Amritsar, January 27
Two out of the four recipients of the prestigious Padma awards from Punjab this year have connection to the holy city.
The late legendary singer Gurmeet Bawa, who passed away last year, has been awarded Padma Bhushan posthumously and educationist and writer Dr Harmohinder Singh Bedi Padma Shri.
Gurmeet Bawa was the first artiste to perform on Doordarshan and was celebrated for her contribution in the field of folk Punjabi music. She holds the record for the longest hek (a form of alaap in the beginning of a song), a 45-second hek that no artiste has ever come close to break it yet. Her daughters, Lacchi Bawa and Glory Bawa, too are famous Punjabi folk singers though Lacchi Bawa passed away two years ago due to cancer.
At present, Dr Harmohinder Singh Bedi is Vice-Chancellor of Central University in Himachal Pradesh. He would receive this award in the education and literature category. Professor Bedi retired as professor and head of the department of Hindi from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, in 2010 where he also served as dean and Director of the Chairs of Bhagat Kabir, Satguru Ram Singh and Swami Vivekanand.
His contribution towards creating a literary bridge between the Hindi and Punjabi languages has earned him immense acclaim in the field of literature. He has also served as Hindi Adviser to the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India. He has also been on the panel of the National Language Council, Government of India, for preparing the draft of the New Education Policy.
About Dr Harmohinder Singh Bedi
Dr Harmohinder Singh Bedi is Vice-Chancellor of Central University in Himachal Pradesh. He would receive this award in the education and literature category. Professor Bedi retired as professor and head of the department of Hindi from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, in 2010, where he also served as dean and Director of three Chairs.
‘If only mother were alive to receive award’
Reacting to the news of her mother receiving the third highest civilian award in the country, Glory Bawa, daughter of Gurmeet Bawa, and a prominent artiste herself, said she wished her mother would have been given this honour when she was alive. “She dedicated 53 years of her life to music and her passion and service towards Punjabi music remained same till her last. It would have been wonderful if the honour had come when she was alive. We had written to the government several times over the years. The entire family is happy though over the news and after going through a tough time losing my sister and mother in a span of one year, I believe that this is a welcome news,” she said.
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