Music maestro late Dr Bhupen Hazarika on Friday has been conferred the country’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna.

President Ram Nath Kovind, in a communiqué, announced the government’s decision to confer Bharat Ratna on Dr Bhupen Hazarika posthumously.

The country’s highest civilian award was also conferred on former President Pranab Mukherjee and Social Activist Nanaji Deshmukh posthumously.

Dr Bhupen Hazarika is the second Assamese, after Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi to have been honoured with Bharat Ratna.

In 1999, the first chief minister of Assam, Gopinath Bordoloi was conferred Bharat Ratna posthumously. 20 years later the government has honoured Dr Bhupen Hazarika with Bharat Ratna, posthumously.

Dr Hazarika was posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award in 2012.

He had received many laurels in his lifetime including the Assam Ratna in 2008, Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1992, the country’s highest award in cinema.

In 2001 he was awarded Padmabhushan and honoured with Padmashri in 1977, Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1987, National Film Award for Best Music Direction in 1975 for his film Chameli Memsaab and President’s medal for his films Shakuntala in 1961, Pratidhwani in 1964 and Lotighoti in 1967.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express his happiness, “The songs and music of Shri Bhupen Hazarika are admired by people across generations. From them radiates the message of justice, harmony and brotherhood. He popularised India’s musical traditions globally. Happy that the Bharat Ratna has been conferred on Bhupen Da.”

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal welcomed the Centre’s decision to confer the highest civilian award on Dr Hazarika.

Finance & Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma expressed his delight tweeted, “It is matter of great pride and delight that Dr Bhupen Hazarika has been posthumously conferred with . My gratitude to Prime Minister Sri . We are all elated.”

Bhupen Hazarika’s brother, Samar Hazarika also expressed happiness on his eldest brother being conferred the country’s highest civilian award.

Meanwhile, Noted surgeon and population activist, Dr Ilias Ali along with Grassroots Innovator, Uddhab Kumar Bharali, have been honoured with Padma Shri.

Dr Ilias Ali, who is also the chairman of North East Population Foundation is a reputed surgeon credited with conducting ‘vasectomy’ on 3 lakh male individuals.

Known for his innovation, Uddhab Bharali first designed his own machine for making polythene covers catering to tea estates in Assam, Bharali has more than 100 innovations to his credit.

Bharali’s innovations focused on solving issues in and around Lakhimpur district with special focus on agriculture and small-scale industries.

The others to get Padma Shri from the Northeast are archer Bombayla Devi Laishram from Manipur for her performance in the field of Sports-Archery and musician Thanga Darlong from Tripura for his contribution to the field of Art-Music-Flute.

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