Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, singer Sandhya Mukherjee refuse Padma Shri
"At the age of 90, with a singing career spanning over about eight decades, being chosen for Padma Shri is demeaning for a singer of her stature," said Ms Sengupta, daughter of Sandhya Mukherjee
New Delhi: Veteran Singer of West Bengal, Sandhya Mukherjee has refused the Padma Shri award saying it is more deserving of a junior artiste and not someone of her stature.
The 90-year old singer who is also known as Sandhya Mukhopadhyay was the second person from West Bengal who refused to accept civilian honour. Former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had refused to accept Padma Bhushan. He said that he was not aware that he had been named for it and he would reject it if it were so.
Ms. Mukherjee’s daughter Soumi Sengupta said that her mother told the senior official who called from Delhi that she was not willing to be named as a Padma Shri recipient and felt insulted her being offered the award at her age. Senior officials from Delhi contracted her that her name was referred from the Padma Shri award and asked her consent for the same.
The West Bengal former Chief Minister’s refusal of the award was political since he was a staunch critic of BJP, Ms. Sengupta said. But her mother’s decision of refusing the award was not political, she clarified.
It may be recalled that film writer Salim Khan had refused to accept the Padma Shri award in 2015. Romila Thapar had refused a Padma Bhushan award in 2005 and she returned her award in 1974 award in 1984 over the siege of the golden temple by the Indian Army.
Author Khushwant Singh had also returned his 1974 Padma Bhushan in 1984 over the same issue but he accepted the Padma Vibhushan in 2007.
"At the age of 90, with a singing career spanning over about eight decades, being chosen for Padma Shri is demeaning for a singer of her stature," Ms Sengupta said.