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Rajnikanth, Ramoji Rao, Priyanka Chopra, Ajay Devgn receive Padma honours

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NEW DELHI: Iconic actor Rajnikanth, media and film magnate Ramoji Rao, and renowned classical vocalist Girija Devi have been named for the second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan, given for is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service.

Interestingly, the Padma Vibhushan awardees also include a posthumous award for the late Dhirubhai Ambani, who founded the Reliance Group and whose life inspired the film Guru starring Abhishek Bachchan with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

Veteran actor Anupam Kher and singer Udit Narayan are the only recipients from the entertainment industry apart from Heisnam Kanhaukak of the Padma Bhushan, given for distinguished service of high order. Indu Jain of Bennett Coleman & Co also received the Padma Bhushan.

The Padma Shri awardees for distinguished service from the entertainment field include directors Nila Madhab Panda (I want to be Kalam), S S Rajamouli (of Baahubali fame) and Madhur Bhandarkar; filmmaker Narendra Chandra Lal from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; actors Ajay Devgn and Priyanka Chopra, ad guru Piyush Pandey; and a posthumous award to the late veteran actor Saeed Jaffrey.

In a statement issued from Bulgaria where he is currently shooting for his film, Shivaay, Devgn said, “I feel deeply humbled yet elated to receive such honour from my own country. The announcement today makes it special for me when I’m filming abroad for my new film Shivaay. I’d like to acknowledge that Padma Samman puts an extra responsibility on me and I promise to serve my country for as long as I can.”

In the field of sports, the Padma Bhushan awards are badminton ace Saina Nehwal, and tennis star Sania Mirza, while those getting Padma Shree are Deepika Kumari for archery from Jharkhand, and sports commentator Sushi Doshi.

In the field of music, the Padma Shree recepients are Pt Tulsidas Borkar of Goa for classical music; Dr Suma Ghosh of Uttar Pradesh for vocal singing; and Bhikhudan Gadhvi of Gujarat, Mamta Chandrakar of Chhatisgarh, and Bhojpuri singer Malini Awasthi of Uttar Pradesh for folk music, and late Prakash Chand Surana (posthumously) of Rajasthan for classical music.

The eminent dancer Yamini Krishnamurthy who has churned thousands of disciples gets the Padma Bhushan, dancer Pratibha Prahlad who founded the Delhi International Arts Festival, and Gulabi Sapera, who is a folk dancer from Rajasthan have been awarded the Padma Shree.

Renowned professor Pushpesh Pant; Kameshwar Brahma of Assam, and Jawaharlal Kaul of Jammu and Kashmir have also been awarded the Padma Shree.

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