The Padma Awards 2019, one of the highest civilian honours of India announced today on the eve of Republic Day. Out of total 112 Padma awards: one Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher order) and six Padma Shri (distinguished service) were announced to the field of classical music and dance.
More than seven years after his death, former Indian playback singer Bhupen Hazarika is to be awarded India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna. Bhupen Hazarika was widely hailed as ‘Sudhakantha’ and his songs were mostly written and sung in the Assamese language on themes revolving around humanity, empathy, communal amity and universal brotherhood and justice.
The highest civilian award Bharat Ratna is awarded in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour. The recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President of India.
Pandit Budhaditya Mukherjee, Indian classical sitar and surbahar maestro of the Imdadkhani gharana is nominated for Padma Bhushan. Pt. Mukherjee is recognizable by his intricate vocalic playing complemented by spectacular high-speed playing.
Conferment of Padma Shri has been announced upon Hindustani Music scholar and vocalist Pandit Rajeshwar Acharya, Eminent Tabla player Swapan Chaudhuri, Bharatanatyam exponent and a descendant of the Tanjore Quartet brothers Narthaki Natraj, French Kathakali dancer Milena Salvini, and Sarod maestro Pandit Rajeev Taranath.
Besides classical music, musicians from folk and film field also included in the list of Padma Awards. The list includes Folk singer Teejan Bai (Padmavibhushan), Folk singer Pritam Bhartwan (Uttarakhand), dancer & actor Prabhu Deva, Folk dancer Joravarsinh Jadav (Gujarat), Carnatic Bhakti vocalist K G Jayan (Kerala), Playback singer Shankar Mahadevan, folk singer Anup Ranjan Pandey (Chhattisgarh), famous percussionist Anandan Sivamani, Folk singer Hiralal Yadav (Uttar Pradesh) and Flautist Thanga Darlong (Tripura).
Padma Awards, which were instituted in the year 1954, is announced every year on the occasion of Republic Day. This year a record number of 49,992 nominations have been received which is 32 times higher over the nominations received in 2010. As against 1,313 nominations received in 2010, 18,768 were received in the year 2016 and 35,595 nominations in 2017.
The Government has transformed the Padma Awards into a ‘People’s Awards’ in a true sense. People of the country nominated unsung heroes who deserve these top Civilian awards.
The nomination process for Padma Awards was made online in the year 2016; and a simple, accessible and secure online platform was put in place to encourage citizens to participate in large numbers.
The awards are expected to be presented by the President of India in the month of March/April 2019. The awardees will be presented a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a medallion.
The award does not amount to a title and cannot be used as a suffix or prefix to the awardees’ name.