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Lyricist Gulzar gets Indira Gandhi National Integration Award

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NEW DELHI: Veteran lyricist, poet and author Gulzar was bestowed with the 27th Indira Gandhi award for National Integration in recognition of his contribution in promoting and preserving spirit of national integration.

The award was given away on 31 October, which marks the death anniversary of Mrs Indira Gandhi, in New Delhi by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

The award had been instituted by Congress in its centenary year to give recognition to outstanding contribution to the cause of national integration by individuals and institutions. The award includes a citation and cash prize of Rs 500,000.

Former recipients of the award from the film industry include noted film director Shyam Benegal, lyricist Javed Akhtar, and music maestro A R Rahman.

Born as Sampooran Singh Kalra, the lyricist, who is also a known director, adopted Gulzar as his pen-name.

He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2004 for his contribution to the arts and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2002. He has won a number of National Film Awards and Filmfare Awards. In 2009, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Jai Ho" in the film Slumdog Millionaire (2008). On 31 January 2010, the same song won him a Grammy Award in the category of Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.

Along with lyrics, he has also contributed in many films as script, story and dialogue writer. Films directed by him have also won numerous awards and have been critically acclaimed. He has also worked on the small screen by creating series Mirza Ghalib and Tehreer Munshi Premchand ki among others. He wrote the lyrics for several Doordarshan serials including Hello Zindagi, Potli Baba Ki and Jungle Book.

After writing dialogues and screenplay for films like Aashirwad, Anand and Khamoshi, Gulzar directed his first film Mere Apne (1971). He then directed Parichay and Koshish. In 1973 he made Achanak and later Aandhi, Angoor, Khushboo, Mausam, Libaas, Maachis, and Tu Tu.

Many of his popular songs were sung by Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. These include "Musafir Hoon Yaron" (Parichay), "Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi" (Aandhi), "Mera Kuch Samaan" (Ijaazat), and "Tujhse Naaraz Nahi Zindagi" (Masoom).

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