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Saturday, March 6, 2010


In a recent Quiz conducted for SYMA, identifying this award was the starter.

Reams have been written on this little master born on 24th April 1973 and he truly deserves everything. Tendulya (Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar) is now approaching his 37th birthday and will have fewer candles on the table than his Test or ODI hundreds.
 No body can ever imagine doing anything with such zealous passion for 21 years – he has come a very long way since his debut at Pak in 1989 at the tender age of 16. still continues to bat on as if he is playing his First match. His commitment, dedication, devotion, determination, concentration are above par than any one whom you can imagine.

History suggests that records will tumble and will be rewritten but many a times it requires Sachin to do that – yes rewriting most of his records. Perhaps another score of more than double ton could be in the offing before he retires. This little genius has walked into international arena a phenomenal 609 times, each time with as much zest. As he played through the innings, scoring 200 in the process at Gwalior, he surpassed 31054 international runs, 6000 more than his nearest rival Ricky Ponting.
The greatest batsman ever to have descended on Universe is no stranger to awards; besides the innumerable MOMs, he is a recipient of Arjuna Award given for accomplished sportsmen(1994) and Padma Shri in 1999. He was given the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the country’s highest sporting honour, in 1998. He was also chosen as the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1997 while Time magazine named him in November 2006 as one of the Asian heroes and greatest living exponent of his craft. He was awarded Padma Vibushan in 2008. In Jan 2008, British PM Gordon Brown suggested that he be conferred with honorary knighthood.

There is much hype for conferring the highest National Award ‘ Bharat Ratna ‘ to him – orchestrated by many political parties, sportsmen and his massive fan following. A signature campaign is on. Me being an avid fan of cricket, have adored Sachin all through my life, and would travel any distance to see him play.                  B U T, I feel this political overdrive is meaningless.

The Deputy CM of Maharashtra went on record stating that they will ask the Centre to award Bharat Ratna to Sachin as he has mesmerized circket lovers the world over. The demand was raised in Lok Sabha during zero hour contending that this would help inspire the youth of the Nation to take to sports. Certainly there are better things to be conducted in Parliament. The Maha CM also said that he would recommend Sachin. Cricketers of yesteryears including the likes of Ajit Wadekar, Kapil Dev – an icon by himself, Sourav, Sania Mirza all felt the need. When there is such a hype, the Rashtrapathi Bhavan perhaps would have no problem in accepting the proposal and conferring him the Bharat Ratna.

No one has been awarded the highest civilian award in the last 5 years. Political parties have been lobbying and the names going rounds include leaders of the stature of Atal Behari Vajpayee, Kanshi Ram, M Karunanidhi and Karpoori Thakur.

BHARAT RATNA translate to Jewel of India or Gem of India – is the highest civilian award given for highest degrees of national service, which includes artistic, literary and scientific achievements as also recognition of public service of the highest order. Whilst those knighted become “Sir”, the recipients of BR do not carry any special title but they certainly have a place in the Indian Order of Precedence. This is an award established on 2nd Jan 1954 by the First President Rajendra Prasad – the awarding of BR was suspended briefly from 13th July 1977 to 26th Jan 1980.

Thus far, 41 have had the honour conferred on them - which includes two non-Indians and a naturalized Indian citizen. The actual award is designed in the shape of a peepul leaf and carries with the words "Bharat Ratna", inscribed in Devanagari script. The reverse side of the medal carries the state emblem and motto. The award is attached to a two-inch wide ribbon, and was designed to be worn around the recipient's neck..
Though there was no allowance for posthumous awards in 1954 (Mahatma Gandhi was never awarded this). Legendary freedom fighter Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose was awarded in 1992 but was later withdrawn to a legal technicality in accepting his death. Our own MG Ramachandran was conferred Bharat Ratna posthumously. Perhaps ordinary people like us can never understand the conferrment on Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (1987) and Nelson Mandela (1990). 11 persons have been awarded this after their death – recognition after their passing away. Apart from Vinobha Bhave, Jayaprakash Narain and Dr BR Ambedkar, rest were all connected with political field. Abul Kalam Azad was given this award posthumously in 1992, though he passed away in 1958.

Chakravarthi V Rajagopalachariar was the first recipient in 1954 and alongside there are 41 persons – 22 have had political careers. There are many very eminent persons like Sir CV Raman, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the great Civil Engineer and architect Visvesvarayya, Industrialist JRD Tata, Honble Abdul Kalam. There are people like economist Amartya Sen and there are musicians like MS Subbulakshmi, Bismilla Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, Ravi Shankar and Latha Mangeshkar. Film director Satyajit Ray also got this award in 1992.

Ideally such great National awards should embellish those who have done yeomen service to the Nation building or had created deep impact in the lives of people by their findings or by their way of life. This should apply not only to Bharat Rathna but to Padma awards given every year – the Padma Vibushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. Only here you would find cine actors and others of entertainment sharing the podium brushing shoulders with great scientists, social workers and industrialists. This year Zohra Segal who started her career as dancer with Uday Shankar in 1935 and appeared in many films was awarded the second highest civilian award alongside Dr Prathap C Reddy, an Doctor & businessman who founded the corporate chain of hospitals, the Apollo group, Dr. Yaga Venugopal Reddy, IAS who served as Governor of RBI & Nobel laureate in Chemistry for studies of the structure & function of the ribosome - Dr Venkatraman Ramakrishnan. To me this was a great inequality.

Nation need to honour, respect and model their lives on the lives of great people. The definition is very relative and whom you have role model, would impact the future generation.

Well the Q at the start – the medal of Bharat Ratna.

Regards – S Sampathkumar.


  1. Thanks Rajaram, the mistakes stands corrected - Sampath

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