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Opinion: 'Bharat Ratna' Loses Sanctity With Wrong Appeals

Opinion: 'Bharat Ratna' Loses Sanctity With Wrong Appeals

Sunil Gavaskar has recently called for Rahul Dravid to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, citing Dravid's achievement in leading the Indian team to victory in the T20 World Cup as a coach. This demand raises several questions.

Why only Rahul Dravid, and why only cricket players? Since Sachin Tendulkar received the Bharat Ratna, cricket fans and players have eagerly anticipated who might be next.

Many argue that Sachin inspired the entire nation towards cricket and thus deserved the honor. If that's the case, PV Sindhu also inspired many young girls to play badminton. Her influence led to a surge in interest and participation in badminton across India.

Similarly, Viswanathan Anand has been a significant inspiration in chess, motivating many young boys to take up the game. Notable players like Gukesh D, P Harikrishna, and Koneru Humpy were inspired by Anand. Young prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, who defeated Magnus Carlsen, also drew inspiration from Anand. Therefore, Anand too deserves consideration for the Bharat Ratna.

Cricket players are highly paid and earn exorbitant amounts compared to other athletes. Many sportsmen and women bring medals to India in the Paralympics, serving as true inspirations not just to players but to all of mankind. Why can't they be considered for the Bharat Ratna?

There was once significant lobbying for Padma awards, but when given to true heroes of society, the respect for these awards increased. However, with frequent appeals for Bharat Ratna for celebrities, the award's sanctity is being diminished.

Let's consider playback singers. Lata Mangeshkar received the Bharat Ratna while alive, and the award can also be given posthumously. Why then can't SP Balasubrahmanyam, Mohammad Rafi, and Kishore Kumar be honored similarly?

PV Narasimha Rao was awarded the Bharat Ratna last year for his economic reforms. While he may deserve the award on certain grounds, there were cases against him, raising a debate about awarding such honors in such scenarios.

NTR's name has been suggested for the Bharat Ratna, especially since MGR received it. NTR deserves the award for inspiring both film artists and politicians.

Ramoji Rao's name has also been suggested by some after his demise, but he faces financial cases in the Supreme Court. Should he be considered for the highest civilian award unless acquitted? This is another debate altogether.

The Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award and should not be given based on appeals or popularity. It should be awarded based on true merit. Many unsung heroes in India deserve recognition. The Bharat Ratna should be awarded to real role models rather than rich or controversial individuals.

Narendra Modi, who reformed the Padma Awards system by honoring common people, should also consider reforming the Bharat Ratna awarding system.

Usha Chowdhary


Tags: India Bharat Ratna Rahul Dravid Sunil Gavaskar