Veteran Bollywood film actor Dharmendra was honored with the first ever award by a US State Legislature for an Indian actor, for his contribution to bringing international recognition to Indian Cinema.
The New Jersey Senate and New Jersey General Assembly passed a joint legislative resolution to recognize the actor with a Lifetime Achievement Award for immeasurable contribution to the success of Hindi cinema over the course of his career spanning 60 years and over 300 films under his belt.
The Award was conferred upon the veteran actor via a video conferencing event organized by Bollywood Insider, a publication of Hindi Cinema in the United States.
The magazine and its affiliate YouTube channel Bollywood Insider USA had nominated Dharmendra “for the first ever historic award by a US State Legislature for an Indian actor, for his contribution to bringing international recognition to Indian Cinema, through tens of millions of his fans around the world,” said Bollywood Insider Publisher Varinder Bhalla in a press release from the magazine.
Initial plans to invite the actor to receive the Award at the New Jersey Senate were shelved due to Covid-19 related travel restrictions.
Senator Michael Doherty who introduced the resolution in the Senate joined India’s Consul General in New York, Ambassador Randhir Jaiswal, Bollywood Insider publisher Varinder Bhalla, Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, publisher of News India Times, Dr. Sudha Parikh and Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula to honor Dharmendra with the award.
Acknowledging the award, Dharmendra thanked Bollywood Insider for nominating him and expressed his gratitude to Senator Doherty for his leadership to secure the Award from the Legislature, and said “I am extremely happy with this honor and proud to receive this one-of-a-kind Award.”
Dr. Parikh shared his memories of growing up watching Dharmendra’s movies and complimented him for his decades long contribution to Indian cinema.
Senator Doherty announced that the resolution was unanimously passed by all 40 Senators and 80 members of the General Assembly.