Ex-President Pranab Mukherjee, two others awarded Bharat Ratna
New Delhi, Aug 08: Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday was conferred with India's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, by President Ram Nath Kovind on 8 August. The 83-year-old has had a long political career spanned over five decades, during which he served as the thirteenth president from 2012-2017 and as the Union Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012, among various key posts. Other two who were awarded was Hazarika and Social activist Nanaji Deshmukh.
Hazarika, popularly known as Sudhakantha (nightingale), is also a poet and a filmmaker. He passed away on 5 November 2011. Most popular in West Bengal and Bangladesh, Hazarika has been credited for introducing the folk music of Assam and Northeast India to the Indian cinema.
Social activist Nanaji Deshmukh, who was also posthumously awarded, is one of the founding members of Bharatiya Jan Sangh. He also established a chain of RSS-inspired schools throughout India.
Born in Maharashtra's Hingoli, Deshmukh represented Uttar Pradesh's Balrampur constituency in the Lok Sabha from 1977 to 1979.
The announcement for Bharat Ratna was made on 25 January in a statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan.