They all from hail from different fields yet these 130 renowned figures have one thing in common. They have all been awarded India’s highest Civilian Award.
Heading up the proceedings were the recipients of the Padma Vibhushan – Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, former RBI Governor Yaga Venugopal Reddy, Apollo Hospital head Pratap Reddy and artists Umayalpuram K Sivaraman, Ebrahim Alkazi and Zohra Sehgal.
Joining them were the 43 individuals from diverse walks of life receiving the Padma Bhushan. Chosen by the Indian Government the winners include music exponent Professor Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana, danseuse Mallika Sarabhia and historian Professor Bipan Chandra.
The list also included music maestros Ilaiyaraaja and AR Rahman who already has a Grammy nomination and is shortlisted for an Oscar nomination.
Commenting on the honour Rahman said, “I’m overwhelmed that I have received the honour at the same time that music composer Ilayaraja has received it. It is a great personal statement for me. He has played for my father Shekher, and I have played for Ilayaraja Sir. It is a family thing for me,” explains the composer, adding that this honour has increased expectations that people have for him.
Composer Ilayaraja, stated the Padma Bhushan he received this year was not a recognition for him, but an appreciation of his work.
Keeping them company are Bollywood actor Aamir Khan and Newsweek editor Farid Zakaria.
Bollywood Diva Rekha is among the list of 81 Padma Shri awardees, alongside actor Saif Ali Khan who emailed his appreciation for this award, by saying how he was “very proud and honoured to have received this honour”. He went on to thank his family and loved ones: “who have been there for me and the industry for supporting me.” Oscar winning sound recordist Resul Pokutty was also honoured with a Padma Shri. Pookutty, said being recognised in his own country only added to the value of his international honours, including the Academy Award he received last year for Slumdog Millionaire, mentioning that this was the first time in his knowledge that a sound technician had been given the Padma Sri.