Film celebs who have received India’s highest civilian awards

Celebrities from the Indian film industry who have been awarded India’s highest civilian awards (Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan). These awards are given for “exceptional service” in their respective fields.

Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of India. Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri are the second highest, third highest and fourth-highest civilian awards in the Republic of India; several personalities from the film industry have won these awards.

The following legends from the field of entertainment have been awarded the Bharat Ratna.

  • Satyajit Ray (1992) – Legendary Indian filmmaker, widely regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century.
  • M. S. Subbulakshmi (1998) – Carnatic vocalist, first musician ever to be awarded the Bharat Ratna.
  • Ravi Shankar (1999) – Best-known exponents of Sitar and composer of Hindustani classical music
  • Bismillah Khan (2001) – Shehnai Maestro and Hindustani classical musician
  • Lata Mangeshkar (2001) – Legendary Bollywood playback singer
  • Bhimsen Joshi (2008) – Gret Indian vocalist in the Hindustani classical tradition


Highest civilian awards in India

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Superstar Rajinikanth, Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, Thespian Dilip Kumar, Music composer Ilaiyaraaja are some of the personalities who have received the Padma Vibhushan in the past. Kamal Haasan has won the Padma Bhushan (am sure he will get the Padma Vibhushan soon). Satyajit Ray was the first ever to receive a Padma award

“There are totally now 7 Padma Awards in the family. My Father – the Padma Shree and the Padma Bhushan; Jaya – Padma Shree; Aishwarya – Padma Shree; Amitabh Bachchan – Padma Shree, Bhushan and Vibhushan. So honoured and grateful to the Govt of India for all these recognitions. I feel blessed and honoured, fortunate and humbled, overwhelmed and submerged by the affection and love of the people,” Big B on his blog.

Kader Khan (posthumous), Ajay Devgn, Kajol, Prabhu Deva, Manoj Bajpayee, Aishwarya Rai are just a few artistes who have won the Padma Shri award.

Padma awards doled out based on influence and not on merit?

It seems so, and this comes straight from a senior minister!

No wonder some Bollywood stars do not believe in Awards (especially Aamir Khan), and this is the reason for it. In Bollywood circles, people would always say how actors/actresses lobby to get awards (even at the highest levels) and now a top Indian politician has confirmed the same.

BJP minister Nitin Gadkari disclosed that veteran actress Asha Parekh and many others had approached him to recommend their name for prestigious awards. In this case, Asha Parekh was keen on the prestigious Padma Bhushan award. Parekh has been honoured with the Padmashree earlier.

In fact, a senior bureaucrat also voiced the same concerns and said lobbying for the Padma awards has now become more of a rule than an exception.

Recipients of Padmashree want the Padma Bhushan and those who have received Padma Bhushan want the Padma Vibhushan, and they are not at all ashamed of knocking the doors of politicians.

“Indeed, there is a mad race for securing Padma awards and…owing to lobbying, the award has lost prestige. Now, it is believed that Padma award is not awarded for merit, but it depends on your influence in the corridors of power,” said a bureaucrat who wished not to be named.