Prasanna Mohanty | January 25, 2012
After the sports ministry recommended the names of legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand and mountaineer Tenzing Norgay for Bharat Ratna, there is a hue and cry over omission of Sachin Tendulkar’s name. After all, if there is one sport, and passion, that binds all Indians it is cricket and Tendulkar is the ‘god’ of cricket.
But should we be wasting Bharat Ratna on sports persons at all, or someone who just happens to score a few runs more than the others in a game? There are many awards, including Khel Ratna, Arjun award and the Padma awards, for the sports persons. A few more can be set up if these are found to be wanting. Are we not trivializing our highest civilian award by even considering sportspersons?
Nearly 50 percent of our kids suffer from malnutrition; our health and education systems are in pathetic condition; clean water and toilets are not available to a significant chunk of population and many Indians continue to perish to hunger, eminently treatable diseases and debt every year. We continue to figure at the bottom of human development index, corruption index, education index, hunger index and poverty index.
Shouldn’t we be restricting our highest civilian award to those who really make a difference to our lives by addressing or helping in overcoming any of these problems?
Think it over.
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