New Delhi: Late Rajesh Khanna, the first superstar of Indian cinema, has been posthumously named for the Padma Bhushan, the country's third highest civilian honour on the eve of Republic Day.

Rajesh Khanna, fondly known as Kaka in the film faternity, began his career with Aakhri Khat in 1966 and in a career spanning five decades, became a superstar like no other. Actress Sharmila Tagore and humorist late Jaspal Bhatti too have been named for the Padma Bhushan.

Meanwhile, Hawa hawaii girl Sridevi and the man behind cult film Sholay, Ramesh Sippy, has been named for the Padma Shri. Veteran designer Ritu Kumar, active in the fashion industry for the last 40 years, too has been named for Padma Shri.

In total, 109 Padma Awards would be conferred this year five Padma Vibhushan, 27 Padma Bhushan and 77 Padma Shri Awards. As many as 24 of the awardees are women. Among the Padma Vibhushan awardees are Yashpal, Roddam Narasimha and artist S Haider Ali Raza.

Among the other Padma Bhushan awardees are Adi Godrej, Rahul Dravid and Mary Kom. Actor Nana Patekar, Urdu poet Nida Fazli, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, boxer Dingko Singh, filmmaker Ramesh Sippy, Magsaysay Award winner Nileema Mishra and Olympic medallist Vijay Kumar are among the Padma Shri awardees.

The country’s top civilian awards are given under various disciplines like arts, literature, social work, public affairs, medicine and sports. Padma Vibhushan is given for exceptional and distinguished service, Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of high order and Padma Shri for distinguished service in any field.


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