WATCH: Pranab Mukherjee receives Bharat Ratna from President Kovindhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/pranab-mukherjee-nanaji-deshmukh-bhupen-hazarika-receive-bharat-ratna-from-president-kovind-5889525/

WATCH: Pranab Mukherjee receives Bharat Ratna from President Kovind

The award was also conferred on Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh and legendary singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika posthumously.

President Ram Nath Kovind confers Bharat Ratna upon former president Pranab Mukherjee during a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi, Thursday, Aug 8, 2019. (PTI Photo/Kamal Singh)

Former President Pranab Mukherjee received the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, from President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday. The award was also conferred on Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh and legendary singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika posthumously.

While Bhupen Hazarika’s son Tej Hazarika received the Bharat Ratna on his behalf, chairman of Deendayal Research Institute, Virendrajeet Singh, received the award on behalf of Nanaji Deshmukh.

Former president Pranab Mukherjee arrives to receive Bharat Ratna during a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi, Thursday, Aug 8, 2019. (PTI Photo/Kamal Singh)

Born on 11 December 1935, Mukherjee served as president between 2012 and 2017. Fondly known as ‘Pranab Da’, he has been a senior leader in the Congress and had held several ministerial portfolios. He was also the finance minister from 2009-2012 under the prime ministership of Manmohan Singh.

Chairman of Deendayal Research Institute, Virendrajeet Singh, receives Bharat Ratna on behalf of social activist and senior RSS leader Nanaji Deshmukh. (ANI photo)

Having dabbled in politics in 1969, Mukherjee had worked closely with former PM Indira Gandhi, becoming one of her trusted lieutenants.

Deshmukh was a Sangh Parivar veteran, founder member of the Janata Party and one of the seniormost members of the Bharatiya Janata Party. A social activist, Nanaji played an important role in carrying out the social restructuring programme in over 500 villages of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. He passed away on February 27, 2010, in Chitrakoot, at the age of 93.

Son of Bhupen Hazarika, Tej Hazarika, receives Bharat Ratna on his behalf. Legendary Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika was conferred Bharat Ratna. (ANI photo)

Hazarika (1926-2011) was a singer and filmmaker, popularly known as Sudhakantha. He was born in Sadiya, Assam. Known for his flawless baritone and his trademark Nepali cap, he was respected nationwide, as a great balladeer and also came to be known as the ‘Bard of the Brahmaputra’.

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