Bharat Ratna Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s son Tej Saturday put all speculations to rest claiming that the country’s highest civilian award conferred on his father is in his “safe keeping”.
Responding to an e-mail from News Live inquiring about the present whereabouts of the Bharat Ratna medallion and the citation conferred on Dr Bhupen Hazarika by President Ram Nath Kovind on Aug 8, Tej, who is now in the United States of America, said the award is with him.
He also said the Assam government did not speak to him during his six-day stay in the State, saying the reason for which he could not imagine.
“This time I was in Assam for six days but never heard from the Govt of Assam for some reason I cannot imagine….such a high recognition from the Republic of India,” Tej Hazarika wrote in his reply to News Live’s e-mail.
“So the award is in my safe keeping. Once approached officially we shall find an appropriate, secure venue for the public to be able to view the Bharat Ratna awarded posthumously to my father,” he further stated.
Tej further announced that he had allowed the Padma Vibhushan and the ‘Friends of Bangladesh’ award (the latter conferred by the Government of Bangladesh) to be displayed at the Kalakshetra museum.
“Me and my family were guests of the central government of India and treated with tremendous respect and graciousness sparing nothing. I was treated similarly when they invited me to receive the Padma Vibhushan and from the Govt of Bangladesh when they invited me to receive the Friends of Bangladesh award. Both were given posthumously and which two I allowed Kalakshetra museum to display,” he stated.
The Assam Government, however, rejected the claims made by Tej Hazarika about not hearing from the State Government. The Chief Minister’s office claimed that an appointment with CM Sonowal was fixed for Tej. However, the latter did not arrive at the CM office although Sonowal waited for him for as long as five hours.