Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bharat Ratna: Is the change in guidelines good?

Lately there has been a large hue and cry over the changing of the criteria for awarding the Bharat Ratna to "performance of highest order in any field of human endeavour". This is a modification from the previous criteria of restricting winners from the fields of art, literature, science and public services.


The detractors are saying that the rules have been changed to facilitate awarding Sachin Tendulkar. And since Sachin is a sportsperson, which is by nature "a form of entertainment" and does not contribute to nation-building, should be excluded. I have nothing to say for or against Sachin as an individual awardee. My only contention is that I am not very sure of how people like Bhimsen Joshi, Bismillah Khan, Lata Mangeshkar, Pt. Ravi Shankar, M. S. Subbulakshmi - all musicians have contributed to the "nation-building"!! Similarly, the award has been presented to all Prime Ministers that headed Congress governments. I am not sure how great a job was actually done by people like Gulzarilal Nanda, and MGR, Lal Bahadur Shahstri and VV Giri. 


I have nothing against these people individually. It is just that I do not understand that this holier-than-thou attitude of some professionals!

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