Exclusive! Waheeda Rehman On Dadasaheb Phalke Award: ‘Glad It Coincided With Dev Anand’s Birth Anniversary’

Waheeda Rehman has been honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. She shares her reaction to the honour exclusively with News18 Showsha.

Veteran actress Waheeda Rehman will be honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award, the country’s top honour in the field of cinema. In an exclusive conversation with News18 Showsha, Rehman said she feels honoured with the recognition and added that she is glad it was announced on the same day as Dev Anand’s 100th birth anniversary, September 26.

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“It is a huge honour and a privilege that the Government of India chose me to be conferred with such a prestigious award. It makes me very grateful that the recognition has come to me on the centenary birthday of my favourite co-star late Dev Saab (Dev Anand). There couldn’t have been a better day to announce it. I want to thank the entire film fraternity and my fans who have always supported me throughout my career and still shower the same respect. I’m grateful to God for my friends, and my family. I’m really happy.”

On Tuesday, I&B Minister Anurag Thakur took to social media to make the announcement. He wrote, “I feel an immense sense of happiness and honour in announcing that Waheeda Rehman ji is being bestowed with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award this year for her stellar contribution to Indian Cinema.”

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He added, “At a time when the historic Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam has been passed by Parliament, her being awarded with this lifetime achievement award is a fitting tribute to one of the leading ladies of Indian Cinema and one who has dedicated her life after films to philanthropy and the greater good of society. I congratulate her and humbly pay my regards to her rich body of work that is an intrinsic part of our film history.”

Talking about exemplifying the strength of Indian women, the actor said, “I just watched Guide on the big screen and I was all over fascinated with my character Rosie. Although Dev saab was the leading man and played the titular character, Rosie’s character had so much depth. She always spoke her mind and she fulfilled her desire to become a dancer. So, even 60 years back we had some amazing characters written for women and that was all thanks to filmmakers like Vijay Anand who had always portrayed strong females in their films.”

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Rehman, who has been honoured with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan in the past, is regarded as one of the finest actors and is known for her roles in films like Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Pyaasa, Kagaz Ke Phool, Ram Aur Shyam, Kabhie Kabhi among others.

The actor says in recent years there have been some good roles written for female actors. “Times are changing and I have seen that writers and filmmakers are coming up with films which are women-led. We saw films like Gangubai Kathiawadi, Queen, Kahaani and many other films which have done really well. Like I said earlier, women have always been portrayed as strong characters in the past too. During our time also we saw many films which had impactful female characters,” she said.

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