Much the same way Anupam Kher often led charge against the members of Bollywood fraternity on intolerance debate, his Padma honour too is now being questioned by people belonging to his own profession.
Renowned Bollywood actor, Kader Khan, on Friday slammed Kher questioning his credentials to earn himself a national honour.
Kher, a known fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the BJP-led central government.
The 79-year-old versatile actor Khan said, “What has he done except singing praises for (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi.”
He said that one of the prerequisites to be considered for national honours now a days was to indulge in ‘flattering’ of politicians in Delhi’s Lutyens zone.
“… it’s good that they did not give me a Padma Shri. I have neither flattered anyone in my life, nor will I ever. I don’t want these awards if they have been given to people (in the industry) who got it this time,” Khan was quoted by news agency IANS.
Kader, who had to be hospitalised last year for diabetes-related ailments, said that “an award is a no big thing, but its importance lies in the people it has been conferred upon.”
“Earlier, there was a certain honesty in these awards but it’s not the same case now. People have now forgotten to respect others and have become way too selfish. I would think that I was not as capable as those who were chosen for the Padma awards this year. I, however, thank all those who proposed my name for it,” he added.
This is Padma awards, like in the past, has come under sharp scrutiny. Among those chosen for these honours from the Bollywood and in entertainment category were Kher, director Madhuri Bhandarkar and a small time regional singer Malini Awasthi. All three had led the march against those intellectuals who had criticised Modi, who Kher is a big fan of.
Kher’s wife Kirron Kher is a BJP MP.
The national outrage against his award aside, a Congress spokesperson recently wrote an open letter alleging that Kher had sold his conscience to in exchange of an award.
(Photo: Courtesy New Indian Express)