Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian honour given in India for exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour. On conferment of award, recipient receives a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a medallion. It is not mandatory that Bharat Ratna should be given every year.
President Ram Nath Govind has announced the list of persons who have been conferred Bharat Ratna for the year 2019.
Former President Pranab Mukherjee, Social Activist Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously) and Musician Dr Bhupen Hazarika (posthumously) are to be conferred with India’s highest civilian honour this year.
The 83-year old Mukherjee who was the President between 2012 & 2017. He is known to be an outstanding statesman and has held several portfolios in UPA Government from 2004 till 2012.
‘Pranab Da’ as he is fondly called became India’s Youngest Finance Minister at the age of 47 in 1982. He is the only non-prime minister who was leader of the Lok Sabha for eight years.
Nanaji Deshmukh a social activist from Maharashtra is known for contribution towards rural development. He was instrumental in the JP movement against the Indira Gandhi Government in 1974.
Deshmukh was a long-time RSS member and founding member of the Jan Sangh. He was one of the key players in the merger of Janata party with the Jan Sangh.
During one of his interviews he said that real wealth of India is in her villages and it is an ulti duniya world that we are creating. He passed away on February 27, 2010 aged 95.
Singer Bhupen Hazarika born in 1926 was a playback singer, lyricist, musician, singer, poet and film-maker from Assam.
He was awarded Dada Saheb Phalke award in 1992. He was an independent MLA in Assam from 1967-72.He scored Music for the 1975-award winning film ‘Sameli Memsaab’. He passed away in 2011.