CM confers Banga Bibhushan award to Asha Bhosle
Kolkata: Legendary singer Asha Bhosle was conferred the Banga Bibhushan, the West Bengal government's highest award, by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday at Nazrul Manch.
"I am elated that Asha Bhosle has accepted our invitation and has taken the pain to come here. We can never forget her contribution," Banerjee said at the event.
Expressing immense happiness over the facelift that the City of Joy has undergone in relation to the development work carried out by the Mamata Banerjee government over the past seven years, the noted playback singer said: "I came to Kolkata and found the city to be too beautiful. There are no potholes on roads. Facilities in the city have increased manifold. All this looks to be magical. I am very happy to have come here."
Bhosle was congratulated by the audience with a round of applause when she appreciated the city and at the same time, she sang a line from one of her most popular songs "Jete dao amake dekona" in honour of the Chief Minister who requested her to hum a few lines.
Banerjee also recollected that her government had also wanted to give Banga Bibhushan award to Lata Mangeshkar but mentioned: "We have the highest regard for Lataji. But we couldn't bring her due to her age." She added that her government is always ready to confer the award on her whenever she is fit to collect it.
The Chief Minister further said that she felt privileged to honour the "stars" from different fields with the Banga Bibhushan and Banga Bhushan awards. Besides Asha Bhosle, actor Prosenjit Chatterjee, retired Judge Shyamal Sen, author Samaresh Majumdar, Santhali language researcher Suhrid Kumar Bhowmick, Rajbangshi researcher Girija Shankar Ray, veteran footballers Subrata Bhattacharya and Mohammed Habib also received the Banga Bibhushan award. Elocutionist Partha Ghosh, singers Arundhati Hom Choudhury and Sreedhara Bandyopadhyay were recipients of the Banga Bhushan award.
The Chief Minister also announced that the Banga Bibhushan will be given to Birju Maharaj. The top brass of the state government will be visiting his house to hand over the award.
Earlier in the day, Banerjee had tweeted: "Today is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. Our State Government has always believed in unity in diversity. Communalism has no place in the minds and hearts of the people of Bengal".