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Two more Padma Awards were returned: Controversy erupts

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A day before, the former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee refused Padma award, one of India’s highest civilian awards. Now the legendary singer Sandhya Mukherjee and tabla exponent Anindya Chatterjee also declined the awards, the refusal is unlike Buddhadeb’s, which was prompted by a perceived disdain for state-awards.

Padma Shri is the India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, which is presented on January 25th every year. Sandhya Mukherjee was one among the awardee, who is 90 years old and has a career span of more than 70 years. Mukherjee, a student of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, has sung thousands of songs for Indian films and produced albums of modern, classical, and semi-classical music. In 1970, she won a national award for play-back singing.

The relatives of Mukherjee told the media person that accepting the award would be demeaning to her. Suman Chatterjee, a singer and former Trinamool Congress (TMC) Parliament member stated that this was done on purpose to offend her since she is Bengali. Padma Bhushan has been awarded to a few people who are not even qualified to be Sandhya Mukherjee’s students. She also states that she would like to leave the country because the government has no respect for its people. Suman Chatterjee had won the national award a few years ago.

Anindya Chatterjee made the same claim on Tuesday. He claimed that the Padma Shri was bestowed upon him by people who knew nothing about him or his career.

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