In a rare gesture, Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Manish Tewari flew down to Mumbai today to present the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award for life time achievement to Pran Kishan Sikand, popularly known by his mononym – Pran. The veteran actor, 93, was unable to travel to New Delhi for the National Film Awards function held on May 3, 2013.
The Minister, accompanied by I & B Secretary Uday Kumar Varma and a delegation of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and the Directorate of Film Festivals presented the coveted award, comprising a Swarn Kamal, citation, shawl and a cash prize of Rs 1 million (Rs 10 lakhs).
Speaking on the occasion, Manish Tewari said “it is an honour for me to present this award to Pran saab in person, in the centenary year of the Indian Cinema.”. He further said that Pran Saab was one of the most deserving person to get the award, and this has added lustre to the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
Dada Saheb Phalke award is India’s highest award in cinema, given annually by the Government of India to recognize the contribution of film personalities towards the development of Indian cinema and for their distinguished contribution to the growth and promotion of the medium.
Pran is the 44th recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, that was instituted in 1969, the birth centenary year Dadasaheb Phalke, considered the Father of Indian Cinema.
Pran has given sterling performances in many films along with Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor in 1950s 60s and 70s. Pran’s performances have received acclaim in films like
Azaad, Madhumati, Devdas, Dil Diya Dard Liya, Ram Aur Shyam and Aadmi, Ziddi, Munimji, Amar Deep, Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai, Aah, Chori Chori, Jagte Raho, Chhalia, Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai, Zanjeer etc. The list is long.
Born in the year 1920 in Old Delhi, Pran started his career way back in 1940. He first ventured into photography but a chance meeting with a film producer got him his first role in a film called Yamla Jat. His career experienced a brief pause due to partition in 1947. Subsequently he moved from Lahore to Bombay. With the help of the famous writer Saadat Hasan Manto and actor Shyam, Pran got a break in the Bombay Talkies film Ziddi which had Dev Anand in the lead role. The film Ziddi brought him to limelight in the Bombay film industry after which there was no turning back.
Pran’s impressive performances have bestowed an entirely unique new dimension to the negative and character roles in Hindi cinema. His contribution to mainstream Hindi cinema is well recognized, assuring him the place of one of the most illustrious and celebrated actors of the Indian film industry.
He has acted in over 400 films in a career spanning six decades. And in each one of them, he brought new mannerism and style, holding the audience spell bound by his acting.
Pran is a recipient of a number of film awards including three Filmfare Awards for his portrayal of both negative and character roles. In 2001, the Government of India had honoured him with the Padma Bhushan award.