Shah Rukh Khan Receives ‘Indian of the Year’ Award: A Heartfelt Speech Reflecting on Comebacks, Challenges, and the Gift for His Family


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Shah Rukh Khan was the star of the show at CNN-News18’s Indian of the Year event. He won the biggest award for his amazing comeback and for bringing Bollywood back to life. He did this by giving us three big hit movies – Pathaan, Jawan, and Dunki, one after the other. The award he got was the ‘Indian of the Year’ title.

On stage, SRK got emotional when talking about the tough times his family went through in the last few years. He shared a lesson he learned during this hard time. SRK also thanked everyone who watched his movies, even if they didn’t like them much, just to “support me and my family.” He especially mentioned the success of Pathaan and Jawan at the box office.

Here’s what Shah Rukh Khan said at the mega show:

Normally when you get an award of this calibre, the regular way of acceptance is to thank the organisers, show humility and gratitude and also thank the team who helped you get the award. But…I will do none of this. No. I have two very good reasons for it, and if you all have two minutes to hear them, I would like to explain.

Firstly, it’s been a bloody long time since I won an award now. I started believing I was doomed to win a Lifetime Achievement Award at some loud and colourful TV award shows, which unfortunately I have also hosted. Lots of them. I really want to keep this award to myself, not share it with anyone at all.

The second is…I have had three highly successful films this year. Super-duper hits. Show off, a little bit, a thousand crore club. There are thousands of people behind, responsible for this success. My friend, Anirudh (Ravichander) is here. To thank thousands of people, it takes a lot more than two minutes. So I am not going to thank them either.

The other thing is, I believe, this award should only be eaten by me because in the voice of Vikram Rathore from Jawan…I am hungry. and I have always been very hungry. And this award makes me want to stay hungrier because there is no other way to be if you want to keep churning out entertainment for the 140 crore people of India year after year, for the last 33-plus years.

I am also very impetuous, and impulsive, like a modern actor should be – futuristic. I am unbridled and innovative. I would just like to tell you how I sign my films. I hear a story and I say yes to it. I don’t think about the box office. I don’t think about whether should I be playing this character even if this is technically challenged, should I be larger than life. I just say, okay, I will do this film. Then I keep awake all night and wait for somebody from the future to come and tell me, bro this is a bad decision. More often than not, nobody comes. So, I wake up in the morning and I sign this film and do it.

#IndianOfTheYear: ‘It’s been a long time since I’ve won an award; meri picture abhee baaki hai…,’ says Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) as he wins the CNN-News18 #IndianOfTheYear2023 award. Listen in!#SRKonCNNNews18 | #IndianOfTheYear2023 | #Pathaan | #Jawan | #Dunki | #ShahRuhKhan— News18 (@CNNnews18) January 10, 2024

Apart from being impetuous, I am also very very confident about my talent and hard work. So confident that very often my wife tells me that you are overconfident and cocky.

I will give you an example. My ten-year-old son has a Lego set and I finish it, end to end, in 4 days. Full. Clearly, on the box, it says 6 to 12 years. And I do it in 4 days flat!! My son, obviously, tells me that it’s the age specification on the box, not the time you are supposed to take to build it! But he’s a young kid, a little entitled because a superstar’s son, what does he know? I’ll revel till this bubble bursts.

Apart from this, the good thing is, that I am a guy who is hopeful and tells happy stories. The heroes I play do good things. They give hope and happiness. If I play a bad guy I make sure he suffers a lot, he dies a dog’s death. Because I believe, in goodness, we get goodness. I believe badness deserves a kick in the backside.

The last four, five years have been a bit of a ride for me and my family. I am sure some of you also because of Covid and stuff. Most of my films flopped, a lot of specialists and analysts started writing my death-knell, some idiots did the same, which actually is the same thing, analysts and idiots. Not something that I really bother about. And then, at a personal level, a little bit of bothersome and unpleasant things also happened to say the least which made me learn a lesson that be quiet, be very quiet and work hard with dignity. When you think everything is good, and still know it in your heart when everything is good, suddenly out of nowhere, whoom, life may come and hit you.

But this is a time you need to be the hopeful, happy, honest storyteller, and continue doing whatever you are doing and kind of think this is a nasty plot twist, this is not the story you are living. And 100 per cent is not the story’s end. Because somebody somewhere told me that life mein filmon ki tarah, anth mein, sad theek ho jaata hai. Aur agar theek na ho, toh anth nahi hai. Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost. And I believe in him because I believe that goodness begets goodness.

So when I get an award like this one, I am reminded that I should remain the eternal optimist and hang on to the self-belief that I am the fastest Lego maker in the world. And I should play honest roles that give people the courage to dream, I should keep working hard quietly with the hope that life doesn’t topple my apple card anytime soon. And yes, I should remain impulsive and impetuous so I started differently but impetuously I feel I should thank CNN News18 for conferring me with this award.

Thank you very much and I want to congratulate all the other winners here. And I know your achievements are far greater than mine. And mind you, I am only seeing this to bring in some humility in my speech – I don’t really mean it! But seriously, I want to thank Siddharth Anand for making Pathaan for me, Aditya Chopra for producing it, Atlee Kumar for making the biggest hit in Hindi Cinema – Jawan, Anirudh for giving the music for it and Rajkumar Hirani and who gave me one of the most beautiful films of my life- Dunki.

I want to honour and dedicate this award to all the cast and crew members, who worked relentlessly to make this possible, but I am not giving it to them. I am keeping it myself because some years back when I used to get a lot of awards, I decided that for every award that I get, I will take it as a gift for one of my kids. It will bring cheer to their lives. And I truly believe, that the last 4-5 years that my family has seen, that my children have seen, my wife Gauri has seen, I believe nobody deserves a bigger cheer right now than them. So I am taking this award back home for them.