Bharat Ratna: Why are the pygmies after the giants?

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The debate over Bharat Ratna is getting more political and hence more murkier. After ace cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was announced as a recipient of the nation's highest civilian award on the day of his retirement, controversy surfaced as well besides an euphoria.

The announcement to give Tendulkar and Professor CNR Rao the coveted award has led to two major controversies after the celebration settled down. One, the noise over ace hockey player of yesteryears Dhyan Chand not getting the prize and two, professor Rao's outburst against the government's inadequate funding in research work.

Tendulkar played for money, ok, but are the politicians serving for free?

The controversy over Dhyan Chand not getting the Bharat Ratna is an artificial creation or to put it more precisely, both Dhyan Chand and Sachin Tendulkar have been made victims of politics through such controversy. There is no doubt that Dhyan Chand's feats are much bigger than that of Tendulkar but how much difference would have it made for Indian hockey had the wizard been picked as a Bharat Ratna?

Tendulkar took money to play, so he should not get Bharat Ratna?

A JD(U) leader even made a shocking remark on this on Monday by saying that Tendulkar didn't play for free. How does a professional sportsperson's taking money has to do with the Bharat Ratna? The politicians need to be careful while making such remarks that belittle those souls who have sacrificed a lot for their nation.

The ruling party of Bihar is shedding tears for Dhyan Chand today but why was there no demand for all these years? The hockey player had won his gold medals ages ago and has not been conferred with the Bharat Ratna even after 34 years since his death. Suddenly, they want him crowned today. Is it because of genuine respect or political competition?

Politicians never took a stand on what the prof said for it is a tricky affair

The second controversy over Prof Rao's outburst is also a significant development. The ultimate recognition of the professor's work by the state justifies his retaliation for the state's responsibility doesn't end with just handing of an award but also back ventures initiated in various fields of the society.

It is interesting to see that none of the anti-Congress parties are backing the 79-year-old professor on his regret that politicians little recognise scientists for their due and that there is inadequate funding in research ventures. It is a comparatively tough stand to take and hence the politicians are happy with taking a cheap and populist stand on Tendulkar and Dhyan Chand debate.

More farce

The farce didn't end here. Soon after Tendulkar and Rao were announced as the recipients, the BJP raised a demand to give Bharat Ratna to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee while TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu sought the same for former party leader N T Rama Rao.

The call for Vajpayee's name even found backing from Congress ally Farooq Abdullah. Strangley, none of these politicians are speaking about granting the award to personalities who have made great contributions in the nation's life in other fields.

Is Bharat Ratna now a tool for pre-poll campaigning for India's pygmies called the politicians?

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