Amaravati, Sep 28 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to confer India’s highest civilian honour – the Bharat Ratna – on the late S.P. Balasubramanyam for his legendary contribution to music and arts.
“As a tribute to the legendary singer for his outstanding contribution in the field of music and art, I request you to confer Bharat Ratna award upon him,” wrote Reddy.
He reminded the Prime Minister that music stalwarts such as Lata Mangeshkar, Bhupen Hazarika, M.S. Subbulakshmi, Bismillah Khan and Bhimsen Joshi were also conferred with the Bharat Ratna.
“This will be the highest recognition to his remarkable work which lasted for five decades and stays in our memory forever,” he said.
Justifying his request, Reddy mentioned Balasubramanyam’s familiar contribution to the arts, more than 40,000 songs in multiple languages.
“He won six national film awards for best male playback singer for his work, 25 AP state Nandi awards for his work in Telugu cinema, and numerous other state awards in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu,” he said, among other awards.
In 2001, Balasubramanyam was honoured with the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan in 2011 by the Government of India.
“Our state of AP is fortunate for being the birthplace (Nellore) of the great maestro. His untimely departure not only caused much distress to fans and celebrities living in India but also has affected the international music fraternity,” observed Reddy.
The chief minister said the doyen’s impact can be gauged by the continuous flow of tributes from music aficionados from across the world.
On Sunday, former chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu had also asked for a slew of recognitions and honours for the singer by the state government.
Born in Nellore district of southern Andhra Pradesh, Balasubramanyam passed away on Friday at the age of 74 in a Chennai hospital.