Kamal Hassan, who spent the initial years of his career in Malayalam, has acted in Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi. On the completion of 50 years in the film industry, the State Government of Kerala felicitated him during the Onam Week Celebrations in Thiruvananthapuram at Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium on Sunday (August 22).
Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan honoured Kamal by presenting him a 'ponnada' and a memento. Achuthanadan praised Kamal as an artiste and socially concerned individual, who had played sterling role in raising Indian cinema to International standards. However, he criticised Malayalam superstars, who did not participate in the function as directed by the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA).
Meanwhile, Kamal Hassan said that he was greatly indebted to Malayalam film industry, as it spotted the artiste in him, nursed and helped him as an actor. "It was veteran director K.S. Sethumadhavan, who initiated me into my career as a young boy. I was later adopted by great director K. Balachandar," he said.
A special programme containing five parts titled Swarna Kamalam, conceived by director T.K. Rajeevkumar, was staged to mark Kamal's 50 years in Indian cinema. It highlighted Kamal Hassan as an actor, dancer, poet, singer and writer. Lots of shows were staged including a special show featuring actors Jayaram, Kottayam Nazeer and Rima Kallingal.
Big personalities who attended the function included director Sethu Madhavan, Ministers C.Divakaran, M.A Baby, V. Surendran Pillai, V. Sivan Kutty MLA, Mayor C. Jayan Babu, District Panchayat President Anavoor Nagappaan, Tourism Director Cheriyan Philip, secretary Venu and director M.Siva Sankar were present. Home and Tourism minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan presided over the function.