Bharat Ratna Dilip Kumar Saira Banu collage

Veteran actress Saira Banu believes her late husband actor Dilip Kumar should be honoured with the Bharat Ratna. She says he is the “kohinoor” of the country.

Dilip Kumar passed away last year aged 98.

On 14 June, Saira Banu was attending the Bharat Ratna Dr Ambedkar Award ceremony in Mumbai where union minister Ramdas Athawale presented the honour posthumously to Late Dilip Kumar.


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It was there at the ceremony the proposal to decorate the late legendary actor was mooted.

Listening in, Minister Athawale said he would request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider awarding Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour of the country, to the Hindi cinema legend.

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Then the question was put to Saira Banu. In response she told reporters, “It should happen, God willing, because Dilip sahab has been the ‘Kohinoor’ of our country. So ‘Kohinoor’ should definitely receive a Bharat Ratna.”

Saira Banu and Dilip Kumar got married in 1966. The couple acted together in several films including “Sagina” and “Gopi”.

Attending the event, 77-year-old Saira Banu broke down repeatedly while receiving the honour.

“This is the reason I don’t attend any functions because I feel terrible, but what do I do,” she said, wiping her tears.

Expressing her gratitude Saira Banu said, “I feel extremely happy. Such a prestigious award for such a legendary person. I think that Dilip Sahab is here today with us and is witnessing this event. I would have been really happy if he was with us here today.”

Saira Banu also made a revelation telling the audience she feels that Dilip Kumar continues to be with her as a solid support.

“I feel he is still here, watching everything, being with me. He is not in my memories. He is with me at every step. I’ll be able to spend my life believing he is with me.

“I won’t even think that he isn’t, so that it’s easier for me to believe he is with me and shall always be my support, ‘mera kohinoor’,” she added.

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