In a letter to Prakash Javedekar, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, several prominent members from the Tamil film industry have asked for director Bharathirajaa to be awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
Pointing out that Bharathirajaa had brought in a new wave in south Indian cinema and continues to make films in his career spanning 43 years, the signatories have made their appeal.
Those who have signed the letter are all National Award winning professionals from the Tamil film industry, including Kamal Haasan, Vetrimaaran, R Parthiban, Bala, Cheran, Priyadarshan, Dhanush, SR Prabhu, Sreekar Prasad, B Lenin, Kalaipuli S Thanu and others. 35 members from the Tamil film industry have signed the letter in total.
In the list of Bharathirajaa’s accomplishments that has been included in the letter, the signatories have said: “His films addressed many social issues like unemployment, untouchability, caste war, female infanticide, women empowerment, social values and human relationship and created a cult following among south Indians.”
The director has worked with legendary actors like Sivaji Ganesan, Rajesh Khanna, Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi, Sridevi, Amol Palekar, Nana Patekar, Sunny Deol, Suhasini Maniratnam, Poonam Dhillan, Radhika Sarathkumar, Vijayashanti, Rathi Agnihotri, Revathy, Jayasudha and many others, the letter states.
Terming his films a revolution for shifting stories from sets in Chennai to the villages, the signatories have said that he brought in “large number of new talents to Indian cinema, including filmmakers like K. Bhagyaraj, Manivannan, Manobala” and others.
Bharathirajaa, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2004, has won the National Award six times apart from several other awards and recognitions.
Calling the Dadasaheb Phalke Award “a fitting tribute to this living legend and a right recognition at the right time for his huge contribution to Indian Cinema”, the signatories have requested the ministry to give Bharathirajaa due recognition.
Previously, directors K Balachander, K Viswanath and Adoor Gopalakrishnan, actors Sivaji Ganesan and Akkineni Nageswara Rao, producers LV Prasad, BN Reddy and Nagi Reddy are among those from the southern film industries who have been awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.