Angry Mala Sinha rejects Phalke Awards

Highly miffed with the committee responsible for giving the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Awards, veteran actress Mala Sinha refused to accept Dadasaheb Phalke Awards. She was angry as the invitation card does not carry her name. Earlier, her name was announced with Asha Bhosle, Rajesh Khanna and Yash Chopra for 'Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards' but on the invitation card, her name was missing.

It is heard that the actress who gave many hit movies to Bollywood felt insulted and refused to accept the award. Mala Sinha felt that her name should be featured on the invitation card as she has a long successful career in films.

Mala Sinha has been quoted as saying, "They've done grave injustice to me. They haven't even mentioned my name on the invitation card! When members of the Phalke committee including their chairperson came home to me to request me to take the award for being what they called a legendary artiste, I was happy to accept it. But when I saw the invitation card for the event I was shocked. My name was not there with the other winners of award. Asha Bhosle and Pam Chopra (who is to receive the award on behalf of her late husband Yash Chopra)... This is insulting. It would be better if they had straightaway slapped me physically instead of insulting me in this way."

Malaji added, "They had informed me that I was to get the award a month ago. Though I don't go out too much these days I did agree to come. They had a press conference in a small restaurant on Linking Road to announce the awards. None of their winners not Ashaji not Pam Chopra, came to the press conference. I went. They came home with the invitation last week. Only to insult me in this way. Forget my picture they haven't even put my name in the invitation card. I told them to pick up their invitation cards and leave. I don't want their award. This is an insult to me as an artiste. I can't tell you how upset I am about it. I agree Asha Bhosle and Yash Chopra are great artistes. But am I so small an artiste that my name should be left out? Then don't give me the award. I don't want it."

Mala Sinha who mesmerized one and all with her beauty and talent in the 50’s said, "Just the other day I was watching Dhool Ka Phool which came in 1959 and I was quite impressed by how ahead of its times it was ...I've done some notable films... aur mere saath aisa anyaay?! I've been around from the 1950s and I did films till the end of the 90s. Do you know I got two offers from Hollywood in the 1960s as the main lead. My father who looked after my work refused saying, 'Our culture doesn't allow our daughters to work in that atmosphere of intimacy that prevails in Western cinema. So please excuse us.' That's the kind of respect I got in Hollywood. And look at how I am treated at home! I think I was not given my due. Kya karoon? Jitna bhagya mein likha utna hi milega na?"

She said softly, "My father used to look after my work. After his passing away I lost interest in my career. But while he was around I only thought of my work. I knew nothing about the business side of cinema or about marketing myself. I was just a simple artiste who wanted to work, work and work with all my life. I worked in the best of films and repeatedly with filmmakers like B R Chopra, Vijay Anand and Ramanand Sagar ".

Malaji expressed her desire to work again. "Once an artiste always an artiste. I do miss the arclights. But one has to make sacrifices. I am happy looking after my mother. My daughter Pratibha also lives with me. She now does social work. I cut down on my work when she was growing up, as I wanted to give my attention to my role as a mother and then as a daughter to my ailing mother. As for me I'm open to roles provided they are not routine mothers' parts. An artiste never dies. My last film was with Govinda and Juhi (Radha Ka Sangam). Daddy passed away. And I became responsible for the entire family. He used to look after the home and my career. Mummy is bedridden, so I can't be too active outside the home. But I'd love to work again”, she ends up.

Pyaasa (1957), Dhool Ka Phool (1959), Dil Tera Deewana (1962), Gumrah (1963), Himalaya Ki God Mein (1965) and Aankhen (1968) are the few names among her innumerable hits.