Sandhya Mukherjee, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee refuse Padma honours
Kolkata: Former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has decided to refuse the Padma Bhushan conferred upon him by the Central government.
Bhattacharjee was announced as one of the recipients of the Padma Bhushan honour on Tuesday, the eve of Republic Day. The award to the "veteran political leader and former Chief Minister of West Bengal" was given to him for his contribution to "public affairs".
However, after the announcement, Bhattacharya released a statement where he said: "I don't know anything about the Padma Bhushan award, nobody told me about it. If I have been awarded the Padma Bhushan, I would reject it."
Meanwhile, veteran singer Sandhya Mukherjee also refused to accept the Padma Shri from the Central government on Tuesday. The singer, who is presently unwell, felt humiliated after she was called up on Tuesday evening and was asked whether she would accept the Padma Shri award, which left her quite surprised.
Sources said that she felt humiliated by the way she was called up only a few hours before the conferment of the award, irrespective of her seniority and contribution to music. She informed the caller who was speaking in Hindi that she would not accept the award and said her innumerable audience is her prize.
Mukherjee is an Indian playback singer and musician specialising in Bengali music.
She had received Banga Bibhushan from the Bengal government in 2011 and National Film Award for best female playback for her songs in the films Jay Jayanti and Nishi Padma in the year 1970.
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Hindutva poster boy late Kalyan Singh and India's first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat who died in a helicopter crash recently were awarded Padma Vibhushan on Tuesday while veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was given Padma Bhushan.
Cyrus Poonawalla of the Serum Institute of India, which manufactured COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, and Krishna Ella and Suchitra Ella of Bharat Biotech, which produced India's indigenous Coronavirus vaccine Covaxin, were also given Padma Bhushan.
Kalyan Singh and General Rawat were given Padma Vibhushan, the country's second-highest civilian award, posthumously.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Google CEO Sundar Pichai were conferred Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award.
Late Punjabi folk singer Gurmeet Bawa, actor Victor Banerjee and former Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi have been awarded Padma Bhushan.
Classical musician Rashid Khan will also be felicitated with Padma Bhushan.
Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra and singer Sonu Nigam were awarded Padma Shri.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the President approved the conferment of 128 Padma Awards, including two duo cases, this year. In a duo case, the award is counted as one.
The list comprises 4 Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 107 Padma Shri awards. Thirty-four of the awardees are women and the list also includes 10 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and 13 posthumous awardees.