Tej Hazarika accepts ‘dreamlike’ privilege of Bharat Ratna invite
Singer Bhupen Hazarika’s son Tej on Friday said it was a tremendous honour for him and his family to be invited by the Centre to accept the Bharat Ratna on behalf of his father and it would be a “dreamlike privilege” to accept it.
“The government of India has graciously extended me an invitation to accept the Bharat Ratna for my father. He sacrificed much and devoted selflessly to the cause of a united and progressive India and now he is being recognised for that with this well-deserved award,” said Tej in a statement.
“It is a tremendous honour for me and my family to be invited by the Government of India to accept the Bharat Ratna on behalf of my late father. It will be my dreamlike privilege to receive it for my father and his fans and followers everywhere. As always, I will strive to follow in my father’s footsteps to work to bring light where there is darkness,” Tej said.
Tej had triggered a controversy on February 11 by issuing a statement where he had described awarding and receiving the Bharat Ratna as a “display of short-lived cheap thrill” while opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. There were reports that Tej had turned down the award.
“It is unfortunate that (some) people would completely misinterpret my February 11 statement regarding the Bharat Ratna itself by sadly misrepresenting my view of it,” he said.
Tej said though he had lived abroad most of his life, his Indian roots have been strong all along as “not only was I born in India (so was my mother and my father and their parents), I have family in India.”
“By upbringing, and through informed reflection I have always had the highest regard for India, its vast diversity and its noble institution of recognizing its exceptional individuals from all backgrounds with civilian awards — the highest of them being the Bharat Ratna, recently announced for my father,” Tej said.
Asked why he changed his his stand on the award, Tej did not reply.