Rajinikanth receives the Dada Saheb Phalke Award and dedicates it to K Balachander, the guru.

Rajinikanth has been dubbed "one of the great sons of our wonderful country" by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.

New Delhi: Superstar Rajinikanth dedicated the coveted Dadasaheb Phalke Award he earned on Monday at the National Film Awards event here to his mentor and late film director K Balanchander.

The actor, who has been dubbed "Thalaivar" (leader in Tamil), has been awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Indian cinema's highest honor for an artist, for the year 2019.

Rajinikanth honored his eldest brother Sathyanarayana Rao, transport colleague and friend Raj Bahadur, his fans, filmmakers, colleagues, and the Tamil people for their unflinching support over the past five decades in his acceptance speech.

"I am ecstatic to accept this award, and I express my gratitude to the government for this renowned Dada Saheb Phalke Award." I dedicate this honor to my mentor, K Balachander sir, and I thank my brother, Sathyanarayana Rao, who is a father figure in my life, for instilling tremendous values in me...

"Raj Bahadur, my friend, driver, and transport colleague. He recognized my acting potential and urged me to pursue a career in film. At the National Film Awards ceremony at Vigyan Bhavan here, the 70-year-old icon thanked "all my producers and directors who have created my films, technicians, artists, distributors, media, journalists, and all my fans, and Tamil people..."

Rajinikanth has been dubbed "one of the great sons of our wonderful country" by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.

In his speech, the vice president referred to Rajinikanth as a "great performer from south India, not of south India," saying the veteran actor has produced memorable performances in films such as "Bhairavi" and "Sivaji."

"The legendary actor's unrivaled acting abilities have given the Indian cinema industry a new dimension... He's demonstrated how to strike the ideal mix between artistic expression and public appeal "Naidu continued.


Governor R N Ravi and Chief Minister M K Stalin congratulated Superstar Rajinikanth for receiving the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award on Monday.

In a greeting to the actor, Ravi said that in addition to his tremendous contribution to Indian cinema, he has inspired the country's youth by his outstanding behaviour in professional, public, and personal life.

"I congratulate you on receiving the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India's highest and most prestigious honor for outstanding contribution to Indian cinema, on behalf of my fellow citizens and myself. It is a day of great joy for all movie buffs "declared the Governor.

He added, "My best wishes and prayers for a long and healthy life."

Chief Minister Stalin wished him well and referred to him as the "sun" of the film industry. "My greetings to you to take the Tamil film industry to the next level and win many world level awards," the Chief Minister tweeted, adding that he also called Rajinikanth to express his best wishes.

Rajinikanth has continued to entertain audiences with his panache, elegance, and inimitable on-screen presence from his 1975 debut with Balachander in "Apoorva Raagangal," "Moondru Mudichu," "Billa," Hindi titles "Hum," "ChaalBaaz," "Bhagwaan Dada," and now the upcoming "Annatthe."

Rajinikanth had put his aspirations to enter electoral politics on hold in December. In a U-turn, the superstar said that he will not run for office due to his deteriorating health.