Bharat Ratna Award (1954-2019)

Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian honour, given for exceptional service towards advancement of Art, Literature and Science, Sports and in recognition of Public Service of the highest order. The provision of Bharat Ratna was introduced in 1954.

The original specifications for the award called for a circular gold medal, 35 mm in diameter, with the sun and the Hindi legend “Bharat Ratna” above and a floral wreath below. The reverse was to carry the state emblem and motto. It was to be worn around the neck from a white ribbon. This design was altered after a year.

The first ever Indian to receive this award was the famous scientist, Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman. Since then, many dignitaries, each a whiz in varied aspects of their career has received this coveted award.

List of Bharat Ratna Award recipients

Bhupen Hazarika (2019) – (Posthumous) He was a playback singer, lyricist, musician, poet and film maker from Assam.

Nanaji Deshmukh (2019) – (Posthumous) Nanaji Deshmukh, a social activist was known for his immense contributions in the field of education, health and rural self reliance

Pranab Mukherjee (2019) – He became India’s youngest finance minister in 1982 at the age of 47. From 2004, he went on to head three crucial ministries – external affairs, defence and finace. He was the 13th President of India from 2012 to 2017.

Madan Mohan Malaviya (2015) – (Posthumous) Scholar and educational reformer and founder of Banaras Hindu University.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee (2015) – Ex-prime Minister and one of the best parliamentarian for over four decades.

Sachin Tendulkar (2014)- Cricketer

C. N. R. Rao (2014) – Scientist

Bhimsen Joshi (2009) – Hindustani classical singer

Bismillah Khan (2001) – Hindustani classical shehnai player

Lata Mangeshkar (2001) – Playback singer

Gopinath Bordoloi (1999) – Posthumous, independence activist, Chief Minister of Assam

Amartya Sen (1999) – Economist from Kolkata and a Noble laureate

Ravi Shankar(1999) – Sitar player from Calcutta

Jayaprakash Narayan(1998) – Posthumous, independence activist and politician

Chidambaram Subramaniam(1998) -Independence activist, Minister of Agriculture

M. S. Subbulakshmi(1998) – Carnatic classical singer

Aruna Asaf Ali (1997) – Posthumous, independence activist

Gulzarilal Nanda (1997) – Independence activist, interim Prime Minister

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam(1997) – Aeronautical Engineer, 11th President of India

Satyajit Ray (1992) – Bengali Filmmaker

J. R. D. Tata (1992) – Industrialist and philanthropist

Abul Kalam Azad(1992) – Posthumous, independence activist, first Minister of Education

Morarji Desai (1991) Independence activist, fourth Prime Minister

Vallabhbhai Patel (1991) – Posthumous, independence activist, first Home Minister,Was responsible for unification of all Indian princely states.

Rajiv Gandhi (1991) – Posthumous, Sixth Prime Minister.

Nelson Mandela(1990) – Second non-citizen and non-Indian recipient, Leader of the Anti-Apartheid movement and Noble laureate

B. R. Ambedkar (1990) – Posthumous, Chief architect of the Indian Constitution,Crusader against Untouchability, Dalit Icon, Social Reformer, Historian, politician, economist, and scholar

M. G. Ramachandran (1988) – Posthumous, film actor, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (1987) – First non-citizen, independence activist

Vinoba Bhave (1983) – Posthumous, social reformer, independence activist

Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1980) – Catholic nun, founder of the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata and Noble laureate

K. Kamaraj (1976) – Posthumous, independence activist, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu State

V. V. Giri (1975) – Trade unionist and fourth President

Indira Gandhi (1971) – Third Prime Minister,The First Woman Prime Minister of India(1966-1977,1980-1984)

Lal Bahadur Shastri (1966) – Posthumous, independence activist, second Prime Minister

Pandurang Vaman Kane(1963) – Indologist and Sanskrit scholar

Zakir Hussain (1963) – Independence activist, Scholar, third President

Rajendra Prasad (1962) – Independence activist, jurist, first President

Purushottam Das Tandon (1961) – Independence activist, educator

Bidhan Chandra Roy (1961) – A physician, political leader, philanthropist, educationist, and social worker. He is often considered as “Maker of Modern West Bengal”

Dhondo Keshav Karve (1958) – Educator, social reformer

Govind Ballabh Pant (1957) – Independence activist, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Home Minister

Jawaharlal Nehru (1955) – Independence activist, author, first Prime Minister

Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya (1955) – Civil engineer, Diwan of Mysore

Bhagwan Das (1955) – Independence activist, author, Founder of Kashi Vidya Peeth

Radhakrishnan (1954) – Philosopher, India”s First Vice President (1952-1962), and India”s Second President(1962-1967)

C. V. Raman(1954) – Physicist from Madras and a Nobel laureate

C Rajagopalachari(1954) – Independence activist, last and the only Indian Governor-General of India