Bhupen Hazarika’s family refused to accept the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award bestowed for his contribution to music.
Bhupen Hazarika’s son, Tez Hazarika called the government’s announcement “a display of short lived cheap thrills”.
Tez slammed the government for introducing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 that aims to grant citizenship to non-muslim immigrants living in the North East.
Tez Hazarika who is currently based in the U.S. expressed unhappiness over how the centre plans to pass the unpopular bill which was against beliefs and positions of his father. Tez Hazarika’s statement reads-
“I believe that my father’s name and words are being invoked and celebrated publicly while plans are afoot to pass a painfully unpopular bill regarding citizenship that is actually undermining his documented position. It would in reality be in direct opposition to what Bhupenda believed in his heart of hearts.
I go on record here to answer that A) I have not received any invitation so far there is nothing to reject, and B)how the center moves on this matter far outweighs in importance the awarding and receiving of such national recognition – a display of short lived cheap thrills.”
The late musicians brother Samar Hazarika believes that the award should be given to Bhupen.
The family seems to be completely divided over the award.
During the Republic day address, President Ram Nath Kovind named Bhupen Hazarika for the Bharat Ratna along with former President Pranab Mukherjee and Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh.
The government’s citizenship bill makes it easier to grant citizenship to non-muslim illegal migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh after six years stay in India.