Bhupen Hazarika's son refuses to accept Bharat Ratna, Mamata extends support to his decision
Guwahati, Feb 13: Assamese singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika's son has refused to accept the honour on his father's behalf given the present state of affairs in his region after the BJP government passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha.
However, Bhupen Hazarika's brother Samar Hazarika said any controversy over the Bharat Ratna awarded to the artiste was "totally unnecessary". He also clarified that Bhupen Hazarika's son, Tez, did not talk about rejecting the Bharat Ratna in his Facebook post.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came out in support of Bhupen Hazarika's son on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and said the Narendra Modi government should "understand and respect" the sentiments of the people of the north-east.
Her comments came in the backdrop of Hazarika's son Tez saying his father's name and words were being invoked and celebrated publicly (by the Centre) even as plans were afoot to pass the "painfully unpopular" Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
In a Facebook post on Monday, Tez had described the proposed legislation as "undermining" the "documented position" of Hazarika, who was awarded the Bharat Ratna -- the country's highest civilian award -- posthumously by the Modi government last month.
The Citixenship bill provides for according Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in the country, instead of 12 years currently, even if they do not possess any document.