Malayalam actor Mohanlal and Bengali actor Biswajeet.
Reacting to the honour friend and colleague Shatrughan Sinha says, “He is a very dear friend and any honour bestowed on him is an honour for me. Rajini would seek my advice when offered Hindi films. He has always been very generous in his appreciation of me.He had called me his Guru. And when we worked together in K C Bokadia’s Asli Naqli in 1986 he jokingly told everyone he was the naqli Shatrughan Sinha. That’s the greatness of this humble man.”
While rival and good friend Kamal Haasan remained unavailable for comment , in an old interview with me Kamal Haasan had commented on his much-discussed relationship with Rajinikanth. “Both of us were young actors who started from scratch. He was the bus conductor with acting aspirations. I was the clapper boy who got the clap in my very film(Kamal Haasan played a character with venereal disease in his first adult role). We didn’t have fathers to make movies for us. But we had the same godfather K.Balachander.I’d do anything he asks me to, no question of refusing him… When we were still in our 20s I asked Rajniji why he has to be so stylized on screen. He told me that’s the secret of his future success.”
Adds R Madhavan, “It is so richly divided and about time he got it.”