File photo of late singer Bhupen Hazarika.

‘Not My Decision’: Bhupen Hazarika’s Brother on Bharat Ratna Row

Controversy over Assamese singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika being awarded with Bharat Ratna has divided Hazarika’s family members.

Hazarika’s son Tej had taken a swing at the Bharatiya Janata Party over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and made it clear that it is against his father’s beliefs and is undermining his ‘documented position’. In a Facebook post, Tej said that his father would have been in direct opposition of the bill.

It was also claimed that Tej has refused the Bharat Ratna, which he later negated saying he has not received any invitation to refuse in the first place.

‘Not My Decision to Refuse Bharat Ratna’: Hazarika’s Brother

Saumer Hazarika, Bhupen’s brother, told ANI that any decision to refuse the award is not his and that it is completely for his family to say. He also said that his brother should have been conferred with the Bharat Ratna way before than this.

“We have not been in contact with Tej over this (Bharat Ratna to Hazarika) and I cannot comment if they should receive the award.”
Saumer Hazarika, Bhupen Hazarika’s brother

Saumer himself stands against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Speaking on the issue, Manisha Hazarika, Bhupen’s sister-in-law, said that the family has not refused the award and that she is happy that Bhupen, the ‘legend’, is being awarded with the Bharat Ratna.

“We have not spoken to Tej about it yet, but it is said that the news (of him rejecting the Bharat Ratna) might not be true and that he has not even received any formal letter yet,” she said.