Govt nominates four luminaries from south states to Rajya Sabha: Here’s their profile

Published on Jul 06, 2022 10:58 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate all the four eminent citizens and hailed them for their contributions in their respective fields.

Athlete PT Usha, Philanthropist Prasad Veerendra Heggade, music composer Ilaiyaraaja and famous director and screenwriter KV Vijayendra Prasad (From L to R).
Athlete PT Usha, Philanthropist Prasad Veerendra Heggade, music composer Ilaiyaraaja and famous director and screenwriter KV Vijayendra Prasad (From L to R).

The government on Wednesday nominated four noted personalities, including celebrated athlete PT Usha and music maestro Ilaiyaraaja, to the Rajya Sabha. The other two nominations include KV Vijayendra and Prasad Veerendra Heggade.

The decision came days after the ruling-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), at its national executive meeting in Hyderabad, identified south India as the territory for its next phase of growth before the 2024 general elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate all the four eminent citizens and hailed them for their contributions in their respective fields.

Who are the four new nominees:

Ilaiyaraaja

R Gnanathesikan, popularly known as Ilaiyaraaja, is a famous film composer, singer and lyricist. Born in a Dalit household at a village in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu, Ilaiyaraaja is regarded as one of India's greatest music composers the country has ever had.

According to a report by news agency PTI, he had to face innumerable hardships and caste-based discrimination while growing up in Madurai. His active career in music spans for over five decades, during which he composed over 7,000 songs for more than 1,000 films and performed in over 20,000 concerts across the globe.

His notable work has been for movies such as 'Swathi Muthyam' (1986), 'Nayagan' (1987), 'Thevar Magan' (1992), 'Anjali' (1990 film), 'Guru' (1997) and 'Hey Ram' (2000).

PT Usha

A retired athlete, PT Usha came to be known as the Payyoli Express for her incredible sprinting. She was born in Kuttali area of Kozhikode, Kerala. She has been associated with Indian athletics since 1979.

Usha won many prestigious medals for the country in various international sporting events, including the Asian Games, the Asian Championships and the World Junior Invitational Meet. She has set and broken many national and Asian records during her career.

In her most notable achievements, she represented India in 4 x100m relay together with Valdivel Jayalakshmi, Rachita Mistry and EB Shyla at the 1998 Asian Championships in Athletics where her team won the gold medal and set the current national record of 44.43 seconds.

KV Vijayendra Prasad

Prasad is one of the country's leading screenwriters and film directors. He is from Andhra Pradesh and is known for blockbusters like "RRR", the "Baahubali" series and "Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Some of the scripts he wrote transcended regional boundaries and the films became blockbusters across the country, something that used to be a rare achievement. His son SS Rajamouli is one of the country's most famous film directors.

Prasad Veerendra Heggade

Heggade is the head of the famous Dharmasthala temple in Karnataka and is known for his philanthropy work. Over the years, he led various transformative initiatives for rural development and promotion of self-employment.

He has received multiple awards for his numerous contributions, including the Karnataka Ratna award in 2009. It is the highest civilian award in Karnataka.

(With agency inputs)

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