Mamata Banerjee gave away the Banga Bibhushan and Banga Bhushan honours to 32 people, including artistes, industrialists, scientists and sportspersons, on Tuesday to celebrate her government’s third anniversary. “Today is a significant day for us. Three years ago, our government had taken oath and started work, which we are now trying to take forward. We try to dedicate this day to individuals for their contributions to the world of culture, arts, music, sports and industry. We will continue this award to showcase Bengal’s talents to the world,” Mamata said at the Science City auditorium.
As she spoke, many in the audience wondered if the chief minister was running short of names because at least 10 people on Tuesday’s list had received one or the other of the several culture awards that her government has instituted. A group outside the auditorium protested the award to doctor Sukumar Mukherjee, who has been held guilty of medical negligence by the Supreme Court in the 1988 death of American-Bengali Kunal Saha’s wife Anuradha during a trip to India.
Some of the honourees were BM Khaitan, Bhaichung Bhutia, Indranil Sen, Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri, Dipankar De, Madhabi Mukherjee, Debasree Roy, Lopamudra Mitra, Alokananda Roy, Makhanlal Natta, Gautam Sarkar, Haimanti Shukla, Arun Bhaduri, Sonam Tshering Lepcha, Swagatalakshmi Dasgupta and Srikanto Acharya.
Father Felix Raj, cricketers Laxmiratan Shukla and Manoj Tiwari and sarod player Tejendra Narayan Majumdar could not make it to the function.
Picture by Sanat Kumar Sinha