The government of India announced the Padma Awards on Thursday. People in arts, education, industry, literature, science, acting, medicine, social service and public affairs received India’s second-highest civilian honours after Bharat Ratna. The awards were announced as always on the Republic Day eve. Vyjayantimala, Chiranjeevi, Mithun Chakraborty, singer Usha Uthup and composer Pyarelal Sharma are among the 132 recipients of the coveted awards this year. Also read: Salman Khan attends Joy Awards in Riyadh

Vyjayantimala, Chiranjeevi, Mithun Chakraborty, Vijaykant and Usha Uthup among others for Padma Awards.
Vyjayantimala, Chiranjeevi, Mithun Chakraborty, Vijaykant and Usha Uthup among others for Padma Awards.

Chiranjeevi and Vyjayantimala bestowed with Padma Vibhushan

Vyjayantimala (90) and Chiranjeevi (68) have been bestowed with the Padma Vibhushan, which is the second highest civilian honour.

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Chiranjeevi has acted in over 160 films in his decades-long career. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2006, making this his second Padma Award. The actor, who will soon be seen in Vishwambhara, directed by Vassishta of Bimbisara fame, once almost stepped away from films. In a bid to enter politics, he took a hiatus from acting after his 2007 film Shankar Dada Zindabad and founded the Praja Rajyam Party in 2008. However, he returned to his first love, cinema, in 2017 with Khaidi No 150.

Vyjayantimala, the Padma Shri awardee, is regarded as the first female superstar in Indian cinema. She starred in several notable films, including Devdas, Naya Daur, Aasha, Sadhna, Gunga Jumna, Sangam and Jewel Thief. Her last film remains Ganwaar.

Late Vijayakanth

Besides them, late Tamil actor and politician Vijayakanth, has been posthumously recognised with Padma Bhushan for his service. He died in December 2023. Vijayakanth was best known for Vaidehi Kathirunthal, Amman Kovil Kizhakale, Poonthotta Kaavalkaaran, Chinna Gounder and Honest Raj.

Mithun Chakraborty, Usha Uthup, Pyarelal

Actor, politician Mithun Chakraborty, Usha Uthup and Pyarelal Sharma of music duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal, have also been awarded Padma Bhushan.

Mithun (73) is one of the most popular actors in Indian films. He began his career with Mrigayaa, which fetched him the National Film Award for Best Actor. His other hits are Disco Dancer, Agneepath, Ghar Ek Mandir, Jallad and Pyaar Jhukta Nahin.

Pop queen Usha Uthup (76), is known as the pioneer of jazz music in Indian films around the 1970s. Some of her evergreen tracks are Ramba Ho, One Two Cha Cha, Shaan Se, Koi Yahaan Nache Nache and Hari Om Hari, among many others.

The list includes five Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 110 Padma Shri Awards. Out of 132 awardees, 30 are women. The list also has eight persons from the category of Foreigners alongside nine posthumous awardees.

(with inputs from PTI)

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