The government has finally announced the prestigious Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award for former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and freedom fighter Madan Mohan Malaviya (posthumously).
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
“The President has been pleased to award Bharat Ratna to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (posthumously) and to Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee,” press communiqué from Rashtrapati Bhavan on 24th December 2014.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has expressed delight at the Bharat Ratna being conferred on Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya and Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“Bharat Ratna being conferred on Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya and Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee is a matter of great delight. Country`s highest honour to these illustrious stalwarts is a fitting recognition of their service to the Nation. Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya is remembered as a phenomenal scholar and freedom fighter who lit the spark of national consciousness among people. Atal ji means so much to everyone. A guide, inspiration and giant among giants. His contribution to India is invaluable,” the Prime Minister said.
Madan Mohan Malaviya
Announcement has come a day before Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 90th birthday i.e. 25th December 2014 which central government is also celebrating as good governance day.
Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee has briefly served as the external affair minister of India’s first coalition government formed by janata dal. He became India’s prime minister in the first NDA government for 13 days and then again in the following election for full term.
Madan Mohan Malaviya is a well known freedom fighter. He had two terms as party president of Indian National Congress in 1909 and 1918. He is credited with founding the famed Banaras Hindu University.
Prior to this, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, scientist Professor C N Rao, Economist Amartya Sen, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Rajiv Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, was awarded prestigious Bharat Ratna award.