Priyanka Chopra, Kapil Sharma: Will the real Dadasaheb Phalke award please stand up?

In the midst of all kinds of rumours about his show being cancelled to his friends abandoning him, the news of Kapil Sharma being conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award ought to bring him some joy.

Not to be confused with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, which is India’s highest award in cinema, the ‘Dadasaheb Phalke Award’ that Sharma has been chosen for is presented by a certain Dadasaheb Phalke Academy that has been honouring talent from the Hindi and regional cinema since 2000. This academy acknowledges 22 different crafts of the industry, right from make-up artists to spot boys.

Of course, the fact that Kapil Sharma is being presented this honour for the second time has raised many questions. When the award was first presented to the comedian in 2014, he turned up so late that the dignitaries and the audiences had all left. But those were different times for Sharma. This time around Sharma has promised the organisers that he will be punctual.

And then there are times when awards choose people: such as the case of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award being bestowed upon Gulzar sahab.

In such cases, the awardee means as much to the citation as the honour to the person it is conferred upon.

And, then there are times when people end up choosing awards.

The announcement of Sharma’s ‘Phalke’ brings to mind the time when then-president Barack Obama was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. Of course, there is no comparison between Kapil Sharma’s ‘Phalke’ and Barack Obama’s ‘Nobel.’ But to risk an audacious comparison, in both cases, one can’t figure out the reason why they were honoured and its timing, which in some strange manner, equates them.

Back when President Obama got the Nobel after just eights months into his first term he was as surprised as some of his critics and even when he remitted office in 2106 he jokingly confessed that he still didn’t know why he got it.

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