August 11, 2014

Bharat Ratna - A wasted Ratna?

August 11, 2014 Posted by Vijay , No comments
The highest civilian award in India has become a free for all - almost. And looking at the current candidate list for the award, it looks like an exercise of politics in retrospect than in genuine deservedness. No sooner had BJP started suggesting names of Subhas Chandra Bose and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the almost non-existent Congress party at the Centre demanded the award for Kanshi Ram.

With all due respect and admiration to all the potential candidates, it is truly embarrassing that there is a political slugfest to give th ris distinguished honour. Admittedly Bose was an exception leader whose contributions to Indian independence were probably never given its due. But to give an award inetrospect after more than 60 years, is a little puzzling.

As for Atal Bihari Vajpayee, it almost seems BJP wants its due from awarding it for a BJP leader. He may truly deserve it (and I am just expressing personal opinions here), but the BJP and Congress should introspect and think if they are being fair to the award itself. Maybe there is true merit in Vajpayee or even Kanshi Ram for the award. But it is the process and the credentials that need to be awarded. Not the political backing.

Unfortunately, the award itself probably has lost its credibility. It was awarded to Sachin Tendulkar for his cricketing exploits. I have always been a Sachin critic but there is no denying the bevy of records he has left behind him. But as a Bharat Ratna awardee I would expect basic responsibility from someone of the stature of Sachin. As a sitting Rajya Sabha MP Sachin hasn't even appeared in the parliament this year. Maybe Sachin's life was only cricket. But if he has retired, and he has been entrusted with an MP post in parliament, least he can do is be present in the sessions. He could even doze off like Rahul Gandhi, and no one might even question. Sachin apparently claimed medical emergency but was very much present in Wimbledon this year and also played an MCC match recently. So it is hard to digest his claims.

Bottomline is, that as a living example of the Bharat Ratna award, Sachin has diluted the worth of the award. And with such public debates and political back and forth about the next awardee, the Bharat Ratna seems to have lost the lustre it should have so deserved.