As the protest over the Citizenship Amendment Bill intensifies across the northeast region, Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika’s family has decided to turn down the Bharat Ratna conferred to him earlier this year by the Modi government, reports suggest.
Hazarika was posthumously awarded the highest civilian award. The decision comes in the backdrop of the Citizenship Amendment Bill which is pending in the Rajya Sabha and is likely to be passed in the ongoing Budget session.
Tej Hazarika, son of Bhupen Hazarika, has said that he will not be accepting the Bharat Ratna conferred on his father posthumously. Tej, who is based in the US, confirmed to a local news channel in Assam on Monday evening, that he rejects the award based on the current scenario in the state, alluding to the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
However, 67-year-old Tej, Who is a publisher, writer and teacher, based in New York, has made no official statement regarding the issue yet.
A poet and a lyricist, Hazarika has penned songs, which although written and sung in Assamese, have been known to have a universal appeal, stepped in themes of humanity and communal harmony. He was also the recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1987), as well as the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1992). In May 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s longest bridge (9.15 kms), which runs over the Lohit river in Assam. Modi named the Dhola-Sadia bridge after Bhupen Hazarika.