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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bharat Ratna – Do We Require Any Such Award?

I am all for honoring our citizens for their exemplary contribution to the society and the nation at large. I am all for showing the greatest of gratitude towards a certain Mother Teresa or A.P.J Abdul Kalam, looking at what they have done for the nation. It is the politics that surrounds our nation’s greatest civilian award of late is what flummoxes me a great deal.
 
Any great nation that we see coexisting with us on this planet has their own institutions to rectitude their national heroes in one way or the other. But there is always honesty in any such award, provided you are not one of the nations like Somalia, Colombia or Mexico, where either there is no such award existing or at best been garlanded to extreme crooks from the field of holocaust warlords or drug mafias. Grabriel Garcia Marquez is an exception and lets not debate on that. While rest of the world (expect Pakistan) remain transparent and apolitical with their national honor, there is a catch when it comes to India. Here we are entirely tangent to the way the rest of the world treat their national gallantry recognition. We are highly political when it comes to Bharat Ratna and throw it at random individuals with little or no credibility to be even considered for such prestigious award, let alone been awarded one.
 
When the whole thing started in 1954, we honored three of our best citizens that we can ever aspire to have in our nation. C.Rajagopalchari, Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan and C.V. Raman are the first trio who got this award and quite deservingly so. If you are about to say – wow, that is a great start, then I will urge you to check your emotions. What followed with our Bharat Ratna after that was harakiri of highest order. When many quote, ‘The end is as good as the beginning itself’, we seems to have defied that quote as well. While the whole idea was to say a quite thank you to our real heroes, it has gone rotten and a platform for political Bhagidari lately. The award which has some inherent greatness laced with it is seen being used rampantly at self-gloating and self-patting so that people can remember you for long and some third graded general knowledge book sold on the footpaths near Palika Bazar can have an honorable mention of your name in one of their recycled paper pages. Or at best if you have enough clout in the power circles then you can make way for your name to land in one of those pathetic text books that we force our kids to read and enjoy that wrong sense of dejavu.
 
A simple glance at the people who have won it and the many of the deserving who were asked to go for a walk as they were/are not sufficing any political gain for one political party or the other, tells a great deal on how sacrosanct and genuine our highest civilian award is. If neglecting the true deserving were not enough, we have awarded entities after decades they deserved, which in a way looks more like an insult than honoring. Don’t believe me? Then for an argument, I can only ask you to Google the year that a certain Subash Chandra Bose was awarded with this honor and that too after whom.
 
Let’s take Rajiv Gandhi’s felicitation as an example. While I still scramble for reasons good enough to award a person with some questionable tainted background with such a prestigious award, I feel like slapping myself to be part of the world’s largest democracy for being denied an answer to my RTI on the precise grounds on which Rajeev was chosen to be the one. And what I had to digest for a reply? Facts can’t be shared as it subverts someone’s privacy. Really? For God’s sake, my idea was to know the criteria for such awards; not to peep someone’s washroom while he/she is taking a bath. Where is the bloody privacy when it comes to national interest?
 
If denying my right to information in a democratic country was not monumental enough, it shames me to an unbelievable extent to see our one such Bharat Ratna awardee has cases of corruption involving the national security running in various courts of India. Purist with the alibi of hiding behind legal jargons when uncomfortable questions are thrown at can argue on the ground that none of the courts is yet to convict Rajeev in either of any. I just want to pause and ask again – ‘Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion ’; isn’t it a line which just fits to our most prestigious award? How in earth we can award someone with our most sought after felicitation when we have few questions to tangle with? There can’t be smoke without fire and we certainly can’t ignore it when it comes to our national pride.
 
We went out of the track to award someone who is still engulfed by Bofors, Fair-affairs to name few and yet don’t find more worthy Prime-Ministers, who have genuinely done good for the nation are credible enough candidates. Where is the mention of Lalbahadur Shastri? Perhaps the best PM India has ever seen is yet to be even remembered on his death anniversary but at the same time we turn clownish to walk that extra mile in showering the non-deserving prestige to few others. Why not Atal Bihari Vajpayee or for that matter Dr. Manmohan Sing? They for sure are men of better substance, caliber and fortitude. Hell even why not Deve Gowda? While we can blame him for sleeping most part of his tenure, he at least hasn’t harmed the nation. Just because a certain Lalbahadur Shastri doesn’t feature in the scheme of things of Congress in their bootlicking endeavor of worshiping a particular family, we can’t ignore such a great man for this award.
 
Well, let me not explain the reasons how Subash Bose become a worthy enough candidate to win this award after Rajeev Gandhi won it; as I am still not fathom the logic behind such attempts. Hell, how can we forget our father of the nation then? Sorry Bapu, you are not worth it. Not at least till Rahul Gandhi or Robert Vadra wins one someday for sleeping in Dalit Huts more number of times than the entire Dalit community put together or siphoning a lot of money (through shady financial deals) by doing Dalali for DLF, respectively. This is so bloody unbelievable. I can still find reasons if Ritesh Deshmukh someday kicks Amitabh Bachhan out of the race to win the prestigious National Award for best actor, but not how Netaji, only came to the radar after Rajeev Gandhi. Kudos to Netaji’s nephew for refusing to accept the award citing it as an insult to the great man. That said there is one silver lining though. At least now we finally recognize that a Maj. Dhyanchand who bought laurel for us in our national game is qualified enough to be considered.
 
Not only the Bharat Ratna but the entire Padma award is also a big time farce too. Look at the random bootlickers and crony capitalists who were being awarded with this second line of awards every year. From sold out media persons to liquor barons; from pathetic hoteliers to a person who claims he can grow hair on your barren balls through homeopathy; all were being awarded with Padmas because that’s what helps the government to build a shameless clout. Be it airing paid news to cover some scam or the other or supplying of money when there isn’t much left in the bank to even buy a new pair of innerwears; these Padma awardees would be going over the hill to furnish their help and support. National pride can go to hell, if that is required.
 
While I feel disgusted to even use the word disgusting to describe how we treat our highest civilian award, I pray Sachin’s fans don’t call for my blood for this final statement of mine. Thankfully Sachin is a Hindu or else I would have been slapped with 765 Fatwas on daily basis for such atrocity. Without even mincing punctuation of it; Irrespective of his so called achievements, I don’t see him worthy enough for this award. 100 hundreds is certainly not great enough for this prestige, more so when we don’t even talk about Rakhi Shawant for having changed as many boyfriends in much lesser time than what Sachin took to score them. Isn’t she also eligible then? Hang on – On a second thought, if Rajeev Gandhi can win it then bloody anyone can; which also includes me. At least I haven’t looted my nation yet or is it precisely the first criteria for such awards?

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6 comments :

  1. Don't agree with the title of the article.

    "It is the politics that surrounds our nation’s greatest civilian award .."
    That's exactly right. Which means there's nothing wrong with having such an award, just need to get rid of the corruption surrounding it.

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  2. Lal Bahadul Shastri was awarded BR in 1966

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  3. @Ashutosh My Bad. Guess had one peg too many that day. Jokes apart - Why he was awarded posthumously? Couldn't we realize his contributions when he was alive or just an after thought and an effort at face saving??

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  4. i think the award should be there but it should not be given to subhas chandra bose after rajiv gandhi this is the sad thing about this award

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  5. @ Cynical; I have no doubt on the intentions of whatsover you have written in the article; just wanted to point out one flaw( a usual indian shtyle of finding only flaws!!!!)
    My congratulations to you for almost all the blogs you have written except on North Indians!
    I belive thre is truth thre too in whatever you have written but what you could have done is to be more educative rather then critical on our fellow citizens!
    Keep writing!!!!!

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  6. Do you agree that Sanchin Tendulkar should also get this award? Or may be he is being called to RS so that he can be eligible for this award after looting my mother India??

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