Seven great personalities including previous Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and musical maestro SP Balasubramaniam have been esteemed with Padma Vibhushan this year. The awardees of the Padma Awards were declared on January 25.
The Padma, the fourth highest civilian award in India, are bestowed in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. These scholarships are given for disciplines or fields of activities such as art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports and civil service.
SP Balasubramaniam and Tarun Gogoi have been given the award posthumously.
Shinzo Abe awarded Padma Vibhushan
The former Minister of Japan was awarded the Padma Vibhushan. Abe during his stint as Prime Minister has been vital in growing and transforming India’s kinship with Japan.
In his second spell as PM, he visited India thrice, the most tour by any Japanese PM. He was also the first Japanese PM to be a prime guest at the Republic Day Parade of 2014.
In August 2007, when Abe toured India for the first time as PM, he conferred the now-famous “Unification of the Two Seas” speech — laying the foundation for his thought of Indo-Pacific. This design has now become mainstream and one of the main pillars of India-Japan alliance. During his second stint, Abe backed to build the relationship further.
SP Balasubramaniam posthumously accredited Padma Vibhushan.
A versatile singer, languages were no obstruction for him. He commanded a fan following across 16 languages, especially in all four southern languages besides Hindi, where he made a milestone for himself in the 1980s and 1990s – starting with the songs in “Ek Duje Ke Liye” which also marked the beginning of his assignment with the national award for playback singing.