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Saturday, March 6, 2010


Dear (s)   --  This was the message circulated to my friends on 28th Jan 2009 after the 2009 Padma Awards were announced.  Perhaps the situation is no better this year and my article on Sachin & Bharat Ratna runs parallel still.

Every Nation should honour its brave and gallant heroes. Even in our puranas, the merit of dying as a martyr in the cause of Dharma is all along appreciated and any kind of death on battlefield was considered glorious. The highest gallantry award is Param Vir Chakra whilst Ashok Chakra is the country’s highest peacetime gallantry award.

Ashok Chakra was conferred posthumously on 11 police and defence personnel who laid down their lives fighting the terrorists. The awardees included ATS chief Hemant Karkare, additional commissioner Ashok Kamte, inspector Vijay Salaskar and assistant sub-inspector Tukaram Omble, NSG commandos Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and Havildar Gajender Singh. Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma of Delhi Police who was killed in an encounter at Jamia Nagar in Delhi last year during an operation against Indian Mujahideen terrorists was also awarded.

Alongside there was another news item – which read “ A galaxy of personalities from Tamil Nadu including eminent writer Jayakanthan, popular film comedian Vivek and ……….. who have carved a niche for themselves in their chosen fields have bagged the prestigious Padma awards”. To understand and appreciate, please read the following :

The system of honouring was first established under the auspices of the British East India Company. Immediately on proclamation of Indian Republic all british awarded honours became obsolete, but were instituted in 1954. Presently, the National Awards of Honour are :
1) Bharat Ratna – Gem of Bharat
2) Padma Vibushan
3) Padma Bhushan
4) Padma Shri.

Padma Shri is an award given by the Government of India generally to Indian citizens to recognize their distinguished contribution in various spheres of activity including the Arts, Education, Industry, Literature, Science, Sports, Social Service and public life. (The word "Padma" (Sanskrit) means "Lotus".)

This year’s list shows 20 eminent persons - Three sportspersons – Pankaj Advani, Dhoni and Harbhajan. One from Trade and Industry. Six from Literature and Education and a whopping 10 from Arts (read as Cinema) – you have Aishwarya Rai Bachan, Akshay Kumar, Kalamandalam Gopi, Thilakan and comedian Vivek rubbing shoulders with those who have served the nation in any exceptional manner.

But there is no place for Olympic Bronze medalist Sushil Kumar and boxer Vijender Singh, who won the country’s maiden medal in boxing. Whist this should hurt even a commoner, the medalist is reported to have said that their job is to perform and win laurels for the country and it is for the Govt. and rest to take notice.

There are always messages to be read everywhere.

With regards
S Sampathkumar.

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