Versatile actor Kamal Haasan, Bollywood actress Vidya Balan and actor Paresh Rawal feature in 2014’s list of the Padma awards. While Kamal Haasan will receive the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award, Vidya Balan and Paresh Rawal will receive the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award. Noted scientist R A Mashelkar and yoga expert BKS Iyenger have been named for Padma Vibhushan.
Kamal Haasan, star of films such as Moondaram Pirai and Hey Ram, said in a statement: “Proud to be an Indian. India is a country with great talents in various many fields. While legions await to be honoured, I am honoured that I have been chosen for Padma Bhushan by my government. I think it is sheer chance and my good fortune that I have been chosen. I hope that I would live long to do more to deserve this award. I don’t consider this an honour for work that I have already done. This would be an impetus for me to do more good work, perhaps only then would I deserve it. My heartfelt congratulations for the other Padma Bhushan awardees especially my friend Mr Vairamuthu.”
Besides Mr Haasan, this year’s Padma Bhushan list also features tennis ace, Leander Paes, writers Anita Desai and Ruskin Bond, Badminton player Pullela Gopichand, Justice Verma and Sakal newspaper group owner, artist Gulam Mohammed Sheikh and ghatam performer T H Vinayakram and Sharad Pawar’s brother Pratap Govindrao Pawar.
Padmanabham Balram, Madappa Mahadevappa, Thirumalachari Ramasami, Vinod Prakash Sharma, Radhakrishnan Koppillil, and (late) Anumolu Ramakrishna have been conferred Padma Bhushan for science and engineering. Padma Bhushan for literature and education has also been conferred on Mrityunjay Athreya, Dhirubhai Thakar, Vairamuthu Ramasamy Thevar and Anisuzzaman (Bangladesh), Lloyd I Rudolph and Susanne H. Rudolph (both US) jointly. While Neelam Kler got Padma Bhushan for medicine, Vijayendra Nath Kaul got the award in the civil service category.
The Padma Shri awardees include: Cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Anjum Chopra, fashion designer Wendell Rodricks, Professor Dinesh Singh, squash player Dipika Pallikal, Kabaddi player Sunil Dabbas, cinematographer Santosh Sivan, Odisha sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik, poet Keki N Daruwalla, H. Boniface Prabhu (wheelchair tennis), mountaineers Love Raj Singh Dharmshaktu and Mamta Sodha and former bureaucrat Praveen Talha.