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Current Affairs

President of India Presents Bharat Ratna Awards

Date: 09 August 2019 Tags: Honours & Awards

Context: The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presented Bharat Ratna Awards to Shri Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously), Dr Bhupendra Kumar Hazarika (posthumously) and Shri Pranab Mukherjee at an Investiture Ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (August 8, 2019).


About Awardees:

  • Pranab Mukherjee: Pranab Mukherjee''s life-long political career spanned about five decades, during which he held various key posts in the Congress as well as in the governments led by Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, P V Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh. The 83-year-old served as India’s 13th President from 2012-2017, but prior to his election to the post, Mukherjee also served as the Union Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012. The other Presidents, who had been conferred the Bharat Ratna include Dr S Radhakrishnan, Rajendra Prasad, Zakir Hussain and VV Giri.
  • Bhupen Hazarika: Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika was most popular in Bengal and Bangladesh and was responsible for introducing the culture and folk music of Assam and northeast India to Hindi cinema. Popularly known as "Sudhakantha", meaning the nightingale, he had received the National Film Award, Padmashri, Dada Saheb Phalke Award, Padma Vibhushan, and many other prestigious honours. He was known for his baritone voice and for making music on themes ranging from romance to social and political commentary. Some of his renowned works in Assamese music which audiences still enjoy includes "Bistirno Parore", "Moi Eti Jajabo", "Ganga Mor Maa", and "Bimurto Mur Nixati Jen."
  • Nanaji Deshmukh: Born on October 11 in 1916 in a small town of Hingoli in Maharashtra, Nanaji Deshmukh represented Uttar Pradesh's Balrampur constituency in the Lok Sabha from 1977 to 1979. He also served as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha from 1999 to 2005. Nanaji Deshmukh was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan earlier. One of the founding members of Bharatiya Jan Sangh, Nanaji Deshmukh established a chain of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-inspired schools throughout India. He was associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh till his death at the age of 94 in 2010. The veteran also played a key role in the Jai Prakash (JP) movement against Emergency in 1974 and was instrumental in the formation of the Janata Party government in 1977.

About Bharat Ratna: It is the highest civilian award that is given in recognition of exceptional service, performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour.