The 68th Independence Day is imminent, and the tussle is not concerning the arrangements for the day; this time it is all about the country's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, and its recipients.
Speculations and rumours have escalated following the news that Modi government has ordered five medallions from the RBI mint. Speculation has also spruced up on the basis of the reports that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee may be named for the award.
A strong buzz also surrounds Netaji Subash Chandra Bose being another name on the list of the country's highest civilian honour. But the honour turns posthumous here, and the reports say that his family strongly disagrees to the move presenting that his death has not been confirmed yet.
The congress government is accusing the BJP on the Bharat Ratna issue though they had their time with the same during their term. Amid wide speculations, a Congress leader said BSP founder Kanshi Ram and Aligarh Muslim University founder Sir Syed Ahmed Khan should also be given the country's highest civilian award. Above all this, a long list of freedom fighter's names has been furnished by the Congress speaker Manish Tiwari.
It is quite clear that the current hullabaloo over the Bharat Ratna is all about the political benefits for the upcoming assembly elections. The Telugu Desam Party has come up with their demand for naming NT Rama Rao for Bharat Ratna while some sports enthusiasts have been holding up the name of hockey doyen Dhyan Chand. If both the ruling and the opposing parties are approached for naming the recipients’ list, then the list would surely spill only the names concerning their political advantages.
This farce-play actors of the Bharat Ratna should remember Abdul Kalam Azad, who, when offered the honour, declined it saying that it should not be given to those who have been on the selection panel. Later he was awarded it posthumously in 1992.
Those who are behind the tug of war for this coveted honour should understand the fact that it has actually dimmed its radiance, its importance. The honour, whose recipients should only be those who had stood for the welfare of the country and against all kinds of partisanships have now been seen as a market product. It is not like that the award is not being presented to those who deserve it; there is an underlying truth that it is also being given to a lot of people who unfortunately do not deserve it.
Beyond party concerned thoughts and bigot mentality, a revamp is what is needed concerning the honours including the Bharat Ratna. It would be appreciative if the proclamation of the awards would for the time being be suspended until a system of justice in the award's name is implemented. Such a move experimented earlier has surely not done any harm to the real gems of the country.