Recognising the colossal contribution of Northeast’s multi-faceted cultural icon Bhupen Hazarika, he was picked posthumously to be conferred the Bharat Ratna, while late Bollywood actor Kader Khan has been named for the Padma Shri honour by the government, it was announced on Friday.
The awardees for the year were announced on the eve of India’s 70th Republic Day.
“The songs and music of Shri Bhupen Hazarika are admired by people across generations. From them radiates the message of justice, harmony and brotherhood. He popularised India’s musical traditions globally. Happy that the Bharat Ratna has been conferred on Bhupen da,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.
With a magnificent oeuvre as a poet, music composer, singer, actor, journalist, author and filmmaker, Hazarika continues to be regarded as a cultural philosopher.
The other posthumous award in this year’s list is for Kader Khan, who died on December 31 last year after prolonged illness in Canada. He has been recognised for his immense contribution to the world of films as a writer and actor par excellence. He was 81.
Malayalam star Mohanlal will get the Padma Bhushan. He has had a prolific career spanning four decades, during which he has worked across Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada films.
The government will also confer the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian honour on film celebrities Prabhudheva and Manoj Bajpayee.
Manoj has been recognised for his work as an actor, while Prabhudheva has been feted for his skills in dance.
From the world of music, the versatile singer-composer Shankar Mahadevan, who is proficient in classical as well as mainstream Hindi film music, has been chosen for the Padma Shri.
In times when gender equality is much spoken about, the Padma awardee list, however, makes no mention of a woman from the film industry.