She said she was "extremely disappointed" by the small number of people from South India in the 2013 Padma awards list, and so decided to "refuse to accept the award".
Her decision was hailed by her fans as a bold and sensible move. Here are a few reactions from social networking sites.
D P Satish: S Janaki should have got a Padma Award at least 30 yrs ago. She is one of the finest. Grew up listening her songs.
Chinmayi Sripada: And S Janaki ma bells the cat
Raj: Kudos to S Janaki. Cannot agree more with what the great singer said.
Jahangeer Paleri: S. Janaki refuses to accept Padma Bhushan; Bold Sensible stand Madam, hope Madhu too follow you !
Jahangeer Paleri: Actually govt has insulted S Janaki n Madhu by giving #Padmaaward at the dusk of their Life. Madhu gets it after Saif Ali Khan n Jayaram!
Karthik S: While my blood boils fr not having Cn much of my ppl being recognized by Hindi centric Indian Govt, I am feeling proud abt SJanaki's decision
Shobha Warrier: S Janaki is as great a singer as Lata Mangeshkar and when one gets Bharat Ratna, the other gets a Padmashri when she is in her late 70s
Shobha Warrier: What is the difference between S Janaki and Lata Mangeshkar except that one sang in south Indian languages and the other in Hindi.
G Pramod Kumar: South Indian veteran singer S Janaki refuses #Padmabhushan. Says it came too late. Way to go!
Dhananjayan Govind: What a tough stand Singer S. Janaki mam took on Padma Awards... Amazing & rare to see such a strong stand by a awardee
Chowind: Calling S Janaki amma 'Nightingale of the South' is insulting. Can't u appreciate an artist for what she is irrespective of where she's frm?
The Real Chembil: i agree with s janaki. South indians are ignored when it comes to padma awards. the classic case is that of mr pranchiyettan
Karthik: Eminent singer S. Janaki refuses Padma Bhushan || Wondrful. Throw tht on the face of Hindi centric Govt..Grt to c u hv such a gut
Soma Sundaram: The legendary singer S Janaki refuses to accept #padmaBhushan, sayin that NorthIndians has been given more prominence than south.. #iRespect
Sarath Ramakrishnan: If there was Lata Mangeshkar, we had P Susheela ; if there was Asha Bhonsle we had S Janaki . Kind of cruel to show disparity among artists.