Bhupen Hazarika's son Tej says his statement on Bharat Ratna was misconstrued; grateful for honour conferred on father

  • According to reports, Tej Hazarika had previously turned down the Bharat Ratna in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

  • Bhupen's brother Samar Hazarika had stated that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and the Bharat Ratna were two separate issues

  • Bhupen Hazarika has given music for acclaimed Bollywood movies such as Rudaali, Darmiyaan and Gaja Gamini

Tej Hazarika, son of Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika issued a statement on 15 February stating that it was an honour for him and his family to receive the Bharat Ratna on behalf of his late father, according to an ANI tweet. This comes days after reports suggested that he turned down the highest civilian honour of the country in protest against centre's Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Hazarika wrote in his statement: "It is unfortunate that (some) people would completely misinterpret my public statement dated 11th February 2019 regarding the Bharat Ratna itself by sadly misrepresenting my view of it."

He added, "It will be my dreamlike privilege to receive it for my father and his fans and followers everywhere. As always, I will strive to follow in my father's footsteps to work to bring light where there is darkness."

Hazarika, who is currently in the United States said, "Although I have lived abroad most of my life my Indian roots have been strong all along as not only was I born in India (so was my mother and my father and their parents), I have family in India.

"By upbringing, and through informed reflection I have always had the highest regard for the Indian Republic, its vast diversity and its noble institution of recognizing its exceptional individuals from all backgrounds with civilian awards — the highest of them being the Bharat Ratna ..."

However, he had earlier stated that the name and words of his father, known also as the 'Bard of Brahmaputra,' continued to be invoked and celebrated to this day even as plans were underway to pass a bill that would "undermine his documented position."

While Bhupen's brother Samar Hazarika had conceded that as a family, they all felt the same way about the unpopular move to pass the bill in the Lok Sabha, he added that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and the Bharat Ratna were two separate issues. On 12 February, he also went on to say that his family would "graciously accept" India's highest civilian honour conferred upon his brother and told Firstpost that their family was grateful for the Bharat Ratna.

Bhupen has given music for acclaimed Bollywood movies such as Rudaali, Darmiyaan and Gaja Gamini. The Bharat Ratna was conferred upon him posthumously on Republic Day 2019.

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Updated Date: Feb 15, 2019 17:33:11 IST