President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the country’s highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna to freedom fighter Madan Mohan Malaviya posthumously on Monday.
The family of the noted educationist was present in the Rashtrapati Bhavan to receive the award held in the historic Durbar Hall.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and cabinet ministers were present in the Rashtrapati Bhavan for the ceremony.
A host of other other personalities included veteran BJP leader LK Advani and Punjab Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Parkash Singh Badal, were honoured with Padma awards by Mukherjee.
The prominent who were awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award, included Advani and Badal, while Padma Bhushan was awarded to lawyer Harish Salve and journalists Swapan Dasgupta and Rajat Sharma.
Amongst the prominent Padma Shri awardees were film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, writer-lyricist Prasoon Joshi, physician Dr Randeep Guleria, creator of popular cartoon character ‘Chacha Chaudhary’ Pran Kumar Sharma (posthumously), shuttler PV Sindhu, Hockey star Sardara Singh and amputee Everest climber Arunima Sinha.
The government had announced the decision to award Bharat Ratna to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (posthumously) and to Atal Bihari Vajpayee on December 24 last year.
Born in on December 25, 1861, Pandit Malaviya was catapulted into the political arena immediately after his first moving speech at the second Congress session held in Kolkata in 1886. He was President of INC in 1909 and 1918.
His main achievement was the establishment of the Banaras Hindu University.
Malaviya is also remembered for his stellar role in the Independence movement and his espousal of Hindu nationalism.
He was one of the initial leaders of the right-wing Hindu Mahasabha.