A statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan announced that the former president of India, Pranab Mukherjee has been selected for the highest civilian award of the country, Bharat Ratna. Along with him, noted Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika and social activist Nanaji Deshmukh will also be awarded Bharat Ratna posthumously on August 8.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Mukherjee for doing his decades of service to India. In his tweet, the PM said, “Pranab Da is an outstanding statesman of our times. He has served the nation selflessly and tirelessly for decades, leaving a strong imprint on the nation’s growth trajectory. His wisdom and intellect have few parallels. Delighted that he has been conferred the Bharat Ratna.”
Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Congratulations to Pranab Da on being awarded the Bharat Ratna! The Congress Party takes great pride in the fact that the immense contribution to public service & nation-building of one of our own, has been recognized & honored.”
From Union Minister To President Of India
Pranab Mukherjee was the 13th President of India who served the country from 2012 until 2017. In his political career of five decades, the senior Indian National Congress leader occupied several ministerial portfolios in the Indian government. Prior to becoming the President, he was the Union Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012.
Born in a Bengali Family, Mukherjee studied in the University of Calcutta and earned an MA degree in History and political science. He also completed his LLB from the same university. During his active days in politics, he handled many important ministerial portfolios that include Defense minister, foreign minister, commerce minister, and finance minister.
Social Activist Nanaji Deshmukh
Nanaji Deshmukh aka Chandikadas Amritrao Deshmukh was a social activist who worked in the fields of health, education, and rural self-reliance. A leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and a member of the Rajya Sabha, Nanaji was honored with the Padma Vidbhushan in 1999. He was inspired by the great freedom fighter from Maharashtra, Bal Gangadhar Tilak. He, later on, devoted himself to RSS and was sent to Gorakhpur by Golwalkar Guruji as pracharak.
Former president of India A.P.J Abdul Kalam praised Nanaji saying “single-minded devotion to the uplift of the people.”
Noted Assamese Singer Bhupen Hazarika
The famous Indian playback singer, musician, lyricist, poet, and film-maker mostly promoted humanity and universal brotherhood through his songs. Popularly known as Sudhakantha, Hazarika translated his songs and sung them in many languages mostly in Bengali and Hindi. He is credited for introducing folk and culture music of Assam to the rest of India.
Bhupen Hazarika won the National Film Award for Best Music Direction in 1975, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1987, Padmashri in 1977, and Padmabhushan in 2001. He was awarded Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1992 (the highest award in cinema in India), and Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 2008. Hazarika was awarded Padma Vibhushan posthumously in 2012.