Salim Khan rejects Padma Shri, says he deserves more

Noted script writer Salim Khan refused to accept the Padma Shri award conferred to him by the Indian government. Salim Khan asserted that he deserved more than that and it was also too late to honor him with the award as his junior and former partner Javed Akhtar already won both Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan long back. He also claimed that earlier government ignored his work and his contribution to Hindi cinema. Therefore, he refused to accept the award.

"Refused is too harsh a word since I have nothing against the awards. I just think that after 55 years and over 40 films, I deserve more than a Padma Shri for my contributions to Hindi cinema, given that my juniors have already got it years before. Even my earstwhile partner, Javed Akhtar, has received both a Padma Shri and a Padma Bhushan," Salim said to Mirror.

The 79-year-old writer believes that the award does not match with his work and status, considering his outstanding contribution to Hindi cinema.

He said, "For years, the central government has ignored me, honouring a number of my peers as well as juniors in the industry. Some three days ago, when I heard that my name is on the Padma awards list, I thought that I'm finally getting what I deserve. But when I came to know that the ministry has chosen me for Padma Shri, I felt it does not match my status and work."

"I am thankful that the present government thought about me, while the previous ones had ignored me. But tell me if someone of my stature should accept Padma Shri that has come so late?" the veteran writer added.

The Salim-Javed jodi was commendable. The duo wrote many of Bollywood's biggest blockbusters in the Seventies and Eighties like 'Zanjeer', 'Deewar' and 'Shakti'. They broke up in 1982 but reunited in 1987 for 'Mr India', which again turned to be a blockbuster.

Apart from Salim Khan, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and yoga guru Ramdev too have declined the Padma awards this year.