Singer Bhupen Hazarika. File photo
Famed Indian singer Bhupen Hazarika's family has decided to turn down the Bharat Ratna that was conferred to him by the Modi government this year, as a mark of protest against the Citizenship Bill.
Bhupen Hazarika was posthumously honoured with the highest civilian award this Republic Day along with former President Pranab Mukherjee and late social activist Nanaji Deshmukh.
However, there is lack of consensus among all family members of Bhupen Hazarika over turning down the Bharat Ratna.
According to sources, Bhupen Hazarika's son Tez Hazarika, who is based in the US, has expressed concerns over the Citizenship Bill.
However, Bhupen Hazarika's brother, Samar has said that such a big decision of returning the Bharat Ratna cannot be taken by an individual.
Earlier this month, renowned Manipuri film director Aribam Syam Sharma had announced his decision to return the Padma Shri that was conferred on him in 2006 in protest against the Modi government's Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
The northeast states, especially Meghalaya, Manipur and Assam, have been burning over the past several months in protest against the contentious Citizenship Bill that seeks to give citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from three other countries.
Amid severe protests over the Citizenship Bill, Prime Minister Narendra was shown black flags in Assam during an election rally. However, he continued to defend the bill in the northeast state on Saturday (February 9) and said that his government wants to free the country of infiltrators.
Slogans like 'Modi go back', 'Scrap Citizenship Amendment Bill', 'Joi Aai Asom' (Glory to Mother Assam) greeted PM Modi during his two-day visit.