Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

National Awards

Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushana, Padma Bhushana and Padma Shree are national awards conferred by the Government of India. They are not titles. The Constitution of India forbids conferring of titles by the Government of India. They are not meant to be added before names.
They are announced at the time of Republic Day. Sometimes Bharat Ratna award is announced at other times. Many times there is fight for awards. Some people feel they should have got it.
Bharat Ratna has been devalued over the years. Janata Dal led National Front Government started to confer it on persons dead long back. Other Governments continued it. United Front Government after its fall conferred it on six persons in three months. Those who excel in art by playing musical instruments or singing songs can be given other awards. Conferring Bharat Ratna on them has devalued it. It should be only for people who have rendered service at national level or done something of national importance.
The President of India and the Union Council of Ministers must note the abuse of national awards by adding them to names and take appropriate steps to stop it.

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