The moment it come to news that Bharat Ratna will be awarded to Legendary Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar most of the people accepted it cheerfully. But there are some sections who believed that it was not right to confer him with the highest civilian award because there are many more that deserve this honour before Sachin. Demand for Sachin to be conferred with Bharat Ratna (Jewel of India or Gem of India in English) has constantly been raised for last few years but now it has been accepted.
Let you be briefed about the Bharat Ratna. Until 2011, the official criteria for awarding the Bharat Ratna stipulated it was to be conferred “for the highest degrees of national service. This service includes artistic, literary, and scientific achievements, as well as “recognition of public service of the highest order.” In December 2011, the Government of India modified the criteria to allow sportspersons to receive the award; since then, the award may be conferred “for performance of highest order in any field of human endeavour.
But the timing seems to be highly politically motivated. The reason being if the UPA would not have initiated this move BJP would have definitely jumped in and would have run the nationwide campaign for conferring Sachin this honour (as they are always into nationwide campaign against Congress). It is learnt that the decision was taken by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi with an eye on the youth, since Tendulkar is the biggest icon of the youth in the country. As the nation had already witnessed the tearful adieu from Sachin it would have definitely moved into riot like situation if such campaign would have started. UPA which is already in appalled state would not have wished to invite such negative campaigning.
The condition of UPA is very dicey after this quickie announcement because though Sachin deserves Bharat Ratna with no scope of hesitation but there are sportsperson like Major Dhayanchand, Abhinav Bindra, Vishwanathan Anand and PT Usha who placed India on the sporting map and made the world stand up and take notice of India and other distinguished persons like former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia . Let’s see what would be the UPA’s next move. Hope Sachin should step forward and turned down this offer. This would make him more and more noble and generous, beyond imagination.
As per sources, the Prime Minister’s Office – which takes the final call on Bharat Ratna awardees – started deliberating on Tendulkar’s name after he announced retirement from the game.
The final decision was taken as late as last week, when Sachin played his last Cricket test match – his 200th Test.
The government, as per sources, was of the view that it would not be appropriate to award Bharat Ratna to Dhyan Chand now, 34 years after he passed away.
List of Bharat Ratna recipients
|Chakravarti Rajgopalachari||1878–1972||1954||Independence activist, last Governor-General|
|C. V. Raman||1888–1970||1954||Physicist|
|Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan||1888–1975||1954||Philosopher, India’s First Vice President (1952-1962), and India’s Second President(1962-1967)|
|Bhagwan Das||1869–1958||1955||Independence activist, author, Founder of Kashi Vidya Peeth|
|Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya||1861–1962||1955||Civil engineer, Diwan of Mysore|
|Jawaharlal Nehru||1889–1964||1955||Independence activist, author, first Prime Minister|
|Govind Ballabh Pant||1887–1961||1957||Independence activist, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Home Minister|
|Dhondo Keshav Karve||1858–1962||1958||Educator, social reformer|
|Bidhan Chandra Roy||1882–1962||1961||Physician, Chief Minister of West Bengal|
|Purushottam Das Tandon||1882–1962||1961||Independence activist, educator|
|Rajendra Prasad||1884–1963||1962||Independence activist, jurist, first President|
|Zakir Hussain||1897–1969||1963||Independence activist, Scholar, third President|
|Pandurang Vaman Kane||1880–1972||1963||Indologist and Sanskrit scholar|
|Lal Bahadur Shastri||1904–1966||1966||Posthumous, independence activist, second Prime Minister|
|Indira Gandhi||1917–1984||1971||Third Prime Minister|
|V. V. Giri||1894–1980||1975||Trade unionist and fourth President|
|K. Kamaraj||1903–1975||1976||Posthumous, independence activist, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu State|
|Mother Teresa||1910–1997||1980||Catholic nun, founder of the Missionaries of Charity|
|Vinoba Bhave||1895–1982||1983||Posthumous, social reformer, independence activist|
|Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan||1890–1988||1987||First non-citizen, independence activist|
|M. G. Ramachandran||1917–1987||1988||Posthumous, film actor, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu|
|B. R. Ambedkar||1891–1956||1990||Posthumous, Chief architect of the Indian Constitution,Crusader against Untouchablity, Dalit Icon, Social Reformer, Historian, politician, economist, and scholar|
|Nelson Mandela||b. 1918||1990||Second non-citizen and non-Indian recipient, Leader of the Anti-Apartheid movement|
|Rajiv Gandhi||1944–1991||1991||Posthumous, Sixth Prime Minister|
|Vallabhbhai Patel||1875–1950||1991||Posthumous, independence activist, first Home Minister|
|Morarji Desai||1896–1995||1991||Independence activist, fourth Prime Minister|
|Abul Kalam Azad||1888–1958||1992||Posthumous, independence activist, first Minister of Education|
|J. R. D. Tata||1904–1993||1992||Industrialist and philanthropist|
|A. P. J. Abdul Kalam||b. 1931||1997||Aeronautical Engineer,11th President of India|
|Gulzarilal Nanda||1898–1998||1997||Independence activist, interim Prime Minister|
|Aruna Asaf Ali||1908–1996||1997||Posthumous, independence activist|
|M. S. Subbulakshmi||1916–2004||1998||Carnatic classical singer|
|Chidambaram Subramaniam||1910–2000||1998||Independence activist, Minister of Agriculture|
|Jayaprakash Narayan||1902–1979||1999||Posthumous, independence activist and politician|
|Ravi Shankar||1920–2012||1999||Sitar player|
|Amartya Sen||b. 1933||1999||Economist|
|Gopinath Bordoloi||1890–1950||1999||Posthumous, independence activist, Chief Minister of Assam|
|Lata Mangeshkar||b. 1929||2001||Playback singer|
|Bismillah Khan||1916–2006||2001||Hindustani classical shehnai player|
|Bhimsen Joshi||1922–2011||2008||Hindustani classical singer|
|C. N. R. Rao||b. 1934||2014||Scientist (announced)|
|Sachin Tendulkar||b. 1973||2014||Cricketer (announced)|
Previous Controversies on Bharat Ratna
- The Indian government issued a communique in 1992 that Bharat Ratna would be conferred on Subhas Chandra Bose posthumously. The Supreme Court of India later cancelled this communique following a public interest litigation filed against the posthumous nature of the award due to the mystery surrounding the death of Subhas Chandra Bose. The government gave an affidavit that in deference to the sentiments expressed by the public and the Bose family, the government did not proceed to confer the award.
- When the award was offered to freedom fighter and India’s first Minister of Education, Abul Kalam Azad, he promptly declined it saying that it should not be given to those who have been on the selection committee. Later he was awarded posthumously in 1992.