Superstar Rajinikanth will be conferred upon with Dadasaheb Phalke Award on May 3, 2021, confirmed Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.
The government award is India's highest honour given in the field of cinematic art.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to Twitter and congratulated the actor by writing, "Popular across generations, a body of work few can boast of, diverse roles and an endearing personality...that’s Shri @rajinikanth Ji for you. It is a matter of immense joy that Thalaiva has been conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Congratulations to him."
Singers Asha Bhosle and Shankar Mahadevan, actors Mohanlal and Biswajeet, and filmmaker Subhash Ghai are members of the jury that selected Rajinikanth for the award.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2019 should have been announced last year but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as were the National Film Awards for 2019.
The Dadasaheb Phalke, awarded for excellence in cinematic achievement, is the highest honour in the film world and is awarded by the government. The recipient of the 2018 award was Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth's co-star from "Hum".
The 70-year-old star has featured in Bollywood as well as South Indian films and has a humongous fan following. The "2.0" star had made his debut in 1975 with K Balachander's "Apoorva Ragangal" and has completed more than 45 years in the Tamil film industry.
He has delivered hit films such as "Billu", "Muthu", "Baashha", "Sivaji", and "Enthiran". Rajinikanth was last seen in AR Murugadoss's "Darbar". Currently, he is shooting for his upcoming film "Annaatthe".
"Annaatthe" which will release on November 4, 2021.
Directed by Siva, "Annaatthe" is Rajinikanth's 168th movie. Based in a rural setting, the entertainer also features Rajinikanth's "Annaamalai" (1992) co-star Khushboo, "Muthu" (1995) co-star Meena and "Darbar" (2020) co-star Nayanthara. "Annaatthe" also marks National Award-winning actress Keerthy Suresh's first on-screen appearance with Rajinikanth.
"Annaatthe" was initially supposed to release in mid 2020. However, shooting got stalled owing to the COVID-19 pandemic andf the ensuing lockdown.