Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Bharat Ratna

Since L. K. Advani wrote to Manmohan Singh asking Bharat Ratna to Atal Behari Vajpayee many have joined demanding Bharat Ratna to various people. Names of Jyoti Basu, Kanshiram, Mohammed Rafi, Jyotiba Phule, S. B. Chavan, Biju Patnaik and others have come up.

Bharat Ratna and Padma awards were abolished by Janata Government in 1977 and re-instituted by Congress Government in 1980. The UPA Government can abolish them.

This year the award may not be conferred on anybody. While conferring the award the following should be observed:

1) The recipient must be a living Indian citizen.

2) The recipient must be a national figure.

3) The recipient must have done outstanding good to the country.

4) The recipient must have good moral character. This means, besides other things:

a) A person who has not committed murder, rape, kidnapping, hijacking, extortion or some grave crime.

b) A person who has not committed adultery.

c) A person having fathered a child refuses to acknowledge paternity and sends the child to an orphanage is not fit to receive Bharat Ratna.

d) A person who had sex with prostitute/ gigolo and/or call girl is not fit to receive Bharat Ratna.

5) The recipient must not be a defaulter of loan.

6) The recipient should not have more than one spouse.

7) The recipient should not have married a married person knowingly.

8) The recipient must not be an alcoholic, drunkard, gambler, smoker, betel chewer or gum chewer.

9) The recipient should not be a drug addict.

10) The recipient should not have been a minister in the cabinet that accepted the demands of kidnappers, hijackers and other such criminals. This means, besides other things:

a) Ministers in V. P. Singh Government that surrendered to the kidnappers of Rubiya Sayeed should not receive Bharat Ratna.

b) Ministers in P. V. Narasimha Rao Government that surrendered to the kidnappers of Doraisamy should not receive Bharat Ratna.

c) Ministers in Atal Behari Vajpayee Government that surrendered to the hijackers of Indian Airlines aeroplane that was taken to Kandahar should not receive Bharat Ratna.

d) Ministers in S. M. Krishna and M. Karunanidhi Governments that surrendered to the kidnappers of Rajkumar and paid ransom should not receive Bharat Ratna.

11) The recipient should not be a homosexual / lesbian.

12) The number of songs sung is not a qualification for receiving Bharat Ratna.

13) Proficiency in playing a musical instrument is not a qualification for receiving Bharat Ratna.

14) The number of cartoons drawn is not a qualification for receiving Bharat Ratna.

So far 40 persons have received Bharat Ratna, 11 of them posthumously, some of them many years after their death. Two were not Indian citizens. Many of them were not national figures and are forgotten.

The propriety of conferring Bharat Ratna on serving President, Vice President, Prime Minister or any other person in authority has to be decided.

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