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Award Wapsi: Bhupen Hazarika's son turns down Bharat Ratna protesting CAB

Bhupen Hazarika was conferred Bharat Ratna on January 25 - a day before Republic Day 2019

Monday February 11, 2019 11:35 PM, ummid.com News Network

Bhupen Hazarika Bharat Ratna

Guwahati: Already facing the heat over a number of issues ahead of the 2019 General Elections, Modi government found itself in an awkward situation when Award Wapsi, which began two years back but receded of late, returned to haunt it once again.

In a latest episode of Award Wapsi, Bhupen Hazarika's son Tej turned down Bharat Ratna posthumously conferred on his father Bhupen Hazarika to protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill.

Tej, who is based in the US, talking to a local news channel in Assam on Monday evening, said that he rejected the award based on the current scenario in the state, alluding to the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

"Sudhakantha Bhupen Hazarika, who had always stood by the people of Assam at the time of struggle, perhaps would not have wished to accept the recognition. So as his son I am not accepting the recognition bestowed upon him posthumously by the government of India", Tej said while talking to Northeast Now,

"At the current situation in Assam, I can only do this much for the people of Assam. My mind and conscience is advising me not to accept the recognition. As the maestro was an institution, he was beyond any honour", he added.

Bhupen Hazarika was conferred Bharat Ratna on January 25 - a day before Republic Day 2019. Two days after the government's announcement, Tej Hazarika said, "The government's decision to confer Bharat Ratna on my father is a victory for humanity, diversity and the country's secular character."

Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award in India.

A number of scholars, academics and artists had earlier returned national awards conferred on them to protest against rising intolerance, mob lynching and rampant violence against Dalits and minorities started soon after BJP government took charge in New Delhi.

Tej Hazarika returned the award to protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) granting citizenship to Hindus migrating from Bangaldesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Whole of the North East India is protesting against the bill which is passed by the Lok Sabha and is pending in the Rajya Sabha.

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