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Receiving Bharat Ratna will be against Bhupenda’s ideals: Tej

A file photo of Tej Hazarika with his father
 GUWAHATI, Feb 11 - Putting his weight behind the growing mass opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, Tej Hazarika, the New York-based only son of music maestro Dr Bhupen Hazarika, today indicated that he would not like to receive the Bharat Ratna award on behalf of his illustrated father, as how “the Centre moves on this matter far outweighs in importance the awarding and receiving of such national recognition – display of short-lived cheap thrills.”

He also termed the Bill as grossly undemocratic, unconstitutional and un-Indian, which would not only adversely hit the lives, language, identity and power balance of the region but would also undermine the values the legend stood for.

In an emailed statement to this correspondent, Hazarika said that as the son of Dr Bhupen Hazarika – one of the most popular and loved cultural and sociopolitical figures for the people of Assam and its neighbouring sister states of “India’s great Northeast”, he believed that his father’s name and words are being invoked and celebrated publicly “while plans are afoot to pass a painfully unpopular Bill regarding citizenship that is actually undermining his documented position. It would in reality be in direct opposition to what Bhupenda believed in his heart of hearts.”

“Bharat Ratnas and longest bridges, while necessary, will not promote the peace and prosperity of the citizens of India. Only just popular laws and foresight on the part of leadership will,” he said.

He added that he had not received any invitation so far and as such “there is nothing to reject.”

He added that for his fans – a vast majority of people of the Northeast – and India’s great diversity including all indigenous populations of India, “he would never have endorsed what appears, quite transparently, to be an underhanded way of pushing a law against the will and benefit of the majority in a manner that also seems to be grossly un-constitutional, un-democratic and un-Indian.”

He said that adopting any form of the bill at this point in the manner in which it is being proffered, now or in the future, would ultimately have the sad and undesirable effect of not only disrupting the quality of life, language, identity and power balance of the region, “but that of undermining my father’s position – by delivering a wreaking blow to the harmony, inner integrity and unity of the secular and democratic Republic of India.”

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