Chandigarh: A day after former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal returned his Padma Vibhushan and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa his Padma Bhushan in solidarity with the protesting farmers, social worker Baba Sewa Singh Friday returned his Padma Shri.
Singh is a renowned environmentalist from Khadoor Sahib, where his contribution in the restoration of the historic gurdwaras is widely recognised. He was honoured with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, in 2010.
In a press statement issued from Tarn Taran Friday, Singh said there is no point in keeping the award from a government that is ignoring thousands of farmers protesting in the open, in the cold.
He said the attitude of the Government of India towards the protesting farmers, who are fighting for their existence, is worrisome.
Meanwhile, former national boxing coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu announced Friday he will be returning his Dronacharya award if the farmers’ demands are not met. The Dronacharya award is the highest national award in the field of coaching.
“By doing this, I feel a huge moral pressure is off me. I come from a family of farmers, their fears need to be addressed. If the ongoing talks do not yield a result satisfactory to the farmers, I will return the award,” Sandhu told PTI from his home in Patiala.
Sandhu was the national coach when Vijender Singh became the first Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal in 2008.
Singh and Sandhu are the latest additions to a growing list of famous personalities from Punjab who announced their plans to return their awards in solidarity with the agitating farmers.
Singer Harbhajan Mann refuses to accept award
Singer actor Harbhajan Mann refused to accept the Shiromani Gayak award from the Punjab government, in support of the agitating farmers.
In a tweet posted Friday, he said that while he was grateful to have been chosen for the award, he could not accept it.
“Though I’m grateful to be selected, I humbly cannot accept the Shiromni Gayak award from the Department of Language. People’s love is the biggest award of my career, & all attention & efforts right now from us all must be dedicated to the peaceful farmers’ protest (sic),” he wrote.
Though I’m grateful to be selected, I humbly cannot accept the Shiromni Gayak award from the Department of Language. People’s love is the biggest award of my career, & all attention & efforts right now from us all must be dedicated to the peaceful farmers’ protest #farmerprotest
— Harbhajan Mann (@harbhajanmann) December 4, 2020
Mann Thursday visited Singhu border where the farmers are camping to show solidarity with them. His latest song ‘Haq (right)’ has been specially composed as an ode to the protesters.
On Thursday, three Punjabi writers — Jaswinder Singh, Swarajbir Singh and Dr Mohanjit — announced that they would return their Sahitya Akademi awards in support of the agitating farmers.