The award was received by Bhupen Hazarika‘s son Tej Hazarika on his behalf.
Apart from Hazarika, former President Pranab Mukherjee and social activist Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously) were also conferred with India’s highest civilian honour.
While former President Pranab Mukherjee himself received the award, a relative of Nanaji Deshmukh, Virender Jeet Singh received the award for him.
Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal said that conferring the Bharat Ratna on Dr Bhupen Hazarika (posthumously) is a matter of great joy and pride for the people of Assam.
“This momentous act of the government of India inspires the Assamese people living in India and abroad,” Sonowal stated in an official release.
“Dr Bhupen Hazarika had a multifaceted personality who set a new benchmark in the realm of Indian art and culture,” the CM further said.
“The bohemian artist worked with humanitarian sensibilities to foster goodwill and amity in society. His songs reflected the voice of the voiceless,” further added Sonowal.
“This step has fulfilled a long pending demand and aspiration of the people of Assam,” he said.
Sonowal called upon the people of Assam to follow the ideals espoused by Dr Hazarika.
He urged all to put their energies for building a resurgent Assam.
The CM also congratulated and extended his good wishes to Tez Hazarika and other family members of the singing maestro.
Vice President M Venkaikah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal and several union ministers were present at the function.