Address at the presentation of the ‘Yash Chopra Memorial National Award’ to Smt Rekha
Address by Shri Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the presentation of the ‘Yash Chopra Memorial National Award’ instituted by the TSR Foundation to Smt Rekha at J W Marriott Hotel, Mumbai at 8.30 pm on Monday, 25 January 2016
My esteemed friend and Member of Parliament Dr T Subbarami Reddy, my esteemed friend and Member of Parliament Shri Shatrughna Sinha Ji, Respected Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde Ji, Shri Mohan Babu, Smt Pamela Chopra and other members of the Selection Jury, the brightest star of today’s evening Smt Rekha, Hon’ble Member of Parliament Shri Venugopal Dhoot, Shri Subhash Ghai, Smt Simi Garewal, Shri Boney Kapoor, Smt Sridevi, Shri Shashi Ranjan and Smt Anu Ranjan, invitees, dear friends,
I am truly delighted to associate myself with the presentation of the Yash Chopra Memorial National Award instituted by the TSR Foundation. This is for the second consecutive year that I am attending this function, and there are two reasons why I am here.
Any invitation coming from Dr Subbarami Reddy is like an order from a brother, you can’t say no !! Dr Subbarami Reddy’s affection, warmth and magnetic pull draws me here.
The second reason is rather personal one. I am a big fan of Rekha Ji and as an avid film-goer, have seen many of her brilliant films.
Dr Subbarami Reddy is a multifaceted personality. He is an industrialist, a politician, a Parliamentarian, a philanthropist and above all a warm hearted and religious minded person. Dr Reddy has friends cutting across the entire political spectrum.
As a film producer, Dr Subbarami Reddy has produced some of the finest films, including a couple of films by Yash Chopra ji.
I am grateful to him for inviting me to this function and to have given me the honour to felicitate Smt Rekha ji, one of the towering personalities in the world of Indian Cinema.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Yash Chopra Memorial Award has been presented to stalwarts like Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar and Shri Amitabh Bachchan. There could not have been any other person matching the stature of the past recipients than the Queen of Indian Cinema Smt Rekha.
Rekha Ji had worked with late Yash Chopra Ji very closely, and it is only appropriate that the ‘Yash Chopra Memorial National Award’ is conferred upon her.
In the world of mathematics, you learn the concept of Rekha or a Line. A rekha can extend in both directions without an end or bend. In other words a rekha has infinite potential to grow on either side.
In the same manner, Rekha ji has infinite potential as an actress and as a human being. She has distinguished herself with her caliber, capacity and conduct.
Rakha ji’s life is itself a story of grit and courage against adversity. She may have inherited her acting skills from her parents. But unlike many star children, she had to fight her way at every step in her career to make a place for herself in the world of Cinema.
It is a matter of great pride for all the Telugu speaking people that Rekhaji had made her debut as a child artist in the Telugu film Rangula Ratnam. Thereafter for nearly four decades, she has dominated the realm of Indian cinema with her versatility.
India’s best known film producer Shyam Benegal has paid rich tributes to Rekha ji when he said, “Rekha Ji is a Director’s Actress”.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I believe that Bollywood has much larger audience than even Hollywood. Indian films are watched, admired and appreciated not just in India, but in the entire Indian Subcontinent including in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Central Asian Countries, Russian Federation countries, Egypt, Indonesia and even in European countries.
As Governor, I often receive Presidents and Prime Ministers of various countries visiting Mumbai. They have tremendous excitement about bollywood and our stars. Many of these leaders want our filmmakers to make films in their countries.
The reach and popular appeal of Hindi cinema is unimaginable. I want Bollywood to use its popularity and potential to promote and foster friendship among nations of the world.
The Indian Cinema owes its popularity to many towering men and women, the actors, directors, film producers, cameramen, choreographers and several others. It is personalities like Rekha Ji who have given the industry its name and fame.
Rekha ji has won Filmfare Awards, the National Film Award and Padma Shri. In recognition of her services to the field of cinema, she was nominated by the President of India as the Member of Rajya Sabha. As an MP, Rekhaji has taken keen interest in addressing the problems of the people, especially the poor and the needy.
To sum up, I will say, Rekha Ji reflects the personality, culture and strength of the woman of India.
I congratulate Rekha ji for her services to the nation and to the field of Indian Cinema. I wish her long life and best health to continue to serve the cause of Indian cinema.
I take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Happy Republic Day.
Once again I thank Dr Subbarami Reddy and the TSR Foundation for selecting Smt Rekha Ji for the Yash Chopra Memorial Award and for inviting me to do the honours.