Ex-West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, veteran singer reject Padma awards
- The former chief minister of West Bengal Bhattacharya was conferred the Padma Bhushan award
- Legendary playback singer Mukherjee declined to accept Padma Shri
- The Indian government on Tuesday announced a list of 128 awardees for 2022
Two persons hogged the limelight for rejecting the prestigious Padma awards after the Indian government announced the names of the awardees. Former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and legendry playback singer Sandhya Mukherjee refused to accept the Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, the country’s third and fourth highest civilian awards.
Also Read: Padma Awards 2022: Check full list here
"I know nothing about this award. No one has told me anything about it. If they have decided to offer Padma Bhushan to me, I refuse to accept it," news agency PTI quoted veteran CPM leader as saying.
"Buddhadeb Bhattacharya who was nominated for the Padma Bhushan award has declined to accept it. The CPM policy has been consistent in declining such awards from the state," the party said on Twitter.
"Our work is for the people not for awards. Com EMS who was earlier offered an award had declined it," it added.
Sandhya Mukherjee, who is one of the most famous singers of Bengal, has rejected the central government's offer to confer the Padma Shri award on her.
The 90-year-old singer refused to accept the award as she felt that the honour came too late. “Does anyone give Padma Shri this way? They do not know who I am! Should I take Padma Shri at the age of 90? And will I accept the honour just with a phone call? There is no respect for artists anymore,” an annoyed Mukherjee was quoted as saying by Anandabazar Patrika.
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“I have said, I don’t need Padma Shri. The audience is all mine,” she added.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad rejected Bharat Ratna
However, this is not the first time eminent people refused to take any award from the government. Previously, India's first Minister of Education Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose’s family declined to take the Bharat Ratna.
In 2020, the former chief minister of Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal, a 2015 Padma Vibhushan recipient, returned the award to express his solidarity with farmers, who were protesting against Farm Laws.
34 women to receive awards
On the eve of Republic Day, the Home Ministry announced the list of recipients of the Padma awards, India’s highest civilian awards. A total of 128 eminent personalities from various walks of life have been honoured this year with the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri awards. These awards are conferred by the President at ceremonial functions held at his official residence - the Rashtrapati Bhawan - around March or April each year.
This year's list comprised 4 Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 107 Padma Shri Awards. 34 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 10 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and 13 Posthumous awardees.
Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh and India's first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat who died in a helicopter crash were awarded Padma Vibhushan.
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 Covid vaccine Covaxin, were given Padma Bhushan.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, chairperson of Tata Group Natarajan Chandrasekaran were conferred Padma Bhushan.