On 25th January 2019, the Indian President – Ram Nath Kovind declared the three recipients of the prestigious Bharat Ratna Award. The ones that will be felicitated are - former president of India Pranab Mukherjee, late social activist Nanaji Deshmukh and late legendary singer Bhupen Hazarika. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, took to his Twitter account and issued a post about three civilians being honoured with the prestigious Bharat Ratna. Modi also shared his few cents talking about their contribution.
Talking about the recipients - Pranab Mukherjee’s political career lasted for about five decades wherein he served as the Indian President from the year 2012 to 2017. He was also a senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister. Late social activist, Nanaji Deshmukh also happened to be a long-time member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He also played an important role in the Jai Prakash Narain Movement and was one of the founder members of Bhartiya Jan Sangh which later turned out to become the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). Nanaji Deshmukh was felicitated with a Padma Vibhushan in the year 1999 and he breathed his last in 2010.
Late musician and singer Bhupen Hazarika composed songs in multiple languages that included Bengali, Hindi, Oriya and Assamese. His songs carried the essence of humanity, brotherhood, communal harmony, justice and peace. The late singer has been presented with various other rewards for his immense contribution in the field of music. In the past, Bhupen Hazarika has been awarded Sangeet Natak Academy Award, Padmashri and Padmabhushan.
The Bharat Ratna is India’s highest civilian honour and it is granted to people in recognition for their exceptional service, contribution and performance of the highest order irrespective of their race, occupation, position or sex. The recommendations for Bharat Ratna recipients are made by the Prime Minister to the President.