Tej did not refuse Bharat Ratna: Hazarika’s brother

The reaction came following reports in a section of the media that Tej, a New York-based publisher and writer, had refused to accept the Bharat Ratna conferred on his father. PTI file photo.

Bhupen Hazarika’s younger brother, Samar Hazarika, on Tuesday clarified that the cultural icon’s son Tej never refused the Bharat Ratna conferred posthumously on his father by the Centre.

“It has come to our notice that a controversy has been created through media reports regarding Bharat Ratna to the iconic artist. In this regard we want to say that the statement issued by Tej did not mention about rejecting the award. Any controversy in this regard is unwanted,” Hazarika’s brother said in a statement emailed to DH. “The Bharat Ratna announced for Bhupen Hazarika has equally elated us the way it has given happiness to the people of Assam,” he said.

The reaction came following reports in a section of the media that Tej, a New York-based publisher and writer, had refused to accept the Bharat Ratna conferred on his father.

Valued as jewel

In his Facebook comment on Tuesday, Tej said, “Let me remind you that my father has already been awarded the Bharat Ratna-- whether I receive it or not—forever he will be Bharat Ratna and the different governments will treat that according to their visions. And of course it is a great honor for an individual to receive from the great Republic of India, but the quality of life for all generations is more important than one person's recognitions. He was already valued as a jewel.”

Narendra Modi-led government on January 26 announced Bharat Ratna for Hazarika, former President Pranab Mukherjee and the late social activist Nanaji Deshmukh.

Samar said every award given to the legendary singer had added to the pride of Assam and the Assamese.

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Tej did not refuse Bharat Ratna: Hazarika’s brother

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