Actor-politician and head of Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) Vijayakant, who died recently, has been conferred the Padma Bhushan (posthumously). Born Narayanan Vijayaraj Alagaraswami on 25 August 1952, he was popularly known by his screen name Vijayakant. He passed away on December 28, 2023.
Vijayakant was the leader of the opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly from May 2011 to February 2016.
He acted in more than 150 movies and was conferred the Kalaimamani award in 2001, which is the highest civilian award of Tamil Nadu.
Vijayakant was also known as ‘Karuppu MGR’ or ‘Dark MGR’ for extending help to the needy. He was also remembered for his fight for equality in food at film sets.
The Ministry of Home Affairs said that for the year 2024, the President has approved conferment of 132 Padma Awards. The list comprises 5 Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan, and 110 Padma Shri Awards. Thirty of the awardees are women and the list also includes eight persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and nine posthumous awardees.
Veteran actress Vyjanthimala, former Vice President M Venkiah Naidu, and Telugu superstar and former Union Minister K Chiranjeevi were among the recipients of the Padma Vibhushan award for 2024.
Sulabh Foundation founder and Chairman Bindeshwar Pathak (posthumous) and artist Padma Subrahmanyam were the other two recipients.
Supreme Court's first woman judge M Fathima Beevi (posthumous), actor Mithun Chakraborty, Foxconn Chairman Young Liu, former Union Minister and BJP leader Ram Naik, singer Usha Uthup, veteran music director Pyarelal Sharma (of the Laxmikant-Pyarelal duo) and Tamil actor and DMDK founder Vijaykanth (posthumous) are among the 17 recipients of the Padma Bhushan.
A total of 110 people were conferred the Padma Shri including tennis player Rohan Bopanna, squash player Joshna Chinappa, and philanthropist Kiran Nadar.
The Bharat Ratna, the topmost civilian award, was already announced for socialist leader and former Bihar Chief Minister, the late Karpoori Thakur.
Padma Awards, one of the highest civilian awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
The awards are given in various disciplines such as art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, and civil service, among others.
'Padma Vibhushan' is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; 'Padma Bhushan' for distinguished service of high order; and 'Padma Shri' for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.
These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan usually around March/April every year.