Address by Governor at the presentation of the 4th ‘Yash Chopra Memorial National Award’ to Shri Shah Rukh Khan
Address by Shri Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the presentation of the 4th ‘Yash Chopra Memorial National Award’ instituted by the TSR Foundation to Shri Shah Rukh Khan at J W Marriott Hotel, Mumbai at 8.30 pm on Saturday, 25 February 2017
My esteemed friend and Member of Parliament Dr T Subbarami Reddy, Member of Parliament Smt Rekha, former Union Minister Shri Shatrughna Sinha, Smt Simi Garewal, Shri Boney Kapoor, Shri Subhash Ghai, Smt Pamela Chopra, Smt Padmini Kolhapure and other members of the Selection Jury, the brightest star of today’s evening Shri Shah Rukh Khan, 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 third consecutive year that I am attending this function.
Any invitation coming from Dr Subbarami Reddy is like a command from a brother. You can’t say no !! He has infinite power of persuasion!! Dr Subbarami Reddy’s affection, warmth and magnetic pull draws me here.
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. He is an excellent party host. The title of hosting the most power packed parties in India will surely go to Dr Subbarami Reddy. It is his personal friendship that has endeared him to people cutting across the entire political spectrum and other walks of life.
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 giving me the honour to felicitate Shri Shah Rukh Khan, an icon in the world of Indian Cinema.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Yash Chopra Memorial Award has been presented to stalwarts like Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar, Shri Amitabh Bachchan and Smt Rekha. There could not have been any other person matching the stature of the past recipients than Shri Shah Rukh Khan.
Late Shri Yash Chopra Ji recognized the power and potential of Shri Shah Rukh Khan quite early on. It was Shri Yash Chopra Ji who is credited with shaping the film career of Shah Rukh Khan.
Between the year 1993, when he first cast Shah Rukh Khan in his film Darr, till the year 2012, Yash Chopra and Shah Rukh Khan gave the world some of the most entertaining films. Needless to say, Yash Chopra often cast Shah Rukh Khan in his films.
Shah Rukh Khan is a brilliant phenomenon to have happened to Indian film industry. Long before he came to be known as the ‘King of Romance’ he was known as a passionate person and a passionate actor. We have been watching his passion right from the days he played a commando in the television serial Fauzi. It is difficult to survive at a top position for such a long period. But Shah Rukh Khan has dominated Bollywood for more than 25 years. The Yash Chopra National Memorial Award is a fitting recognition to a top class actor and an equally great human being. I congratulate Shri Shah Rukh Khan for this National Award named after late Shri Yash Chopra Ji.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Indian film industry is the biggest film industry in the world. I venture to say that the appeal of the Indian film industry far exceeds the appeal of the Hollywood. You go to Egypt, you go to Indonesia, you go to Pakistan, the Arab world or even the Central Asian republics. I heard a former President of Uzbekistan singing Raj Kapoor’s film song ‘Awara Hoon’.
Such is the popularity of Indian films and film stars that they are familiar names in these countries.
Let me tell you my personal experience. My nephew is married to a German and they stay in Germany. Their son is a young man of 21 and looks like a German.
Recently he was in Hyderabad. When I asked him to visit Mumbai, the first question he asked me was whether I can arrange his meeting with Shah Rukh Khan ! That is the appeal of Shah Rukh Khan.
The quantum of good will generated by Indian films in the world is unparalleled. I would say, Indian Film Industry is the best cultural ambassador of India in the world.
Quite often, people blame Indian films for creating bad influence on the minds of young people. Sometimes, films are blamed for the increased crime against women. Nothing can be farther from truth. Films have given happiness and joy to the rich and the poor of this country and the world at very little cost. They cannot cause bad influence on people. On the contrary, so long as a person is watching films, he remains away from all kinds of vices, rather he is restrained from indulging in any crime.
If films cause bad influence on society, what about the mobile phones. Today, even a young boy with a smart phone having access to internet has all the bad content in his hands. The point I wish to state is that it is wrong to blame films for all the ills in society. On the other hand, the film industry and films are rendering invaluable service to society.
The film industry should have a think tank to provide a definite direction to society. Film industry has a vast influence on society, especially on the youth.
Today India is the youngest country in the world. It is estimated that the average age of an Indian will be 29 years by 2020. We can harness the power of the youth for constructive and nation building work provided we give a proper direction to the youth. If we fail to use the power and the potential of the youth for constructive work, the same youth power will become a demographic disaster. It is here that Bollywood has to play a crucial role in inspiring and encouraging our youth and involving them in the nation building effort.
Ladies and gentlemen,
People do not admire Shah Rukh Khan for his acting skills alone. They admire him for the way he conducts himself in public and in personal life. They love the way, he talks and interacts with people, the way he gives respects to elders and women, they love his decency and quick repartee. To sum up, I will say, Shri Shah Rukh Khan reflects the personality, culture and character of India.
I congratulate Shri Shah Rukh Khan for giving joy to the entire nation, especially to the last man in the country and for creating in him an ambition to fight the adversity with courage and confidence.
Once again I thank Dr Subbarami Reddy and the TSR Foundation for selecting Shri Shah Rukh Khan for the fourth Yash Chopra Memorial National Award and for inviting me to do the honours.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!