President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday (13th February, 2017) presented the Padma Shri awards at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.
Renowned film critic-author Bhawana Somaaya was conferred with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award, for her contribution in the field of Literature and Education – Journalism.
For over three decades, Bhawana Somaaya has been a film critic and has contributed columns to various publications like the Pioneer, Sunday Observer, The Hindu and the Hindustan Times.
She is the former editor of Screen and has authored thirteen books, including the biographies of Hema Malini and Amitabh Bachchan. She served on the advisory panel of the Censor Board of Film Certificate for two terms between 1992 and 2012. Somaaya is currently the Entertainment Editor with radio channel 92.7 BIG FM and her show Once Upon a Time in Bollywood on Sunday morning is very popular. She was the anchor of the TV show Cinema Review on Zee Cinema and over the years has been on several national and international film juries.
Bhawana Somaaya says, “I feel privileged to be chosen for the honour and attribute it to the blessings of my parents. It has been a long journey from a reporter to an editor, columnist to critic and an author.”
“Over the three decades, I have seen cinema blossom, trends change, superstars rise and fall and journalism expand to TV radio and web. It was fascinating then. It is fascinating now,” she adds.
Her book – Once Upon A Time In India – A Century of Indian Cinema was launched by megastar Amitabh Bachchan in January this year.
The Padma Awards are awarded to citizens of India in recognition of their distinguished contribution in various spheres of life including the Arts, Education, Industry, Literature, Science, Sports, Medicine, Social Service and Public Affairs