Prez, PM join millions in condoling Dev demise

New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today joined millions of fans in condoling the death of legendary Bollywood star Dev Anand, calling him a "true genius" and an embodiment of a life-long passion for acting and film-making.

In her condolence message, Patil said the film industry had lost a creative talent who "personified the spirit of graceful ageing with dignity". She said Dev Anand had delighted fans with his vivacious acting and as a popular romantic hero. "Anand was a legendary film artiste as well as a producer, director and writer who adorned the Hindi cinema with great distinction.

"He shall always be remembered by a generation of film watchers for his exemplified acting in the movies; Taxi Driver, Munimji, Guide, Johny Mera Naam, Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Des Pardes," she said.

Vice President Ansari said the film legend had entertained generations of Indians with his versatile acting, direction and production of films. He had an "intense passion for films", Ansari said.

Describing Dev Anand as a great artiste, Prime Minister Singh said the legendary actor was "an embodiment of a life- long passion for acting and film-making. I join millions of his fans in mourning his death," he said in a statement.

I&B Minister Ambika Soni called him a true genius and evergreen star with whose death an era has come to an end. "For a career spanning over more than five decades, Dev Anand gave us films which will stay entrenched in our minds for years on," Soni said.

Political leaders in Maharashtra paid glowing tributes to Indian cinema`s legend with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan saying in Mumbai that the country has lost an iconic film personality who gave joy to countless movie buffs.

Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said, "True to his name, he always gave `anand` (happiness) to millions. There won`t be any other Dev Anand."

Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Dev Anand`s love for life and cinema will live on through his films.

Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan described Dev Anand as an "ageless wonder". The actor was a darling of three generations, he said.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the 88-year-old screen legend was a gift of God to the film industry and the country, while Public Works Minister Chhagan Bhujbal termed as an "irreparable loss" the demise of the actor.

Terming Dev Anand a "legend", Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said his demise has created a void.

"(Dev Anand`s death is) the passing of an era, a void never to be filled. Rest in peace Dev Sahib. (You were) a legend in your own life time, you will be sorely missed," Omar wrote in Twitter.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said that in Dev Anand`s demise, "India has lost a great actor, an illustrious son and a true patriot".

Hailing the Dada Saheb Phalke award winner as the "most versatile actor", Jayalalithaa said in Chennai that "his foot prints on Indian cinema are indelible. He was a multifaceted personality and every role he played created an impact on the minds of viewers".

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar hailed Dev Anand`s contributions to the film industry. "Dev sahab`s death has left a deep void in the film industry," he said.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said the film and entertainment industry has lost a true "guide".
"During the 1975-77 Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi, Dev sahab was the one who stood up in favour of democracy with most conviction," Modi tweeted.