Political stalwarts Murli Manohar Joshi and Sharad Pawar, former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma, cricketer Virat Kohli and Carnatic musician KJ Yesudas are among the 89 people chosen for this year’s Padma awards.
Joshi, Pawar, Sangma and Yesudas are among seven to be awarded the Padma Vibhushan, country’s second highest civilian award. The Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, will not be conferred on anybody this year.
The other awardees in this category are Prof Udipi Ramachandra Rao, former chairman of space agency ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation); spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, who has millions of following across the world; and Sunder Lal Patwa, former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and a BJP veteran.
Sangma and Patwa have been conferred the award posthumously.
The 89 awardees this year include 19 women, five from the category of foreigners, NRIs and PIOs and six posthumous receipients. The seven Padma Vibhushan winners are joined by a similar number of Padma Bhushan awardees, and for the first time, the Padma list does not include a Bollywood star.
The seven Padma Bhushan winners are yoga guru Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati; Dr Tehemton Erach Udwadia, the father of laparoscopic surgery in India; Grammy awardee and Hindustani classical instrumentalist Vishwa Mohan Bhat, Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhron; Sanskrit scholar Devi Prasad Dwivedi; Jain spiritual leader Ratna Sundar Maharaj; and political satirist and journalist Cho Ramaswamy, on whom the award will be conferred posthumously.
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli; Sakshi Malik, the first woman wrestler from the country to win an Olympic medal; former Lok Sabha secretary-general TK Vishwanathan; chef Sanjeev Kapoor; former diplomat Kanwal Sibal; endocrinologist MM Godbole; film critic Bhawana Somaaya; Farsi writer KN Pandita; French historian Michel Danino; and singer Kailash Kher are among 75 people chosen for this year’s Padma Shri awards.