Mumbai: Maharashtra made it big in the 2023 Republic Day Padma Awards, bagging a handsome total of 12– one Padma Vibhushan, three Padma Bhushan and eight Padma Shri, according to an official announcement.
The honorees include the legendary tabla player Ustad Zakir Hussain, 71, and the sole person from the state to be conferred with Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian honour.
He is followed by three Padma Bhushans — industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, 55, the Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group; scientist Deepak Dhar, 71; and the evergreen playback singer Suman Kalyanpur, for whom it was an 86th birthday-eve gift (January 28).
The eight Padma Shri awardees are the founder of Akasa Air, the late investor Rakesh R. Jhunjhunwala; Commission on Notified and Denotified Tribes Chairman Bhiku Ramji Idate; and Parshuram K. Khune, a renowned Zadipatti Rangbhumi (folk theatre) actor for arts.
There are Ramesh Patange and Prabhakar Bhanudas Mande, both for education and literature; and Gajanan Jagannath Mane for social work.
The others are Bollywood actress Raveena Tandon-Thadani, 50; and India’s first woman choral music conductor Coomi N. Wadia, 90.
The awards will be conferred by President Droupadi Murmu at a special ceremonial function later this year.
For 2023, the President has cleared a total of 106 Padma Awards, comprising six Padma Visbhushan, nine Padma Bhushan and 91 Padma Shri Awards.
Among the Padma awardees are two in the foreigner’s category, seven honoured posthumously, and 19 women winners from all over India in different fields.