Padma Shri is neither an award nor reward, says Vidya

Bollywood actor Vidya Balan on Saturday said Padma Shri was neither an award nor reward, but a national honour and her equation with the government had not gone beyond being a citizen of the country.

vidya-balan2-reuters Vidya Balan | Reuters

"Padma Shri is an honour. I think I am good at using words. It is an honour that has been bestowed upon you on behalf of the country. I don't think my equation with the government has gone beyond being the citizen of the country," she said in an interaction at the IIMBUE 2015 - IIMB (Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore) Alumni Leadership Summit here.

She was replying to a query whether Padma Shri was an award or a reward and how has her engagement changed with the government with which she worked as a national brand ambassador for sanitation.

The question came in the wake of her statement of not returning her award when the debate on "Intolerance" was at its peak. She had bagged the Padma Shri during UPA rule. "I am not really politically inclined. I don't have... I am a national brand ambassador for sanitation but besides that nothing serious," she said.

vidya-balan-hot-reuters Vidya Balan | Reuters

Asked if the present education encourages creativity, Vidya said: "The new education system does encourage creativity. There are no set modules being followed. There is a flexibility which allows children to learn and choose what they want to choose," she said.

Bollywood actor Kabir Bedi said: "I have tremendous faith in human nature. Everyone in this auditorium is creative. Creativity is within everybody. It will come out."

Asked what was required for Indian films to bag an Oscar, Bedi said: "We have to make great films which have great human stories. They (western filmmakers) love film that challenge adversities and human feelings of what or concentration camps and so on. That's the way to get an Oscar," he said.

Indian filmmakers should make universal film for universal audience to get instant connect with the people world over, Vidya said.

"There is so much focus on what will work at the Oscars. We have to make universal films for universal audience," she said.

Bedi, however, expressed hope an Oscar for "Court" which has shaken the audience. Asked if there would be more entertainment from her side doing films or parenthood going into the future, Vidya said, "There will be a lot of entertainment from my side doing films. I am not sure parenting could be that entertaining at this point of time."

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