PM Modi has tweeted his delight at musical maestro Bhupen Hazarika being posthumously honoured with a Bharat Ratna - India's highest civilian honour - on the eve of Republic Day.
Taking to social media, the Prime Minister has written that "the songs and music of Shri Bhupen Hazarika are admired by people across generations. From them radiates the message of justice, harmony and brotherhood."
He adds that Hazarika's appeal wasn't just within the subcontinent, rather that he popularised India's musical traditions globally.
He concludes, "Happy that the Bharat Ratna has been conferred on Bhupen Da."
Alongside Bhupen Hazarika, social activist Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously) and former President of India Pranab Mukherjee have also been honoured with the Bharat Ratna.
Born in Sadiya, Assam in 1926, Bhupen Hazarika's songs, written mainly in his native Assamese, have been translated into Bengali and Hindi alongside a number of other languages. He has been a playback singer in films ranging the 1930s till 2011, the year he passed away. He has been conferred with numerous awards including the Dadasaheb Phalke Award - India's highest award in cinema.
The Bharat Ratna - India's highest civilian honour - is conferred on people in recognition of their exceptional service, contribution, performance of the highest order without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex. Till December 2011, the award was limited to achievements in the fields of arts, literature, science, and public services, but the criteria has since been expanded to include any field of human endeavour. Recommendations for the Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President, with a maximum of three nominees being awarded per year.