Spiritual gurus and BJP sympathisers Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, actors Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth, BJP veteran L K Advani and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and more than two dozen doctors are among those to be conferred the Padma awards this Republic Day.
Advani and Badal are the only two politicians who find place in the list of 148 recipients. Actor Dilip Kumar, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, lyricist and ad guru Prasoon Joshi, who worked on the BJP’s advertisement campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, and scriptwriter Salim Khan, father of actor Salman Khan, also figure in the list.
Sports personalities chosen for the awards are hockey team captain Sardara Singh, badminton player P V Sindhu, chess grandmaster Sasikiran Krishnan, wrestler Sushil Kumar, his coach Satpal and Arunima Sinha, the first women amputee mountaineer to climb Mount Everest.
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Economist Bibek Debroy, now a member of NITI Aayog, mediapersons Rajat Sharma, Swapan Dasgupta, Hari Shankar Vyas, late actor Pran have also been nominated for the award.
Former bureaucrats who figure in the list are former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami, K S Bajpai, P V Rajaraman. Agriculture economist Ashok Gulati, senior lawyers Harish Salve, K K Venugopal and constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap too will be conferred the country’s highest civilian awards.
Business persons Shiv Nadar (HCL), Cipla’s Y K Hamid and T V Mohandas Pai (formerly of Infosys) have made it to the list.
From art and culture, the recipients include A Kanyakumari (Carnatic violinist), Girija Devi (Hindustani vocalist), L Subramaniam (musician), Malini Awasthi (folk singer), Smriti Biswas (actor), Sudha Raghunathan (Carnatic vocalist), music directors Anu Malik and Ravindra Jain and Assamese film director Jahnu Barua.
Following the recent space mission successes, two scientists from ISRO, S Arunan of MOM, and S K Shivkumar of Chandrayaan, will be felicitated. Chewang Norphel, popularly known as iceman who built artificial glaciers in Ladakh, Jadav Molai Peyang (tribal environmentalist), Neil Herbert Nonkynrih of the famous Shillong Choir, Manoj Das (Oriya writer) also figure in the list.
A large number of religious leaders too are there: Late Syedna Mohd Burhanuddin (Dawoodi Bohra community), Theg Tse Rinpoche (Tawang monastery), Shivakumara Swami (head of Shree Siddaganga Mutt, Tumkur), Jagatguru Ramanandacharya Swami Rambhadracharya (Tulsi Peeth) and Swami Satyamitranand Giri (Samanvaya Kutir at Haridwar).