‘Puneeth will live on in good deeds of his fans’: Wife Ashwini pens emotional note

Expressing her heartfelt gratitude to all the fans on behalf of the entire family, Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar thanked every individual for their love and support.
A beaming Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar sitting next to her husband Puneeth Rajkumar
A beaming Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar sitting next to her husband Puneeth Rajkumar
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Weeks after the death of ‘Power Star’ Puneeth Rajkumar, his wife Ashwini has penned an emotional note saying that his untimely death has been shocking not only to the family, but also to the entire state of Karnataka. Thanking the fans for ensuring a respectful farewell to Puneeth, she wrote, “It is hard to imagine the extent of pain this loss would have brought on you - the fans who made him the ‘Power Star’. Despite the pain that you have gone through, you have not lost your calm and not let any unpleasant incidents occur.”

“It is with a heavy heart that I acknowledge the condolences from millions; not only cinephiles but people of all ages from India and abroad alike,” she wrote. “I am in tears when I see thousands of you follow your dear Appu’s path and register for eye donation,” she added. Referring to the fans of Appu as he was popularly known, Ashwini said he will “live on in these good deeds that you do by keeping him as an ideal and also in the zeal that his memory inspires in you.” Expressing her heartfelt gratitude to all the fans on behalf of the entire family, she thanked every individual for their love and support. 

Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday, November 16 announced that Puneeth Rajkumar will be conferred with the 'Karnataka Ratna' award posthumously. He will be the 10th recipient of the state's highest civilian honour.

Considered Kannada cinema's reigning star, Puneeth, youngest of five children of thespian and matinee idol Dr Rajkumar, had died of a cardiac arrest on October 29 at the age of 46.

"After discussion with several people, I have decided to confer Karnataka Ratna award posthumously to Puneeth Rajkumar. I'm making this announcement today," Bommai said.

The Chief Minister made this announcement while speaking at the "Puneetha Namana," an event to pay homage to late Puneeth Rajkumar, organised by the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), in association with Sandalwood film actors' and technicians' associations.

"There are a lot of other suggestions, regarding honouring him with national level awards, our government is open minded on this, and in the upcoming cabinet those decisions will be taken," he added.

Ever since his death there has been chorus demanding the Padma Shri award be given posthumously to Puneeth.

The Karnataka Ratna announcement by the Chief Minister was welcomed with standing ovation at the event that was attended by former Chief Ministers BS Yediyurappa and Siddaramaiah, Bommai's cabinet colleagues, state Congress chief DK Shivakumar, a host of political leaders, film personalities of Kannada and South Indian film industry, among others.

The Karnataka Ratna was last awarded to Dr Virendra Heggade for social service in 2009. Interestingly, Puneeth's late father Rajkumar is among the first recipients of Karnataka Ratna award in 1992, along with poet Kuvempu.

Stating that a lot of suggestions have come to immortalise Puneeth Rajkumar, Bommai said, "I want to say one the government's wish is also the same. His final resting place will be developed like that of his parents- Dr Rajkumar and Parvathamma Rajkumar."

Puneeth was laid to rest with full state honours at Dr Rajkumar Punyabhoomi in Kanteerava Studio, next to his father and mother on October 31.

Puneeth, popularly known as 'Appu' and 'Power Star', by his fans, made his screen debut when he was just six-months-old and went on to win a national award as a child artiste for the film 'Bettada Hoovu'. He then re-emerged as a lead actor in 2002 and went on to star in 29 films, delivering some big hits.

With PTI inputs

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