Jr. NTR attended the event in Bengaluru as one of the main guests along with Superstar Rajinikanth and Infosys Foundation Chairperson Sudha Murthy
Last Updated: 04.13 AM, Nov 02, 2022
Thousands of fans and well-wishers of Puneeth Rajkumar gathered at the premises of Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on November 1. The reason, of course, was the conferral of the Karnataka Ratna award on the later superstar whose legacy as both an actor and philanthropist was celebrated on the occasion of the 67th Kannada Rajyotsava.
To make the event all the more special, south Indian superstars Rajinikanth and Jr. NTR and the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation Sudha Murthy were seen in attendance. Despite the rains, the guests of the evening and other dignitaries took the main stage as they spoke highly of the Gandhada Gudi actor. Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai presented the Karnataka Ratna award to Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar.
For the RRR actor, in particular, it was an outpour of emotions as he remembered his dear friend Puneeth Rajkumar, or Appu, in whose honour he spoke in Kannada. "Yellarigu Namaskara," he would say to greet the large crowd in front before congratulating them all on Kannada Rajyotsava. "Man can inherit a legacy and a surname from his ancestors but never a personality. And if there's someone who has won the hearts of an entire state simply through his personality, endearing smile, and without ego, it has to be Puneeth Rajkumar. A great son, a great husband, a great friend, a great father, actor, dancer, and singer: but above all, he was a great human being. I don't mean any disrespect when I say that the essence of the Karnataka Ratna Award is Puneeth Rajkumar. I don't stand here as a superstar but as a proud friend and I would like to thank the government of Karnataka for making me a part of this prestigious event. I would also like to thank the family of Kannadada Kantheerava, Dr. Rajkumar, for treating me as one of their own and not an actor from another state. Thank you to everyone," said Puneeth Rajkumar as he drew loud applause from the crowd.
Evidently, the entire panel on the stage along with the crowd was floored by the RRR actor's grace and the smiles on the faces of Rajinikanth and Shiva Rajkumar said it all. The speech became an instant sensation on the internet as well with many praising Jr. NTR for speaking fluent Kannada and regarding the crowd in its local language.
Puneeth Rajkumar becomes only the tenth person in history to receive the Karnataka Ratna Award. He is only the second actor to receive the honour after his father Dr. Rajkumar who was bestowed with it in the year 1992.