Ex-WB CM Bhattacharjee, Renowned Tabla Player & Singer Reject Padma Awards

A recipient turning down the award is rare since the acceptance is confirmed before the formal announcement.

2 min read
Hindi Female

Hours after the central government on Tuesday, 25 January, announced the Padma Awards for the year 2022, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader and former West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee refused the Padma Bhushan announced for him.

"I am not aware of any such thing. If the government has decided to give me (the award), I refuse it," he said in a brief statement in Bengali, posted on his party's Bengal social media handles.

One of the highest civilian awards of the country, the Padma Awards are given in three categories – Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri. A recipient turning down the award is extremely rare since the acceptance is confirmed before the formal announcement.

However, the former CM is not the only one from West Bengal to reject the honour this year, with eminent tabla player Pandit Anindya Chatterjee and legendary singer Sandhya Mukherjee also turning down the award.


'Would Have Accepted the Honour 10 Years Ago': Pandit Anindya Chatterjee

Speaking to news agency PTI, Chatterjee stated that he received a phone call from the Centre on 25 January, seeking his consent to accept the honour but declined it.

“However, I politely declined. I said thank you but I am not ready to receive Padma Shri at this phase of my career. I have passed that phase,” reported PTI, quoting Chatterjee.

Chatterjee, who received the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 2002, said that he would have accepted the honour had it been conferred on him a decade ago.

“Many of my contemporaries and juniors were given Padma Shri years ago. Anyway, I said with all humbleness, that I am sorry but I cannot accept it (award) now,” he said, added the report.


‘Felt Insulted for Being Offered the Award at My Age’: Veteran Singer Sandhya Mukherjee

Ninety-year-old veteran singer Sandhya Mukherjee said that the award was more deserving of a junior artist and not someone of her stature.

Speaking to PTI, Mukherjee’s daughter Soumi Sengupta said that her mother told the senior officer who called from Delhi that she felt “insulted” for being offered the award at her age.

"At the age of 90, with a singing career spanning over about eight decades, being chosen for Padma Shri is demeaning for a singer of her stature," Sengupta said, according to the report.

(with inputs from IANS, NDTV)

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