Republic Day 2019 honours: On the eve of the 70th Republic day, the government awarded the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna to former President Pranab Mukherjee and posthumously to RSS ideologue Nanaji Deshmukh and Assamese singer, lyricist, musician Bhupen Hazarika. Soon after the announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted about the awardees and highlighted their contribution in their respective fields to the society. Remembering Deshmukh, PM Modi said his stellar contribution towards rural development showed the way for a new paradigm of empowering those living in our village.

Invoking Bhupen Hazarika and his contribution to music, the prime minister said he popularised India’s musical traditions globally. Pranab Mukherjee served as the 13th President of India from 2012 to July 2017.

Before this, Pranab Mukherjee was a senior leader of the Congress party and occupied several ministerial portfolios during the UPA-1 and UPA-2.

Bhupen Hazarika, popularly known as Sudhakantha, was a great singer, lyricist and filmmaker from Assam. Hazarika was awarded the Dada Saheb Phalke Award – India’s highest award in cinema – in 1992.

Nanaji Deshmukh, known for his contribution in the fields of education, health, and rural self-reliance, was a leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi congratulated former president Pranab Mukherjee on being conferred the Bharat Ratna. In a tweet, the Congress chief said his party takes great pride in the fact that the immense contribution of one of their own has been recognised and honoured. Former president Pranab Mukherjee in a tweet said he accepts great honour Bharat Ratna bestowed upon him.


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