Pune: Eminent exponent of Hindustani classical music Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was on Tuesday officially conferred the Bharat Ratna at his residence by a President’s emissary.
A simple 15-minute ceremony marked the occasion as additional secretary in the Union home ministry A.F. Ahmed presented the citation and the Ratna to the doyen of Kirana Gharana who turned 88 on 4 February.
Maharashtra cultural affairs Minister Harshawardhan Patil and some disciples of the maestro were present along with his family members at the function.
Pandit Joshi, who had expressed his inability to go to Delhi to receive the highest civilian honour on health grounds, thanked the President and countrymen for the award.
His sons-Raghavendra, Srinivas and Jayant told mediapersons that President Pratibha Patil wanted to come down to Pune personally to present the honour to the vocalist.
“It was however, his wish to keep it a low-key affair and he did not want the President to take the trouble of personally coming over,” they added.