'Bharat Ratna For SPB' Campaign Gains Momentum After AP CM YS Jagan's Letter

 - Sakshi Post

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to confer 'Bharat Ratna', India's highest civilian honour to SP Balasubrahmanyam, who died in Chennai on September 25.

In an emotional note, the Chief Minister said that, "SPB had left a deep impact on the global music industry over the course of a career spanning five decades. As a tribute to the legendary singer for his outstanding contribution in the field of music and art, I request you to confer the Bharat Ratna on him."

Incidentally, the AP CM happened to be the one to make a big push with his letter to the prime minister in this regard. There has been this desire among millions of SP Balasubrahmanyam fans, industry colleagues and disciples that awarding the Bharat Ratna would only be the fitting tribute for an iconic singer who had unparalleled achievements having sung 40,000 songs in 16 Indian languages. And they found their biggest support in this cause from no less than Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy who promptly communicated the popular demand through his letter.

Soon after YS Jagan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, many celebrities from the south Indian film industry appreciated the swiftness with which the cause was taken up by the AP CM. Several music directors and singers associated with Tollywood and Kollywood like Devi Sri Prasad, RP Patnaik and Mano too drew inspiration from this and gave a clarion call for a signature campaign from all across the south Indian film industries to showcase to the Centre on how deserving SPB is for this highest civilian honour.

Actor turned politician Kamal Haasan thanked YS Jagan for his initiative and said that the fans of the singer would appreciate the award. Most of the celebrities and fans have been voicing their support to confer the Bharat Ratna on SPB. Already, a campaign named 'Bharat Ratna For Balu' is going on in social media.

The Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award and it is given for the exceptional service towards the advancement of Art, Literature, and Science, and in recognition of Public Service of the highest order. The provision of Bharat Ratna was introduced in 1954. Initially, the award was limited to accomplishments in the arts, literature, research, and public services, but in December 2011, the government extended it to include "any area of human endeavour".

The famous scientist, Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, was the first-ever Indian to win this honour. Indira Gandhi, APJ Abdul Kalam, Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi, Sachin Tendulkar, CNR Rao, MS Subbulakshmi, Lata Mangeshkar, etc., have been awarded with Bharat Ratna. In 2019, Pranab Mukherjee, Nanaji Deshmukh, Bhupen Hazarika has been conferred with Bharat Ratna.

Girish Kumar a die-hard fan from Bangalore, has filed a petition through Change.org demanding to confer Bharat Ratna on Balu. He is collecting signatures through this petition. He told the BBC that he was "deeply saddened" by Balu's death and that the petition was filed with the intention that the Indian government should still give the highest honour to SP Balasubrahmanyam, who has served the world of music for more than five decades. As of Tuesday, 34,000 people had signed the petition.

Like it is the case with every major cause, a cross-section of Netizens also started expressing their opinions on how they felt iconic personalities from the South have been ignored for the country's highest honour. Some even went to the extent of terming it as 'discrimination'. There were calls in the past from Telugu people seeking Bharat Ratna for former Indian Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister NT Rama Rao as well.

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