Legendary singer Sandhya Mukherjee. Photograph:( Twitter )
The veteran singer's daughter said, "At the age of 90, with a singing career spanning about eight decades, being chosen for Padma Shri is demeaning for a singer of her stature. Padma Shri is more deserving for a junior artiste, not 'Gitasree' Sandhya Mukhopadhay."
Singing legend Sandhya Mukherjee, also known as Sandhya Mukhopadhyay, refused an offer of a Padma Shri award when she was contacted by central government officials telephonically for her consent.
Daughter Soumi Sengupta said Mukherjee told the senior official who called from Delhi that she was not willing to be named a Padma Shri recipient in the Republic Day awards list.
"At the age of 90, with a singing career spanning about eight decades, being chosen for Padma Shri is demeaning for a singer of her stature," Sengupta said. "Padma Shri is more deserving for a junior artiste, not 'Gitasree' Sandhya Mukhopadhay. Her family and all the lovers of her songs feel bad," Sengupta said. Victor Banerjee, Sowcar Janaki, Chandraprakash Dwivedi to be conferred with Padma awards
A vast number of netizens supported Mukherjee's decision.
The singer, considered for long the prima donna of music in Bengal, has also sung for a number of Hindi movie music directors including S D Burman, Anil Biswas, Madan Mohan, Roshan and Salil Choudhary.
Mukherjee received `Banga Bibhushan', National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer.