Bhupen Hazarika among stalwarts conferred Bharat Ratna

NEW DELHI, Aug 8: Former president Pranab Mukherjee, late Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh and late singer Bhupen Hazarika were conferred the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, on Thursday.
President Ram Nath Kovind gave the award to Mukherjee, Hazarika’s son Tej, and Vikramjeet Singh, a close relative of Deshmukh, at a function held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
Hazarika and Deshmukh were given the Bharat Ratna posthumously.
Vice President M Venkaikah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, several union cabinet ministers, and Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal were among those present at the function.
Born in 1926, Hazarika was a playback singer, lyricist, musician, singer, poet and filmmaker from Assam.
He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1987), the Padma Shri (1977), the Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1992), the Padma Bhushan (2001), and the Padma Vibhushan (2012 – posthumously).
The cultural icon also had a brush with politics and had unsuccessfully contested the Guwahati Lok Sabha seat on a BJP ticket in 2004. He was an Independent MLA in Assam during 1967-72.
Hazarika gave music in acclaimed Bollywood movies Rudaali, Darmiyaan, Gaja Gamini, Daman and many Assamese hits, including the award winning film Sameli Memsaab. (PTI)