Updated February 23rd, 2024 at 08:44 IST

Ashok Saraf Presented Maharashtra Bhushan Puraskar, Singham Actor Says 'It Is Number 1 Award'

Ashok Saraf expressed happiness over receiving Maharashtra’s top award. “Maharashtra is my ‘janmabhoomi’ (birth place) and ‘karmabhoomi’ (workplace), he said.

Ashok Saraf at Maharashtra Bhushan Award 2023 | Image:CMO Maharashtra/X
Advertisement

Veteran actor Ashok Saraf, who has acted in more than 250 Marathi films and is known for his impeccable comic timing, was on Thursday night presented the Maharashtra Bhushan Award for 2023, the highest civilian honour of the state. Upon receiving the honour, he told ANI, "I am very happy. It is the number one award."

The prestigious award, comprising a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh, a medal and a citation, was presented to the celebrated actor at the 57th Maharashtra State Marathi Film Awards ceremony in Mumbai by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis.

Advertisement
Maharashtra Bhushan Award 2023 | Image: CMO Maharashtra/X 

CM Eknath Shinde says Saraf is 'still young at 75'

Ashok Saraf (75), in an acting career spanning nearly five decades, has also featured in several Hindi films and popular comedy drama television series Hum Paanch, among others.

Advertisement
Maharashtra Bhushan Award 2023 | Image: CMO Maharashtra/X 

Speaking at the ceremony, Shinde showered encomium on Saraf, saying “He is still young at 75 and yearns to do something new. He is the real diamond of Marathi soil.” It is an honour and pride for the state government to present the award to Saraf, the CM said.

Ashok Saraf filled with gratitude on receiving Maharashtra Bhushan Award

In his acceptance speech, Saraf expressed happiness over receiving Maharashtra’s top award. “Maharashtra is my ‘janmabhoomi’ (birth place) and ‘karmabhoomi’ (workplace). I am grateful to all those who helped me in my 50-year-old career. Maharashtra’s audience is intelligent and critical. Artists have to strike a balance…have to keep in mind what the audience will like,” he stated.

Other celebs honoured at awards ceremony

The Lata Mangeshkar Award for Lifetime contribution to music for 2023 was given to noted singer Suresh Wadkar. The Raj Kapoor Lifetime Achievement Award went to veteran actors Aruna Irani (for 2020) and Mithun Chakraborty (2021).

Advertisement

The V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award in Marathi cinema for 2020 was conferred posthumously on late actor-director Ravindra Mahajani. His son, actor Gashmir Mahajani, received the award. The same award for 2021 went to actress Usha Chavan. Filmmaker Vijay Kondke received the trophy on her behalf.

For 2022, the V Shantaram Award for Lifetime contribution to cinema was given to veteran actor Usha Naik. Veteran actress Helen received the Raj Kapoor Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hindi cinema for 2022.

Advertisement

Well-known filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra was given the Raj Kapoor Award for Special Contribution to cinema for the year 2022. Playback singer Sonu Nigam was given the Raj Kapoor Award for Special Contribution to cinema for 2023. Filmmaker JP Dutta was presented the Raj Kapoor Award for Special Contribution to films for 2022.

The V Shantaram Award for Special Contribution in Marathi cinema for 2020 went to filmmaker Rajendra Ahire, while playback singer Ravindra Sather and filmmaker Nagraj Manjule were given the honour for 2021 and 2022, respectively. 
 

Advertisement

(With PTI inputs)

Advertisement

Published February 23rd, 2024 at 08:44 IST