Veteran Bollywood actor-filmmaker Shashi Kapoor took his last breath at the age of 79 on Monday at 5.20 pm in Kokilaben Hospital, Mumbai. On Tuesday, his last rites were performed at Santacruz Hindu Crematorium. The skies opened up as the legendary actor, the romantic screen icon of the 70s and 80s, was cremated with State honors.
Shashi Kapoor debuted in Bollywood with the 1961 film “Dharmputra” after working as a child artist. He was honored with the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honor by the Government of India in 2011. In 2015, he was bestowed with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
He was wrapped in Indian National Flag and Mumbai Police gave a three-gun salute. The police even went down on their knees to show respect to Shashi Kapoor.
His three sons, Kunal and Karan and daughter Sanjana were there, as were other members of the Kapoor family and scores of film personalities, to bid farewell to the actor who straddled the worlds of commercial and art house cinema.
About a dozen policemen draped the actor’s body in tricolor, which was later removed for the rituals. There were three rounds of fire to honor the late actor, who spent more than four decades in Hindi cinema. This was followed by a minute silence. Hundreds of fans with umbrellas and raincoats gathered at the crematorium, undeterred by the warnings of a cyclone and heavy rain.
Celebrities such as Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan, Shyam Benegal, Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Ayan Mukherji, Hansal Mehta, Nandita Das, Lara Dutta with husband Mahesh Bhupathi, Writer Salim Khan, and Maharashtra politician Ramdas Athawale were among those who paid their respects to the actor.
People were in confused state and thinking that Shashi Kapoor never served as the Chief Minister or even a Minister, so why he was cremated with national honor. The reason for giving national honor to Shashi Kapoor is that he has been awarded Padma Bhushan.
In India, national honor is given to present or former Prime Minister, President, central ministers, and chief ministers. The national government has the right to give this honor to anyone if it feels that he/she deserves it. Now a change has been made in the rule as per which the state government can also give national honor to any deserving person.
People who have made an immense contribution in the field of politics, art, science, commerce, and law can be given this honor and all those persons who have been awarded Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratan are also given the national honor.
We will miss the legendary actor Shashi Kapoor.