Yash Bharti to 13 personalities
CHIEF MINISTER Mulayam Singh Yadav couldn’t have asked for more. Most things, including the weather, were after all going according to his expectation at the Yash Bharti Award function to felicitate some prominent personalities, though he would have surely liked to see more people turn up for the gala event. The handful who trickled in to participate in a predominantly bureaucratic programme basked in the winter sun as Yadav claimed that he had insisted on holding the award function in the open against all advice.
“I told them that the weather would be good and everything would be fine despite the early morning fog,” said a cheerful CM, visibly pleased over the accuracy of his prediction. Finally welcoming the awardees, which included poets, writers, artistes and scholars, he urged them to come forward and inspire people through their writings to fight extremism and violence in any form.
Prominent among those who were conferred the Yash Bharti Award included film artiste Rajpal Yadav, senior journalists late Gopal Das Vyas, Kuldip Nayyar, wildlife activist Billy Arjan Singh, Gyan Chandra Jain, poet Som Thakur, litterateurs Hanuman Prasad Sharma, Achutyanand Mishra, vocal artiste Malini Awasthi, mountaineer Rajkumar, Chandra Vijay Singh and wrestler Janardan Singh Yadav.
The CM said all these people were linked to the State in some way and had made contributions either through their talent or through their pen.
Yadav said Naxalite violence, having spread in 14 states, was the biggest threat to the country and urged the scholars and litterateurs to play an active role in influencing extremist to shun the path of violence and instead wage their struggle through democratic means.
The CM announced financial assistance of Rs 11 lakh to the foundation, to be set up on the initiative of Kuldip Nayyar (Nayyar donated his Yash Bharti prize money to the foundation) to help journalists.
Speaking on the occasion Nayyar said he became journalist by chance. “I had studied law and wanted to become a lawyer. But I came from Sialkot to Delhi immediately after partition. I went to meet Gandhiji in Birla Bhawan and it was what he said that made me change my mind,” he said. Gandhiji, he said, was a very courageous man. Even at the height of communal blood letting at that time, he had the courage to say that both Hindus and Muslims were like his two eyes, he added. Lauding the CM, poet Som Thakur said that he was the only politician who cared for music, art and literature and honoured those who excelled in them.
Besides Vidhan Sabha Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey, a large number of cabinet ministers and senior bureaucrats, including chief secretary R Ramni, principal secretary to CM Anil Kumar, principal secretary, Culture, Rita Sinha and secretaries to CM Anita Singh and Chandrama Prasad attended the function.