Sridevi, Dravid among Padma awardees
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Renowned painter S H Raza, sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra, space scientist Roddam Narasimha and physicist-educationist Yash Pal have been chosen for the prestigious Padma Vibhushan award, the second highest civilian honour, leading a list of 108 people selected for the Padma awards this year.
The Bharat Ratna was not awarded to anyone this year too, the last being Bhimsen Joshi in 2008.
Film actress Sharmila Tagore, the late Bollywood superstar Rajesh Khanna, the late satirist Jaspal Bhatti, DRDO chief Vijay Kumar Saraswat, along with batting maestro Rahul Dravid and Olympic bronze medalist M C Mary Kom were named for the Padma Bhushan award.
Interestingly, missing from the list was international wrestler and double Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar. Last year the one-time World No.1 followed his bronze medal show at Beijing Games in 2008 with a silver at London Olympics. Reacting to this omission, Sushil's mentor and father-in-law Satpal Singh said: "I am really disappointed that Sushil's name wasn't in the list. It is difficult to understand why this happened."
Actress Sridevi, who made a comeback in mainstream cinema last year, actor Nana Patekar, film director Ramesh Sippy and singer B Jayashree, who was lauded for her work in Life of Pi, were named for the Padma Shri. Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and London Olympics silver medalist shooter Vijay Kumar also figured in the list of Padma Shri awardees.
Besides Dravid and Mary Kom, four other sportspersons — mountaineer Premlata Agrawal, Para athlete Hosanagara Nagarajegowda Girisha, boxer Ngangom Dingko Singh and rower Bajrang Lal Takhar — were chosen for the Padma Shri award.
Malayalam star Madhu of Chemmeen fame, fashion designer Ritu Kumar and Urdu poet Nida Fazli were named for the Padma Shri while filmmaker D Rama Naidu, noted south Indian playback singer S Janaki, Bharatnatyam dancer Saroja Vaidyanathan, missile scientist A Sivathanu Pillai of the BrahMos programme, industrialist Adi Godrej and former bureaucrat M K Bhan were among the 24 Padma Bhushan awardees.