Yash Chopra has been chosen for the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award
for 2001, the topmost and the highest honour given in the Indian film industry. The award, instituted in 1969 to commemorate the contribution made by India's first filmmaker Dadasaheb Phalke to Indian cinema, carries a cash prize of Rs 200,000, a shawl and a Swarna Kamal. Yash Chopra said he was honoured to be chosen for this prestigious award and described it as "a blessing from God."
He said, "I am extremely happy to be chosen for the award. I have no words to express my feelings. It is a pleasant reward after nearly 51 years of my journey in films. I am elated my name has been included among the great luminaries whose films I have been watching for decades and to whom I have always looked up to. I am happy that my work has been appreciated."
"Films have been my only passion in life," he said. "I have always been proud of making films and will continue taking pride in all my films. I have never made a movie I have not believed in. However, though I love all my films, one tends to get attached to films that do well. But I do not have any regrets about making films that did not really do well at the box office. All my films revolve around the theme of human relations because I feel that everything might go out of fashion, but not human relations. As long as I live, I will continue making films on this unique aspect of humans."
"I always believe that my films should give some hope to the man who comes to watch them for those three hours. If he goes home on an optimistic note, I would feel satisfied at having done my duty," he said.
He also added that his philosophy in life is to "never hurt anybody and to do my best".
The President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam presented the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2001 to Mr. Yash Chopra in the glittering 49th National Film Awards function held at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on 13th February 2003. The Minister for Information and Broadcasting - Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad was also present on this occasion along with other luminaries of the film world.
FICCI felicitates Yash Chopra
FICCI honoured Yash Chopra with a special award to felicitate him for the Dadasaheb Phalke Award and further acknowledged his immense contribution as a producer and director of Hindi cinema. The function was held on 17th February 2003 at Mumbai's Grand Maratha Sheraton and was compered by Ms. Kiron Kher.
Amongst others, FICCI was represented by Dr. A. C. Muthaiah (President of FICCI) and Dr. Amit Mitra (Secretary General of FICCI). Prominent personalities from the film industry including Dilip Kumar, Asha Bhosle, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Anupam Kher, Aishwarya Rai and Rani Mukherji were also present at the function. It was a rare moment when three generation of superstars (Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan) shared the stage with the director who was associated with all of them, at various stages of his career.
The Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr. Sushilkumar Shinde were guests of Honour on the occasion. Yash Chopra stood absolutely elated for the honour bestowed upon him and in his acceptance speech said, "This Award is not for me but for all my seniors, peers and colleagues who were part of my journey".