Pranab Mukherjee, social activist Nanaji Deshmukh and singer Bhupen Hazarika to be awarded Bharat Ratna today

After the announcement of Pranab Mukherjee's name for the Bharat Ratna, Modi had lauded the former president for being an 'outstanding statesman of present times' and creating a 'strong imprint' on the nation's growth trajectory.

FP Staff August 08, 2019 10:16:14 IST
Pranab Mukherjee, social activist Nanaji Deshmukh and singer Bhupen Hazarika to be awarded Bharat Ratna today
  • The Rashtrapati Bhavan had made the announcement of Mukherjee's nomination alongside Deshmukh and Hazarika on 25 January

  • In 2015, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and founder of Banaras Hindu University Madan Mohan Malviya were given the award by the Narendra Modi government

  • Mukherjee, fondly known as 'Pranab Da', will be the sixth president to be receive this honour

Former president Pranab Mukherjee will be conferred India's highest civilian honour – Bharat Ratna award on Thursday. Along with Mukherjee, social activist Nanaji Deshmukh and noted Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika will be given the award posthumously.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan had made the announcement of Mukherjee's nomination alongside Deshmukh and Hazarika on 25 January. Mukherjee will be given the award by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Pranab Mukherjee social activist Nanaji Deshmukh and singer Bhupen Hazarika to be awarded Bharat Ratna today

File image of former president Pranab Mukherjee. PTI

The Bharat Ratna will be conferred after a gap of four years. In 2015, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and founder of Banaras Hindu University Madan Mohan Malviya were given the award by the Narendra Modi government.

A Rashtrapati Bhavan communique, on the eve of the 70th Republic Day, had said the President was pleased to award Bharat Ratna to Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously), Dr Bhupen Hazarika (posthumously) and Pranab Mukherjee.

Mukherjee, fondly known as 'Pranab Da', will be the sixth president to be receive this honour. The other presidents who had received the honour include Dr. S Radhakrishnan, Rajendra Prasad, Zakir Hussain and VV Giri.

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, PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh.

The 83-year-old served as India's 13th President from 2012 to 2017, but prior to his election to the post, Mukherjee also served as the Union Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012.

Born on 11 December, 1935, in a Bengali family in Mirati, a village in Birbhum district in West Bengal, Mukherjee completed his Masters in Political Science and History and LLB degree from University of Calcutta.

After being selected for India's highest civilian award, the former President had said, "I would like to express my deep gratitude to the people of this country...At the same time, with all humility, I accept this honour. I have conveyed my appreciation by talking to the President of the Republic. I also convey my deepest gratitude to the people of this country," he had told media on 26 January.

After the announcement of Mukherjee's name for the Bharat Ratna, Modi had lauded the former president for being an "outstanding statesman of present times" and creating a "strong imprint" on the nation's growth trajectory.

"His (Mukherjee) wisdom and intellect have few parallels. Delighted that he has been conferred the Bharat Ratna," Modi had tweeted.

Referring to Deshmukh, Modi had said his stellar contribution towards rural development showed the way for a new paradigm of empowering the deprived.

"He (Deshmukh) personifies humility, compassion and service to the downtrodden. He is a Bharat Ratna in the truest sense!" the prime minister had said in another tweet.

Praising Hazarika, Modi had said that his songs and music are admired by people across generations.

"From them radiates the message of justice, harmony and brotherhood. He (Hazarika) popularised India's musical traditions globally. Happy that the Bharat Ratna has been conferred on Bhupen Da," he had added.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date:

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