The Padma Bhushan
is the third-highest civilian award
in the Republic of India
, preceded by the Bharat Ratna
and the Padma Vibhushan
and followed by the Padma Shri
. Instituted on 2 January 1954, the award is given for "distinguished service of a high order...without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex." The award criteria include "service in any field including service rendered by Government servants" including doctors and scientists, but exclude those working with the public sector undertakings
. As of 2020, the award has been bestowed on 1270 individuals, including twenty-four posthumous and ninety-seven non-citizen recipients.
Padma Bhushan award recipients
When instituted in 1954, twenty-three recipients were honoured with the Padma Bhushan. The Padma Bhushan, along with other personal civil honours
, was briefly suspended twice, from July 1977 to January 1980 and from August 1992 to December 1995. Some of the recipients have refused or returned their conferments.
On 2 January 1954, a press release was published from the office of the secretary to the President of India announcing the creation of two civilian awards—Bharat Ratna
, the highest civilian award, and the three-tier Padma Vibhushan
, classified into "Pahela Varg" (Class I), "Dusra Varg" (Class II), and "Tisra Varg" (Class III), which rank below the Bharat Ratna.
On 15 January 1955, the Padma Vibhushan was reclassified into three different awards: the Padma Vibhushan, the highest of the three, followed by the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Shri
The award, along with other personal civilian honours
, was briefly suspended twice in its history.
The first time in July 1977 when Morarji Desai
was sworn in as the fourth Prime Minister of India
, for being "worthless and politicized."
The suspension was rescinded on 25 January 1980 after Indira Gandhi
became the Prime Minister.
The civilian awards were suspended again in mid-1992, when two Public-Interest Litigations
were filed in the High Courts of India
, one in the Kerala High Court
on 13 February 1992 by Balaji Raghavan and another in the Madhya Pradesh High Court
(Indore Bench) on 24 August 1992 by Satya Pal Anand. Both petitioners questioned the civilian awards being "titles" per an interpretation of Article 18 (1)
of the Constitution of India
On 25 August 1992, the Madhya Pradesh High Court issued a notice temporarily suspending all civilian awards.
A Special Division Bench of the Supreme Court of India was formed comprising five judges: A. M. Ahmadi C. J., Kuldip Singh
, B. P. Jeevan Reddy, N. P. Singh, and S. Saghir Ahmad. On 15 December 1995, the Special Division Bench restored the awards and delivered a judgment that the "Bharat Ratna and Padma awards are not titles under Article 18 of the Constitution of India."
The award is conferred for "distinguished service of a high order...without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex." The criteria include "service in any field including service rendered by Government servants" but exclude those working with the public sector undertakings
, with the exception of doctors and scientists.
The 1954 statutes did not allow posthumous awards,
but this was subsequently modified in the January 1955 statute; D. C. Kizhakemuri
became the first recipient to be honoured posthumously in 1999.
The Padma Bhushan award recipients are announced every year on 26 January, the Republic Day of India
, and registered in The Gazette of India
—a publication released weekly by the Department of Publication, Ministry of Urban Development
used for official government notices.
The conferral of the award is not considered official without its publication in the Gazette
. Recipients whose awards have been revoked or restored, both of which actions require the authority of the President, are also registered in the Gazette
and are required to surrender their medals when their names are struck from the register.
The original specification of the award was a circle made of standard silver
inches (35 mm) in diameter, with rims on both the sides. A centrally located lotus flower was embossed on the obverse side of the medal and the text "Padma Bhushan" written in Devanagari
Script was inscribed above the lotus along the upper edge of the medal. A floral wreath was embossed along the lower edge and a lotus wreath at the top along the upper edge. The State Emblem of India
was placed in the centre of the reverse side with the text "Desh Seva" in Devanagari Script on the lower edge. The medal was suspended by a pink riband
inches (32 mm) in width divided into three equal segments by two white vertical lines.
A year later, the design was modified. The current decoration is a circular-shaped bronze toned medallion 13
inches (44 mm) in diameter and 1
inch (3.2 mm) thick. The centrally placed pattern made of outer lines of a square of 13
inches (30 mm) side is embossed with a knob embossed within each of the outer angles of the pattern. A raised circular space of diameter 11
inches (27 mm) is placed at the centre of the decoration. A centrally located lotus flower is embossed on the obverse side of the medal and the text "Padma" written in Devanagari script is placed above and the text "Bhushan" is placed below the lotus. The Emblem of India
is placed in the centre of the reverse side with the national motto of India, "Satyameva Jayate
" (Truth alone triumphs) in Devanagari Script, inscribed on the lower edge. The rim, the edges and all embossing on either side is of standard gold with the text "Padma Bhushan" of gold gilt. The medal is suspended by a pink riband 11
inches (32 mm) in width with a broad white stripe in the middle.
Refusals and controversies
Some of the bestowals of the Padma Bhushan have been refused or returned by the recipients. A Bengali theatre
activist Sisir Bhaduri
(1959) was the first awardee who refused their conferment as "he felt state awards merely help create a sycophantic brigade" and "did not want to encourage the impression that the government was serious about the importance of theatre in national life." Sitar
player Vilayat Khan
declined to accept the award in 1968, with him stating that "the selection committees were incompetent to judge [his] music." Khan had earlier refused Padma Shri
in 1964 and later also turned down Padma Vibhushan
Journalist Nikhil Chakravarty
rejected the award in 1990 stating that the "journalists should not be identified with the establishment." Historian Romila Thapar
refused to accept the award twice, for the first time in 1992, and later again in 2005, stating that she would accept awards only "from academic institutions or those associated with my professional work." For her 2005 bestowal, Thapar sent a clarification letter to the then President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
mentioning that she had declined to accept the award when the Ministry of Human Resource Development
had contacted her three month prior to the award announcement and had explained her reasons for not accepting the award.
Journalist and civil servant K. Subrahmanyam
also refused his 1999 bestowal citing that "bureaucrats and journalists should not accept any award from the government because they are more liable to be favoured."
The 2010 conferment on an Indian-American
businessman Sant Singh Chatwal
, who was awarded the Padma Bhushan in the field of Public Affairs, created much controversy. Known for his association with former US President Bill Clinton
and his wife Hillary Clinton
, Chatwal pled guilty to violating the Federal Election Campaign Act
and witness tampering during the 2008 United States presidential election
He was also accused of lobbying for the award by leveraging "his contacts in the Prime Minister's Office
and United States Congress
The Government provided the clarification regarding the conferment and issued a press release which mentioned Chatwal as a "tireless advocate" of the country's interest in the United States. The statement also mentioned that "due diligence" exercise is carried out for each of the awardees and out of five Central Bureau of Investigation
(CBI) registered cases against Chatwal between 1992 and 1994, three were closed by CBI itself and in remaining two cases, Chatwal was discharged by the Court and as per the reports that were made available to the selection committee, there is nothing adverse on record against him.
According to media reports, there were several cases filed or registered after April 2009 which includes three criminal complaints with Kerala Police
and four cases in Delhi High Court
and Kerala High Court
. Chatwal also served summons in January 2010. However, the then Union Home Secretary Gopal Krishna Pillai
said that "no probe has been ordered nor any report sought from anyone."
Earlier in 2008, Chatwal was considered for the Padma Shri
but the Indian Embassy
in Washington, D.C. declined to nominate Chatwal when asked by the Prime Minister's Office. The then Indian Ambassador
to the United States Ronen Sen
had told PMO that the conferral would not be appropriate because of the controversy associated with his financial dealings in India and America. Sen had also mentioned that though positive, Chatwal's contribution are much less compared to other Indian-Americans. The bestowal would not only "demoralise the others who had done much more" but also would create "the impression that India did not regard lack of transparency in financial dealings as a disqualification for its highest honours."
List of awardees
Per Article 18 (1) of the Constitution of India
: Abolition of titles, "no title, not being a military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the State."
- ^ a b c
"Padma Awards Directory (1954–2014)"(PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). 21 May 2014. pp. 166–193. Archived from the original(PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Padma Awards: 2015" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). 25 January 2015. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 February 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Padma Awards: 2016" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). 25 January 2016. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 February 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
- "Padma Awards: 2017" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). 25 January 2017. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 February 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- "Padma Awards: 2018" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). 25 January 2018. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 February 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
- "Padma Awards: 2019" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). 25 January 2019. p. 1. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
- ^ a b c Lal, Shavax A. (1954). "The Gazette of India—Extraordinary—Part I" (PDF). The Gazette of India. The President's Secretariat (published 2 January 1954): 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2015. The President is pleased to institute an award to be designated 'Padma Vibhushan' in three classes, namely: 'Pahela Varg', 'Dusra Varg' and 'Tisra Varg'
- ^ a b c d Ayyar, N. M. (1955). "The Gazette of India—Extraordinary—Part I" (PDF). The Gazette of India. The President's Secretariat (published 15 January 1955): 8. Archived from the original(PDF) on 18 May 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2015. All persons upon whom the decoration of Padma Vibhushan (Pahela Varg) was conferred under the Regulations issued with Notification No. 2-Pres./54, dated the 2nd January, 1954, shall, for all purposes of these regulations, be deemed to be persons on whom the decoration of Padma Vibhushan has been conferred by the President.
- ^ Hoiberg & Ramchandani 2000, p. 96.
- ^ Mukul, Akshaya (20 January 2008). "The great Bharat Ratna race". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- ^ "The Constitution of India" (PDF). Ministry of Law and Justice (India). p. 36. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 September 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
- ^ "Balaji Raghavan S. P. Anand Vs. Union of India: Transfer Case (civil) 9 of 1994". Supreme Court of India. 4 August 1997. Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- ^ a b c "Padma Awards Scheme" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2016. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
- ^ "Wearing of Medals: Precedence Of Medals". Indian Army. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
"Crafting Bharat Ratna, Padma Medals at Kolkata Mint". Press Information Bureau. 26 January 2014. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
- ^ Sarkar, Chanchal (3 June 2001). "When is an apology not an apology: The losers". The Tribune. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- ^ Shastri, Paromita (2 February 2006). "Two Awards, Two Authors, Two Activists". Outlook India. Archived from the original on 23 March 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- ^ a b c
Kaminsky, Arnold P.; Long, Roger D. (2011). India Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic. ABC-CLIO. p. 411. ISBN 978-0-313-37462-3. Archived from the original on 21 September 2017.
- ^ "Romila rejects Padma award". The Times of India. New Delhi. 27 January 2005. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- ^ Akhileshwari, R. (13 February 2005). "Awards don't matter..." Deccan Herald. Hyderabad. Archived from the original on 8 October 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
"Playback singer Janaki rejects Padma Bhushan award". The Times of India. Palakkad. 26 January 2013. Archived from the original on 11 June 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
- ^ "J. S. Verma's family refuses Padma Bhushan". Indian Express. New Delhi. 31 January 2014. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- ^ Vadukut, Sidin (21 October 2015). "Déjà View: Thanks, but no thanks". Live Mint. Archived from the original on 19 February 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
- ^ Mallikarjun, Y. (12 November 2015). "P.M. Bhargava sends back Padma Bhushan award to President". The Hindu. Hyderabad. Archived from the original on 28 February 2018. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
- ^ "Padma Bhushan to Chatwal: US court sentence to rake up controversy again". Hindustan Times. Chandigarh. 20 December 2014. Archived from the original on 2 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- ^ Colvin, Jill (17 April 2014). "Hotel Magnate Pleads Guilty to Campaign Finance Fraud". Observer. Archived from the original on 23 March 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- ^ Mukul, Akshaya; Mohan, Vishwa; Dhawan, Himanshi (6 February 2010). "Chatwal fiasco: Top civilian awards losing sheen". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 28 December 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- ^ "Clarification regarding conferment of Padma Bhushan on Sant Singh Chatwal" (Press release). Press Information Bureau, India. 27 January 2010. Archived from the original on 6 March 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- ^ "Padma award to Chatwal after due diligence: Govt". India Today. New Delhi. 27 January 2010. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- ^ "Government defends Chatwal's Padma Bhushan". New Delhi: NDTV. 27 January 2010. Archived from the original on 12 September 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
- ^ "Centre trying to ascertain facts in award for Chatwal case". Daily News Analysis. New Delhi. 6 February 2010. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- ^ Varadarajan, Siddharth (1 February 2010). "Don't honour Chatwal, Indian envoy told PMO". The Hindu. New Delhi. Archived from the original on 28 February 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
Last edited on 30 August 2021, at 13:06
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