Wednesday was a special day for noted singer SP Balasubramaniam. He was honored with India’s third civilian award Padma Bushan, by the President of India, Pratibha Patil.
“I am grateful to the government for having chosen me for this award,” he said expressing happiness. He, however, said the government could think of giving the award to several seniors in the field. In 2001, he was honored with Padma Shree award by the then President K.R. Narayanan. The six-time national award winner has dozens of State and FilmFare awards to his credit. Among the other notable Chennaiites who have received Padma recognition for their service in their respective fields in this year include veteran Bharatanatyam dancer C.V. Chandrasekhar who has been awarded the Padma Bushan, Ms M.K. Saroja, also a legendary Bharatanatyam dancer, Malayalam actor Jaya Raman Subramaniam and Carnatic vocalist S.R. Janakiraman and litterateur Avvai Natarajan.
There was no Bharat Ratna for the third consecutive year. The last person to be honored with this award was Bhimsen Joshi (2008) who passed away this Monday. The President approved 128 awards.