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Bharat Ratna: A shame-game by brainless politicians

New Delhi, Fri, 25 Jan 2008 Vikash Ranjan

After dragging the Bharat Ratna award into controversy, the government of India has decided not to grant the highest civilian award for this year, the 7th in a row since 2001.

The highest civilian Gem of India “Bharat Ratna” award when commenced in 1954, no one would ever have thought of dragging it into the swamp of controversy. It all started off with a good cause of inspiring common people through honouring the apt individuals with Bharat Ratna for their services in artistic, literary or scientific achievements so that the ‘bharat mata’ could proud on such sons of the soil.

But the recent controversy generated by politicians mere mar the prestige of the country. Every people have the birthright to speak of his or her heart. But politicians are the representatives of not only people of their region, but also of the country. Such dirty politics over the prestigious award only presents the wrong picture globally. One should always keep in mind that the prestigious award should never spark a controversy.

All the gallantry and bravery awards besides including Padma, Arjuna or even the National Film award have the history of controversies created at the different time intervals around it. The government, the institution, or the person concerned with such awards must try to escape these awards from dragging into controversies. As these controversies and the selection of inapt awardees pile up mind with negative thoughts, depression and the alarming discouragement to die for the cause of the country.

Anti-national feelings are hazardous for the security and development of any country, which generates with such improper activity by the incapable politicians.

The controversy with the Bharat Ratna commenced with the Advani’s suggestion that Vajpayee was only right candidate for getting the prestigious award and that proposal sparked a deluge of names from Jyotiba Phule proposed by the Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan to late singer Mohammad Rafi, former prime minister Charan Singh and socialist veteran Karpoori Thakur.

The list did not last here. The Bahujan Samaj Party has suggested the late Mr. Kanshi Ram, the communists are supposed to have been peddling the name of Mr. Jyoti Basu, whereas the Akalis are now supposed to have joined the race with Mr. Parkash Singh Badal as their candidate and the Telugu Desam Party is not lag behind with their demand for the award to go to the late Mr. N. T. Rama Rao.

By going public with the names for Bharat Ratna, the proposers have caused embarrassment to the nominees as well as the jury. In successive acts of ‘me-too-ism’, politicians have named the senior leaders of their parties or communities.

In my opinion people practising sheer politics sans any added service/deeds made for the country or for people’ welfare are not an apt candidate to be named with such highest prestigious award. Being a mere politician is not any justifications to confer them Bharat Ratna. Then why should they be granting the Bharat Ratna?

Among such names forwarded by different parties, the name of Bhagat Singh recommended by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, RSS looks appropriate. The RSS, the BJP’s ideological mentor and close ally instead of absorbing Advani’s recommendation and supporting it, came forward with the name of Bhagat Singh and clamoured the award for him.

Think for a while, though it looks far from the reality that all parties would make consensus for Bhagat Singh, if all agrees on the name of Bhagat Singh. What would happen next year? Search for another freedom fighter? But, for how long...? Why not the government plans justifiable criteria accepted by all for granting of such awards so that to escape these honourable award from further controversy.

Instead of criticising Advani proposing for Vajpayee’s name-though he deserves more comparatively to his counterpart politicians-a number of politicians jumped up and recommended names of the leaders of their corresponding party. If these politicians were really serious for their candidates suitable for the award then why not they came up before Advani? Why they were waiting for him?

It is only because they have nothing to do with country’s prestige. They are only playing dirty politics.

If these political parties are really serious for their candidates as the perfect for getting this award, then one alternative in order to escape the prestigious award from dragging into any controversy comes into my mind.

In my opinion there should be a meeting among all the major political parties unseen to common man and decides on the prominent names of each of the party and finally distribute award to all of them. This would also work as the appeasement of all the political parties and more significantly no one would create controversy around it. And if some people other than political leaders would clamour for the discrepancies in providing awards, they could be make silent by various means. As to create controversy is only the right of politicians?

Another alternative is the central government decides to go for an open auction of the Bharat Ratna. The various political parties can then bid for the award (which would, of course, stop being an honour, thereafter), for a candidate of their choice. This would also help the politicians to impress the electorate in a more effective manner in subsequent elections by citing the instance of the Bharat Ratna having been awarded to one of their party members.

It’s an irony that our political leaders are fighting over an issue that is associated with dignity and self-respect. Indian politicians once again demonstrated how brainless they could be.

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