Patna: Renowned Hindi poet Acharya Janki Ballabh Shastri has turned down the Padma Shri awarded by the government, saying he was chosen for it decades after junior Hindi poets were conferred the honour.
Janki Ballabh Shastri, in his late 80s, is unhappy over being given the award late in life.
"What does it (Padma Shri) mean now, it is nothing but an insult and abuse for me. It is certainly not an honour at this stage of my life," Shastri told a local Hindi news channel and Hindi daily Tuesday.
Shastri, who lives in Bihar's Muzaffarpur town, about 70 km from here, was named for the Padma Shri Monday for his significant contribution to Hindi literature.
He said he was behind his students getting "bigger honours" than the Padma Shri. "It was I who was behind the Padma Shri to Dinkar and Rambriksh Benipuri," he said.
Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, popularly known as Rashtra Kavi (National poet), and Benipuri are well known Hindi poets, both from Bihar.