Veteran singer Sandhya Mukherjee refuses Padma Shri award

She felt "insulted" at being offered the award at her age.

Veteran singer Sandhya Mukherjee refused the Padma Shri award on Tuesday saying it is more deserving of a junior artiste and not someone of her stature. She is the second person from West Bengal to refuse a civilian honour. Former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Tuesday had turned down the Padma Bhushan award, stating that he was not aware that he had been named for it, and he would reject it if it were so.

Sandhya Mukherjee’s daughter Soumi Sengupta was quoted in a news report saying that her mother had told a senior official who called from Delhi that she was not willing to be named as a Padma Shri recipient and felt “insulted” at being offered the award at her age. “At 90, with a singing career spanning over about eight decades, being chosen for Padma Shri is demeaning for a singer of her stature,” Sengupta was quoted saying.

Padma Shri, awarded for “distinguished service”, is the fourth highest civilian honour in the country after Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan.

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