By V.S. Rajapur
Mumbai, Jan 28 (IANS) Well-known Kannada theatre artiste and movie actress Arundhati Nag, who got Padma Shri Award, is happy that the government has recognised the efforts of a theatre personality.
"I see the newspapers and the channels are filled up with the news of even debutant film actors and models, but not even a small space is given to the achievement of theatre personalities who have worked to give a new identity to the theatre movement," said Arundhati, who was recently seen as Amitabh Bachchan's grandmother in "Paa".
She also said that the honour should go to Ranga Shankara, her theatre that she built in the memory of her late husband Late Shankar Nag, a well-known film actor and theatre personality.
"I think it is just a sense of passion which is driving people to work hard to promote the theatre movement. We started Ranga Shankara mainly to create a perfect infrastructure for creating a good environment to stage some good plays," said the actress who was busy with her daughter Kavya's marriage.
Arundhati feels that honour is not for her contribution to cinema despite the fact that she has acted in many Kannada and Hindi films.
"I don't think my work in films have been substantial, but I feel happy that I have contributed something to the theatre. It was also Shankar Nag's wish that I should take active interest in theatre," said Arundhati.
However many people in the film industry disagree. Shivaraj Kumar, who played her son in the Kannada blockbuster film "Jogi", says that Arundhati's performance was outstanding in the film. Even Amitabh praised her performance in "Paa", saying she played her role very well.
Arundhati feels if her husband would have been alive, he would would have won several such awards.
"If Shankar would have been alive, I think he would have won four-five prestigious awards like this. He was a creative institution in himself. He was innovative as an actor, director," said Arundhati remembering her late husband who died in a motor accident two decades ago.
Shankar Nag died Sep 30, 1989, near Davanagere, but still remembered by his fans especially autorickshaw drivers. Many auto stands in Karnataka bear his name. The actor featured in hugely successful film "Auto Raja".