Rajinikanth Dedicates Dadasaheb Phalke Award To Bus Driver Friend Who Asked Him To Do Films

On Monday, superstar Rajinikanth received the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest film honour, at The 67th National Film Awards which was held in New Delhi. In his acceptance speech, the actor dedicated the award to 3 special people in his life – his mentor K Balachander, his elder brother Satyanarayana Gaikwad and his best friend Raj Bahadur.

What people didn’t know was that Raj Bahadur was his friend when Rajinikanth worked as a bus driver before he became an actor. Raj Bahadur was his colleague and used to work as a bus driver. He also happens to be the one who encouraged Rajinikanth to join cinema and work as an actor, reports Hindustan Times.

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In his heartwarming acceptance speech, Rajinikanth said:

“I dedicate this award to my mentor and guru K Balachander sir. At this moment, I remember him with gratitude. And my brother Satyanarayana Gaikwad, who is like my father, for teaching me great values and inculcating spirituality in me. Also, my thanks to my friend and colleague, Raj Bahadur, who was a bus transport driver. When I was a bus conductor, he was the one who identified the actor in me and encouraged me to join cinema. My gratitude to the honourable directors and producers who believed in me and did films with me. Thanks to technicians, distributors, exhibitors, the media and all my fans. My thanks to all the Tamil people – without you, I am nobody.”

Here’s a video of his speech:

Several people online lauded Rajinikanth’s simplicity and for remembering his friend even after so many years.

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‘Thalaivaa’ for a reason indeed!

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