Pranab Mukherjee, Nanaji Deshmukh, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika awarded Bharat RatnaLast updated on Jan 25, 2019, 11:03 pm
President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday awarded Bharat Ratna to former President Pranab Mukherjee, social activist Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously), and music maestro Dr. Bhupen Hazarika (posthumously).
The announcement was made a short while ago on the eve of Republic Day.
In a series of tweets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked the recipients of the prestigious award for their contribution to India.
PM Modi has amazing things to say about recipients
PM Modi wrote on Twitter that Nanaji Deshmukh's contribution towards rural India can't be forgotten. "He personifies humility, compassion, and service to the downtrodden," he wrote.
Praising Dr. Hazarika, PM Modi said his music has been loved across generations.
About Pranab Da, PM Modi wrote, "He has served the nation selflessly and tirelessly for decades, leaving a strong imprint on the nation's growth trajectory."
Pranab Da is an outstanding statesman
Pranab Da is an outstanding statesman of our times.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 25, 2019
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.
A little about Deshmukh, Dr. Hazarika, and Mukherjee
Nanaji Deshmukh was a social activist who contributed to the fields of education, health, and rural self-reliance.
Meanwhile, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika was a musician, lyricist, singer, filmmaker, and poet from Assam who popularized the Indian music worldwide.
Pranab Mukherjee served the Congress party for several decades and was a Union Minister in Congress-led governments. Later, he served as the President of India from 2012-17.
Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honor of India
Bharat Ratna is India's highest civilian award. It is given every year to recognize exceptional service or performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavor.
For Bharat Ratna, which instituted in 1954, any person irrespective of their position, occupation, gender, or race is eligible.
The Prime Minister recommends the names of those to be awarded Bharat Ratna to the President.
About the prestigious Padma Awards
The Padma Awards are also among the country's highest civilian awards that were established in 1954.
These awards are given in recognition of distinguished and exceptional service in all fields and disciplines. They are announced every year on the occasion of the Republic Day.
There are three categories of Padma Awards: Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan.
Kader Khan, Gautam Gambhir, Prabhu Deva among 2019 Padma awardees
On the eve of the 70th Republic Day, the government also announced the list of the names of the Padma Award recipients for 2019.
Veteran actor Kader Khan (posthumous), veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar (posthumous), actor Mohanlal, former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, footballer Sunil Chhetri, and choreographer Prabhu Deva are among the awardees.
President Ram Nath Kovind approved the conferment of 112 Padma Awards for 2019.
List of Padma Vibhushan recipients for 2019
Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest Indian civilian honor after Bharat Ratna, is awarded in recognition of exceptional and distinguished service in any field.
This year, there are four Padma Vibhushan recipients. They include Pandavani folk singer Teejan Bai of Chhattisgarh, Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh (Foreigner), L&T Chairman Anilkumar Manibhai Naik, and writer and theater artist Balwant Moreshwar Purandare of Maharashtra.
Kuldip Nayar, Bachendri Pal, Mohanlal among Padma Bhushan awardees
Padma Bhushan, the third highest Indian civilian honor, is awarded for distinguished service of high order.
It will be conferred to 14 people this year, including veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar (posthumous), ISRO scientist Nambi Narayan, mountaineer Bachendri Pal, and Malayalam actor Mohanlal.
Others include former Executive Chairman-CEO of Cisco Systems John Chambers (Foreigner) and Indian-origin South African minister Pravin Gordhan (Foreigner) among others.
94 people to be awarded Padma Shri in 2019
Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award given in recognition of distinguished service in any field. This year, there are 94 Padma Shri recipients.
Awardees include former Foreign Secretary of India Subrahmanyam Jaishanker, senior advocate Harvinder Singh Phoolka, Kader Khan (posthumous), Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Chhetri, Kabaddi player Ajay Thakur, wrestler Bajrang Punia, choreographer-director Prabhu Deva, actor Manoj Bajpayee, singer-composer Shankar Mahadevan among others.