Padma Vibhushan award: Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar declines award
New Delhi/Bangalore (Jan. 24, 2015): Yoga guru Ramdev and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar have declined any Padma award for them reportedly being considered by central government on the occasion of the 66th Republic Day.
In a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Ramdev referred to media reports that the Government was considering his name for Padma Vibushan, the second highest civilian award but felt that as an "ascetic" he should refrain from accepting "rewards or honours".
Ramdev requested the Home Minister instead to select some other deserving person for the award.
"I should be allowed to serve selflessly and the award should be given to some other deserving person," Ramdev was quoted as saying in his letter to the Home Minister.
Ravi Shankar took to Twitter to inform about his decision.
"Rajnath Singhji called to inform me about Padma Awards. I thank Govt for considering me. Instead of me, I'd like them to honour someone else," he tweeted.
The Art of Living of which Ravi Shankar is the founder also issued a statement in which he was quoted as saying, "I thank the government for considering me for the Padma award. There are many other deserving people. Instead of me, I would like them to honour someone else.
The Padma awards are traditionally announced on the eve of the Republic Day.