Actor Amitabh Bachchan gave a miss to the 66th National Film Awards ceremony that was held at Vigyan Bhawan on Monday, December 23. At the event, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar revealed that Bachchan will be felicitated with the Dadasaheb Phalke award on December 29, Sunday, in New Delhi at the High-Tea organised by President Ram Nath Kovind for the winners of the National Film Awards 2019.

Bachchan was to be honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his contribution to the Indian cinema in a ceremony today but he revealed in a tweet on Sunday, December 22, that he was down with fever and won’t be able to travel to Delhi to attend the prestigious award ceremony. His tweet read, “T 3584/5/6 –
Down with fever .. ! Not allowed to travel .. will not be able to attend National Award tomorrow in Delhi .. so unfortunate .. my regrets ..” (sic)

Named after the Father of Indian cinema, Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, Dadasaheb Phalke Award is considered as the biggest Indian film award. In the year 2017, it was presented to Vinod Khanna. Interestingly, the award was initiated on the National Film Awards list in the year 1969, the same year when Bachhan made his Hindi cinema debut with Saat Hindustani. The award has three things – a golden lotus-shaped medallion, a shawl and a cash prize of Rs 10,00,000.

On Monday, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu presented the awards to the winners including Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Best Music Director), Keerthy Suresh (Best Actress), Kruti Mahesh (Best Choreographer), Ayushmann Khurrana (Best Actor), Vicky Kaushal (Best Actor), Aditya Dhar (Best Director), Akshay Kumar (Best Social Film) and Sriram Raghavan (Best Hindi Film) among others.

The National Film Awards are usually presented by the President of India. However, this time, the President is going to organise a High Tea for the winners. Our congratulations to the winners!