Tag: dev anand

Bharata Ratna candidates

The decision of the government to change the rule for eligibility to get Bharata Ratna has stirred a debate and opened the floodgates with demands for Bharata Ratna for various persons. Formerly it was for art, literature, public service and science. Now it is for any field in human endeavour. The change came about because sport was not a category for which Bharata Ratna was given and many people wanted Sachin Tendulkar should get Bharata Ratna.

There are people who feel all national awards should be abolished because they are political. They are few. There are those who say giving Bharata Ratna for sport will devalue Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna which was equivalent to Bharata Ratna and if someone is given Bharata Ratna for sport all sportspersons who got Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna will feel humiliated. Sachin Tendulkar has got Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. Since sport is included for Bharata Ratna, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna should be abolished.

Some question the timing of announcement and say it is a diversion from the problems faced by UPA government. There is movement for Lokpal Bill. It had to hold back FDI in retail. There is demand for P. Chidambaram’s resignation. Rupee has weakened. Economy has declined. Sachin Tendulkar is expected to hit his 100th international 100. Conferring Bharata Ratna on Sachin Tendulkar will make people happy and they will forget about the problems.

There are people who say Dhyan Chand should be the first one to get Bharata Ratna. He got three gold medals in Olympics. He played in Amsterdam (1928), Los Angeles (1932) and Berlin (1936). He scored 1,000 goals in hockey. Dhyan Chand died on 3 December 1979. Some say both Dhyan Chand and Sachin Tendulkar should get. Some say one should get, giving to two will devalue Bharata Ratna. In the past two or more persons were given Bharata Ratna in the same year. That time nobody spoke of devaluation. Some say SachinTendulkar is too young while others oppose it saying he started young.

Apart from the above two there are many other names doing rounds.

Some have proposed Balbir Singh who got three gold medals in hockey in Olympics, another player who got three gold medals and one silver medal in hockey in Olympics, Prakash Padukone, Vijay Amritraj, Ramanathan Krishnan, Milkha Singh, Vishwanathan Anand, Abhinav Bindra, Leander Paes and Karnam Malleshwari. Someone said Mahendra Singh Dhoni should get Bharata Ratna because he led India to victory in T20 World Cup and ODI World Cup and No. 1 Test ranking.

Some have proposed Katrina Kaif, Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Rajnikant, Gulzar, Mohammed Rafi and Mamooty. Someone proposed Lata Mangeshkar without knowing she got Bharata Ratna some years back.

Some have proposed Anna Hazare.

Abolishing awards will mean end to controversies and demands about awards and saving money. Bharata Ratna should be restricted to living persons. It was meant and given for living persons except in case of Lal Bahadur Shastri who died unexpectedly and was awarded Bharata Ranta within a few days of his death. That changed in 1990 and for some years people who had died many years back got Bharata Ratna. Some years back there were demands on behalf of many persons who had died long back so the award has not been given to dead persons since then.

Statehood for Telangana

On 9 December 2009 at 11.30 p.m. P. Chidambaram announced the initiation of process for statehood for Telangana. Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhara Rao, leader of Telangana Rashtra Samiti, called off his fast.
It is unlikely that K. Chandrashekhara Rao wanted to fast unto death for Telangana. There was no need to arrest him when he began fast. After two days he gave up his fast. There was hostile reaction to his giving up of his fast. He blamed the police saying they forced him to end fast and resumed his fast. He reminded me of Dev Anand in Guide who is trapped by circumstances to undertake a fast and dies. The demand for statehood for Telangana had support from students and many others and things went out of control. The announcement by Chidambaram saved KCR.
Next day Non-Telangana MLAs and MPs of Andhra Pradesh protested statehood for Telangana. Many threatened to resign and sent their resignations to party leaders. Some said Hyderabad should not go to Telangana.
When India became independent there were no linguistic states. The demand for Andhra Pradesh led to the formation of linguistic states. When Andhra Pradesh was formed in 1953 Telangana was not part of it and Hyderabad was not its capital. Telangana became part of Andhra Pradesh in 1956. Hyderabad should go to Telangana. There is no justification for making it a Union Territory or capital of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Comparison with Chandigarh is not justified. Chandigarh is close to the border of Haryana. According to Rajiv-Longowal Accord Chandigarh was to become part of Punjab on 26 January 1986. That was not done.
Congress MLAs who are opposed to statehood for Telangana should have said it when they were asked about it. Instead they authorised Congress High Command to take a decision.
Chandrababu Naidu said he will support a resolution for statehood for Telangana if Congress moves it in the Assembly. Now that a decision has been taken there is no point in blaming others for what happened. In October 2008 he expressed support for statehood for Telangana reversing the policy of Telugu Desam which was opposed to the division of Andhra Pradesh.
The announcement gave a boost to many statehood demands. People from various regions have demanded statehood from time to time. Sometimes the agitations have been violent. There are demands for statehood for Coorg, Vidarbha, Bundelkhand, Harit Pradesh, Poorvanchal, Mithilanchal, Gorkhaland and Bodoland.
Some talk demand for smaller states as opening of Pandora’s box. Some talk of Telangana virus. These reactions are unjustified. Many demands were there for a long time. There is no opposition for division of Uttar Pradesh. Coorg and Gorkhaland are small. West Bengal is opposed to Gorkhaland. Decisions have to be taken on a case by case basis.

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