On the eve of Republic Day, the government announced the list of recipients of this year’s Padma awards. The awardees include Bollywood actors, media personalities, former politicians, public officials and sportspersons who have made the country proud.
This year, the Padma Bhushan will go to former CAG Vinod Rai, Bollywood actor Anupam Kher and singer Udit Narayan. It will also go to former US Ambassador to India Robert D Blackwill, sportspersons Saina Nehwal and Sania Mirza, and Indu Jain of Bennett, Coleman & Co.
Actor Rajinikanth, media baron Ramoji Rao, former J-K governor Jagmohan and spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will be awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award bestowed by India. It will also be awarded posthumously to Dhirubhai Ambani, who founded Reliance Industries.
Senior lawyer Ujjwal Nikam, actors Ajay Devgn and Priyanka Chopra are on the list of Padma Shri awardees, along with director SS Rajamouli (of Bahubali fame) and Bhojpuri singer Malini Awasthi.
Devgn issued a statement from Bulgaria, where he is currently shooting for his film, Shivaay.
“I feel deeply humbled yet elated to receive such honor from my own country. The announcement today makes it special for me when I’m filming abroad for my new film Shivaay. I’d like to acknowledge that Padma Samman puts an extra responsibility on me and I promise to serve my country for as long as I can.”
With inputs from PTI