One of the highest civilian honours in India, the Padma awards were conferred on a total of 119 recipients in 2021, once again conveying a thumbs down message to VIPs whom the Narendra Modi regime has never celebrated. The 105-year-old Pappammal from Tamil Nadu was awarded the Padma Shri this year for her contribution to organic farming. Chutni Devi, who was once branded as a witch and started a fight against social evils, along with Mithila artist Dulari Devi and Social activist Shanti Devi, from Odisha, are among Padma Shri winners.
In another choice bearing Modi’s signature after the choices of Sharad Pawar and PA Sangma in 2017, Bhabani Charan Patnaik in 2018, Pranab Mukherjee in 2019 and SC Jamir in 2020, this year, former Chief Minister of Assam, the late Tarun Gogoi, has been conferred with the Padma Bhushan Award. Gogoi served as the Assam chief minister for three terms and was defeated by the BJP-led Sarbananda Sonowal government in 2016.
In comparison, when the UPA was in power, not a single opposition leader was honoured, Mohan Dharia being the only exception. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2005 and that too for social work after being away from politics for nearly two decades before that.
A ceremony to honour the awardees could not be held either in 2020 or 2021 owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Four separate ceremonies are being held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan today and tomorrow to honour recipients of the Padma awards.
President Ram Nath Kovind today conferred the Padma awards to badminton player PV Sindhu, footballer Oinam Bembem Devi, singer Pandit Channulal Mishra and journalist Lalbiakthanga Pachuau, among others.
The list comprises 7 Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 102 Padma Shri awardees. Sixteen awards have been conferred posthumously.
The list of awardees includes 29 women and a transgender.
President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Padma Awards in the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar were among the attendees. 119 Padma Awards were presented by President this year. The list comprised seven Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 102 Padma Shri Awards. 29 of the awardees are women, 16 posthumous awardees and one transgender awardee.
Kangana Ranaut, who was recently conferred with the National Award for film personalities was seen wearing a green-golden saree, large earrings and a white face mask while Pakistani-turned-Indian Adnan Sami opted for a black sherwani with golden embroidery at the neck.
Meanwhile, veteran singer Suresh Wadkar said that he feels fortunate to receive the award under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “It feels really special to receive the award under the tenures of Modi ji and President Ram Nath Kovind ji. It’s a big thing for me. I am extremely happy. I have been waiting for a long time to get this award and now I have finally received it,” Wadkar said.