Classical Vocalist Som Datt Battu Honored with Padma Shri Award for 70 Years of Music Practice

The Padma Shri Award given to Som Datt Battu is a proud moment for Himachal Pradesh and a recognition of his incredible dedication to promoting classical music. 


On the eve of Republic Day, the Government of India announced the Padma Awards for 2024, and one of the recipients was classical vocalist Som Datt Battu. He received the Padma Shri Award in recognition of his exceptional contribution to promoting classical music. The ceremony took place at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the presence of President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.


Som Datt Battu was born on July 5, 1937, in Jasur of Kangra district. Som Datt Battu belongs to the Patiala family, one of the famous families of Hindustani music. Due to his father's association with music, he was among the connoisseurs of music since childhood. In 1953, he started singing in Delhi Radio Station and in 1956 became the first artist to join Akashvani Shimla. With time, his interest in music increased, and he continued to practice and perform for over 70 years. His exceptional contribution to promoting classical music has earned him the prestigious Padma Shri Award. 

Padma Shri Award

The Padma Shri Awards, instituted in 1954, are one of the highest civilian honors in India, and are announced annually on the eve of Republic Day. It recognizes the contribution of individuals in various disciplines and fields of activities like art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.

Award Categories:

The awards are given in three categories:

1. Padma Vibhushan - for exceptional and distinguished service

2. Padma Bhushan - distinguished service of higher order

3. Padma Shri - distinguished service

Selection Process:

The Padma Awards Committee, constituted by the Prime Minister every year, recommends the awardees. The committee is headed by the Cabinet Secretary and includes the Home Secretary, Secretary to the President, and four to six eminent persons as members. The recommendations of the committee are submitted to the Prime Minister and the President of India for approval.

Recent Awards:

This year a total of 132 personalities were awarded the Padma Award. These included five Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 110 Padma Shri awards. 

Thirty of the awardees are women, and the list also includes eight persons fromthe categories of foreign non-resident Indian (NRI), person of Indian origin(PIO), overseas citizenship of India (OCI), and nine posthumous awardees.

Last year, the government announced the recipients of 106 Padma Awards, which included three awardees who were honored jointly. The list comprised six Padma Vibhushans, nine Padma Bhushans, and 91 Padma Shri Awards.
Nineteen of the awardees were women, and the list also included two individuals from the category of foreigners: NRI, PIO, OCI. Additionally, the list had seven posthumous awardees.

Impact on Himachal Pradesh

Som Datt Battu's 70 years of musical practice has brought a moment of pride for Himachal Pradesh.This award brings honor not only to Battu but also to the state of Himachal Pradesh, known for producing many talented artists and musicians. He belongs to Byolia of Shimla district and is the son of Dev Bhoomi. The Chief Minister's office released a press release congratulating him on his achievement and stating that it was a matter of great pride for the state that Battu has been conferred with the highest civilian award. It will inspire many young musicians to follow in his footsteps and continue the legacy of Indian classical music.

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