Former President Pranab Mukherjee will be awarded the Bharat Ratna on August 8. The award would also be given posthumously to social activist Nanaji Deshmukh and Bhupen Hazarika.
In a political career spanning five decades, Mukherjee has been a senior leader in the Indian National Congress and has occupied several ministerial portfolios in the Government of India.
Pranab Mukherjee married Suvra Mukherjee, who hailed from Narail in Bangladesh, and migrated to Kolkata at the age of 10.
He studied at Suri Vidyasagar College and later earned advanced degree in history and political science as well as in law.
Prolific singer-composer Dr Bhupen Hazarika will be awarded Bharat Ratna posthumously during August 8 ceremony.
Born in 1926 in Sadiya into a family of teachers, the academically-talented Hazarika completed his basic education from Guwahati in 1942, BA from Banaras Hindu University in 1944 and MA (Pol Sc) in 1946. He did his PhD in Mass Communication from Columbia University. He also received the Lisle Fellowship from Chicago University, US to study the use of educational project development through cinema.
Hazarika met legandary African-American singer Paul Robeson during his stay in the US. Hazarika then transformed Robeson's 'Old Man River' to the megahit 'Bistirno Parore' (‘O Ganga behti ho' in Hindi), which has come to become almost like an anthem for generations of pro-Left activists.
(More to follow)