The honour is considered India’s highest award in cinema.
The Centre on Thursday announced the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for Rajinikanth for his contribution as an actor, producer and screenwriter.
Announcing the decision in New Delhi, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “For the past 50 years, Rajinikanth has been ruling the film industry. His work is like the sun. Through his talent and hard work, he has made a space for himself in the hearts of millions of people.” The award will be presented to Rajinikanth on May 3.
“Happy to announce #Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2019 to one of the greatest actors in history of Indian cinema Rajinikantji. His contribution as actor, producer and screenwriter has been iconic,” Mr. Javadekar later tweeted.
Instituted in 1969, the award is the highest honour for an artiste in Indian cinema.
It is presented annually at the National Film Awards Ceremony by the Directorate of Film Festivals, an organisation of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The award was decided by a jury consisting of five members — Asha Bhonsle, director Subhash Ghai, Mohanlal, Shankar Mahadevan and actor Biswajeet Chatterjee.
Rajinikanth in his upcoming movie ‘Annaatthe’
After Amitabh Bachchan received the award in 2018, there had been no nominee for the past three years.
Ahead of election
The decision comes five days ahead of the Assembly election in Tamil Nadu, where the superstar has a huge fan following.
Three years after taking the first step towards politics, Rajinikanth recently announced that he would not be taking the plunge after all, citing failing health as a reason and not going ahead with the formation of his party. The BJP had hoped for a tie-up with his proposed political party.