Yogi Adityanath’s Uttar Pradesh government has stopped the Rs 50,000 monthly pension being paid to Yash Bharti as well as the Padma awardees from the state. This pension programme had been started by the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government but was stopped from March, just after Yogi Adityanath took the oath of the Chief Minister. According to the Indian Express, there are 172 Yash Bharti awardees, including the likes of Vishal Bhardwaj, Anurag Kashyap and Raj Babbar and 30 Padma awardees like Girija Devi, Ashok Chakradhar and Anup Jalota, who have been getting the said pension.
A government official in the culture department told India Express, “There are 269 Yash Bharti awardees in the state. Of them, 172 awardees who had requested for the pension were getting the amount till February this year. The beneficiaries include film stars, cricketers, singers. Thirty Padma awardees were also getting the pension. But the pension has now been stopped and further directives are awaited from the Chief Minister’s Office”. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had conducted a review meeting of the culture department on April 21, during which he had ordered a detailed review of the awards, focus on the criteria used to choose the awardees.
The Yash Bharti awards had been instituted by the Mulayam Singh Yadav government in 1994-95. The award was to be given to personalities for their contributions to the fields of literature, social work, medicine, science, film, journalism, handicrafts, culture, drama, music, education, sports, industry and astrology. According to IE, the awardees had to be given a shawl, a commendation letter and Rs 1 lakh. In the year 2005-06, the SP government had increased the cash reward to Rs 5 lakh. The awards had been stopped during the BJP and the BSP rule from 1995 to 2003 and 2007 to 2012 but when Akhilesh Yadav had come to power to 2012 and revived the award and increased the cash prize to Rs 11 lakh.