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Citizenship Bill row: Bhupen Hazarika’s son turns down Bharat Ratna in protest against Citizenship Bill calling it ‘cheap thrills’

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 12 February 2019, 10:45 IST

A Popular Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika’s son Tez has decided to turn down the Bharat Ratna on Monday in a strong move against the Modi government over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016. Tez Hazarika called the centre’s move to award his father with the Bharat Ratna "a display of short-lived cheap thrills".

The popular singer’s son, Tez Hazarika, who lives in the US, in his official statement said he was unhappy how the centre planned to pass the "painfully unpopular" Bill which was against his father's beliefs and position.


"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 Bupenda believed in his heart of hearts," Tez Hazarika said.

Notably, Bhupen Hazarika, was among the three awarded the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award, along with former President Pranab Mukherjee and Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh this year. Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had named India's longest bridge after Bhupen Hazarika in 2019, the 9.15 km long Dhola-Sadiya bridge over the Brahmaputra, in Assam.

"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 centre moves on this matter far outweighs in importance the awarding and receiving of such national recognition - a display of short-lived cheap thrills," Tez Hazarika's scathing statement added.

However, as he was not invited, and no official statement has been made by the family of Hazarika’s so his rejection won’t be considered. Meanwhile, Assam Congress MP Ripun Bora has given zero hour notice in Rajya Sabha to discuss in house 'circumstances which led to late Bhupen Hazarika's son refusing father's Bharat Ratna'.

The Citizenship Bill is one of the key projects of the Modi government, that proposes a smoother and quicker grant of citizenship to those illegal migrants of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan from the minority communities after six years’ stay in India.

This project has been facing widescale protests against it throughout the northeast. The northeast including Meghalaya, Assam, Mizoram and Manipur, have been widely protesting against it.

The Citizenship Bill has been listed to come up in the Rajya Sabha today. It will be moved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh

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First published: 12 February 2019, 10:45 IST
 
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