Bharat Ratna conferred to Bhupen Hazarika

Published: Aug 08, 2019, 20:30 IST | ANI |

Born in 1926, Bhupen Hazarika was a playback singer, lyricist, musician, singer, poet and filmmaker from Assam

President Ram Nath Kovind presents Bharat Ratna to Dr Bhupen Hazarika's son Tej
President Ram Nath Kovind presents Bharat Ratna to Dr Bhupen Hazarika's son Tej

Former president Pranab Mukherjee, late Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh and late singer Bhupen Hazarika were conferred the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award, on Thursday. President Ram Nath Kovind gave the award to Mukherjee, Hazarika's son Tej and Vikramjeet Singh, a close relative of Deshmukh, at a function held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

Hazarika and Deshmukh were given the Bharat Ratna posthumously. Vice President M Venkaikah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, several Union Cabinet Ministes, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal were among those present at the function held at the imposing Durbar Hall.

The Bharat Ratna has been conferred after a gap of four years. Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and founder of Banaras Hindu University Madan Mohan Malviya were given the award by the Narendra Modi government in 2015.

Born in 1926, Hazarika was a playback singer, lyricist, musician, singer, poet and filmmaker from Assam. He was awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1987), Padma Shri (1977), Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1992), Padma Bhushan (2001) and Padma Vibhushan (2012-posthumously).

Hazarika did his PhD from Columbia University in 1952. He died in 2011. The cultural icon also had a brush with politics and had unsuccessfully contested the Guwahati Lok Sabha seat on a BJP ticket in 2004. He was an Independent MLA in Assam during 1967-72.

Hazarika gave music in acclaimed Bollywood movies Rudaali, Darmiyaan, Gaja Gamini, Daman and many Assamese hits, including the award winning film 'Sameli Memsaab'. The government in January announced it decision to confer the Bharat Ratna upon Mukherjee, Deshmukh and Hazarika.

With these three recipients, 48 eminent people have been conferred the Bharat Ratna so far.

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