The family of renowned Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika has reportedly turned down Bharat Ratna conferred to him in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
“I am aware of the situation in Assam. Sudhakantha Bhupen Hazarika, who had always stood by the people of Assam at the time of struggle, perhaps would not have wished to accept the recognition. So as his son, I am not accepting the recognition bestowed upon him posthumously by the government of India,” Tez, son of Bhupen Hazarika told an Assamese daily.
Besides Bhupen Hazarika, former President Pranab Mukherjee and social activist late Nanaji Deshmukh was honoured with the prestigious award.
Earlier, Fifteen times National Award winner Manipuri director Aribam Syam Sharma ha announced that he would return the Padma Shri in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.
“The Bill is against the interest of the people of North-East and the indigenous people of Manipur. Several people here have opposed the Bill, but it seems they (the Central government) are determined to pass it. “Padma Shri is an honour. It is one of the highest forms of recognition in India. So, I thought the best way to protest was by returning it. Padma Shri is an honour. It is one of the highest forms of recognitions in India. So, I thought the best way to protest was by returning it,” Sharma had told IANS.
The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who entered India before December 31, 2014.