Republic Day 2018: List of Padma awardees
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today released names of eminent persons who would receive the 2018 Padma awards on 26th January. In total, 89 winners were announced, including cricket maestro MS Dhoni. The winners of the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and the Padma Shri are announced on the eve of Republic Day each year. Here's the list.
73 Padma Shri awards announced
Out of the 85 Padma awards, 73 are Padma Shri awards. Prominent winners include 98-year-old social worker Sudhanshu Biswas, healer Lakshmikutty, scientist toymaker Arvind Gupta, and the 'father of palliative care' Dr. M. R. Rajagopal. Other awardees include Gond artist Bhajju Shyam, social worker Lentina Ao Thakkar, and wildlife conservationalist Romulus Whitaker.
Nine eminent personalities from different fields awarded the Padma Bhushan
The nine Padma Bhushan winners include eminent personalities from different fields. Athletes Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Cricket) and Pankaj Advani (Billiards/Snooker) won the award. The award was also conferred upon artists Laxpan Pai (Painting), Arvind Parikh (Music), and Sharda Sinha (Music). Philipose Mar Chrysostom (Spiritualism), Alexander Kadakin (Public Affairs), Ramachandran Nagaswamy (Archaeology), and Ved Prakash Nanda (Literature and Education) also won the award.
Three eminent personalities awarded the prestigious Padma Vibhushan
The prestigious Padma Vibhushan has been awarded to three eminent personalities. Among the awardees is RSS ideologue P. Parameswaran, the man responsible for building the Sangh cadre in Kerala. Prominent South Indian music composer and director Ilaiyaraaja is also among the awardees. The final Padma Vibhushan awardee is Hindustani classical singer Ghulam Mustafa Khan.
Dhoni was nominated for the Padma Bhushan by BCCI
In September 2017, M. S. Dhoni was nominated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the Padma Bhushan. Dhoni has already won the Padma Shri, and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. Despite not winning the Bharat Ratna, a win for Dhoni would see him with several illustrious cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid, Kapil Dev, Chandu Borde, Lala Amarnath etc.
Ilaiyaraaja says award is indicative of Modi government's respect
Upon receiving the Padma Vibhushan, noted South Indian composer Ilaiyaraaja said that the "award shows that Modi government respects Tamil Nadu and Tamil people a lot". The 74-year-old is credited with integrating western and folk musical sensibilities into mainstream South Indian music. Ilaiyaraaja has already won the Padma Bhushan in 2010.