New Delhi, Dec 24: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and freedom fighter Madan Mohan Malaviya will be honoured with India’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna.
A statement from President Pranab Mukherjee’s office on Wednesday said: “The President has been pleased to award Bharat Ratna to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (posthumously) and to Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.”
According to reports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recommended the two names to the President after a meeting with top BJP leaders.
89-year-old Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the three-time prime minister will be the first leader from the country’s political right to be given a Bharat Ratna.
Vajpayee, who was prime minister till 2004, has stayed away from public life for the past few years because of his health.
The announcement comes a day before the birthday of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who turns 90 on Thursday, Christmas Day, being celebrated by the government as ‘good governance day’.
The Bharat Ratna for Dr Madan Mohan Malaviya, the freedom fighter and educationist popularly known as ‘Mahamana’, was one of the promises made by PM Modi in his poll campaign during general elections.
The Banaras Hindu University, founded by Dr Malaviya, is in the Prime Minister’s constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
Special documentaries on MM Malviya, Vajpayee on Doordarshan
Doordarshan National will telecast two special documentaries on the birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and the birth anniversary of well known freedom fighter and academic Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya on Thursday.
Geet Naya Gata Hoon, a documentary on Vajpayee will focus on the many milestones of a remarkable statesman, parliamentarian, orator, poet and litterateur. With the backdrop of his poetry and songs, the film will be telecast on DD National on Thursday at 11 a.m. and would be repeated at 10.30 p.m.
On Thursday, DD National will also broadcast another documentary titled “Mahamana,shat Shat Naman, Pandit Madanmohan Malviya”
The film would be an account of his journey and achievements and would be telecast for all DD regional Kendras at 6 pm on Thursday.
Malviya was an Indian educationist and politician notable for his role in the Indian independence movement and his espousal of Hindu nationalism .
Later in life, he was also addressed as ‘Mahamana’. He was the President of the Indian National Congress on two occasions (1909 and 1918) and today is most remembered as the founder of the largest residential university in Asia and one of the largest in the world, having over 12,000 students across arts, sciences, engineering and technology, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) at Varanasi in 1916.
(With Agency Inputs)