President Kovind confers Padma awards to 56 inspiring personalities
Among those who received the honors were director-choreographer Prabhu Deva, singer Shankar Mahadevan, South superstar Mohanlal Viswanathan, and late actor Kader Khan.
Notably, on Republic Day's eve, the government selected 112 inspiring personalities for the award.
Personalities from sports, politics, journalism were conferred
John Chambers, the former CEO of the tech giant Cisco Systems, Wrestler Bajrang Punia, Akali Dal leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, percussionist Anandan Sivamani, table tennis player Sharath Kamal Achanta, chess superstar Harika Dronavalli and former foreign secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, were also given the awards.
Renowned journalist Kuldeep Nayar was posthumously honored with the prestigious Padma Bhushan award.
His wife Aarti received the award.
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Mohanlal thanked well-wishers after receiving the award
South Superstar Mohanlal, who was awarded the coveted Padma Bhushan award, called it a great honor.
"It's my 41st year in the movie industry. So I'm giving all the credits to my colleagues, my family and those who supported me in this beautiful journey," Mohanlal said.
The 58-year-old actor, who has acted in more than 300 movies, has won the National Award five times.
Earlier, author Gita Mehta declined Padma Shri award
Notably, the Padma awards were mired in controversies this year.
Author Gita Mehta, who is also the sister of BJD leader and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, declined Padma Shri citing the timing.
In a letter to the government, Mehta wrote, "As there is a general election looming, the timing of the award might be misconstrued, causing embarrassment both to the government and myself."
The Centre had also announced Bharat Ratna awardees
Along with Padma awards, the Centre also announced Bharat Ratna on January 25, 2019.
Former President Pranab Mukherjee, music legend Bhupen Hazarika, and social activist Nanaji Deshmukh were given the honor.
It was reported Hazarika's family might turn down the award to protest against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, but his son Bhupen clarified it would be an honor to receive it.
However, awardees can't use Bharat Ratna, Padma awards as titles
While receiving the award is an honor for anyone, the government had clarified awardees can't use Bharat Ratna or Padma awards as titles.
If anyone uses the award as prefix or suffix, the honor will be withdrawn, MoS Home Ministry Gangaram Ahir had said.
Notably, Article 18(1) of the Constitution underlines that the state shall not confer any title, military or academic, on anyone.
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