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Controversies surrounding Bharat Ratna to Sachin Tendulkar

Bharat Ratna, the highest award for civilians in India

The Jewel of India or Gem of India is a national award to be conferred upon civilians for performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavor without any distinction of race, occupation, position or sex was instituted in 1954 by the Government of India.

In January 1966 the officially stipulated criteria were altered to allow the award to be bestowed posthumously and later only in December 2011 it included sportspersons.

The medal bears an embossed platinum image of the Sun underneath which is the inscription ‘Bharat Ratna’ in burnished bronze written in devanagari script on a toned bronze peepul leaf having a platinum rim with the State emblem in platinum and motto in devanagri on the reverse.

The recommendations are made to the President of India by the Prime Minister of India. A maximum of three persons can be awarded in any given year like Chakravarti Rajgopalachari, C. V. Raman and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan were the first awardees in 1954.

The honor neither bears any title or post-nominal nor carries any monetary grant with the awardees only being allowed to make a mention of it in their CVs or cards by the Constitution of India.

There is no provision mentioning that awardees can only be Indian citizens. Hence it has been awarded to Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Nelson Mandela in 1987 and 1990 respectively.

Till date 43 persons have been honored with the Bharat Ratna with only the case of the award having been withdrawn for Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in 1992.

Clouds shrouding awarding of Bharat Ratna to Sachin Tendulkar

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court reserved its order on a PIL challenging the granting of Bharat Ratna to cricketer Sachin Tendulkar on November 25, 2013. The petition had been filed by IPS official Amitabh Thakur along with social activist Nutan Thakur. Their counsel Asok Pande argued that cricket was less of a sport and more a ‘tamasha’ and demanded that additional guidelines must be setup by the Government to select Bharat Ratna winners. Additional Solicitor General KC Kaushik offered a list of all Bharat Ratna awardees. The bench of Justices Imtiyaz Murtaza and D K Upadhyaya reserved the ruling for a later date after hearing out both the parties.

Another PIL was submitted in the Madras High Court to stop the awarding of Bharat Ratna to cricketer Sachin Tendulkar on the grounds of violation of the mandatory norms of the presidential notification for the award. The first bench of Chief Justice R K Agrawal and justice M Sathyanarayanan headed over when the PIL of advocate N Kanagasabai came up for admission on November 29, 2013. The PIL sought an interim injunction preventing the Centre from awarding Sachin Tendulkar on January 26, 2014 or any other day declaring the recommendations as illegal. Additional solicitor-general of India P Wilson opposed admission of the case saying that the Centre has already amended the presidential notification enabling sportspersons also to be eligible for Bharat Ratna award. The bench asked the additional solicitor-general to furnish a copy of the notification. The hearing was adjourned to December 03, 2013.

Sportspersons render support for Sachin Tendulkar

Legendary former cricketer Sunil Manohar Gavaskar proclaimed that Sachin Tendulkar is not only a Bharat Ratna but a Viswa Ratna as well. Famous former Indian batsman V V S Laxman felt that Sachin Tendulkar truly justifies being a Bharat Ratna award recipient.

Tendulkar referred to as the God of cricket retired after his 200th Test tendering an emotional farewell at his home ground at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai as the sport’s most abundant run scorer in a dazzling career extending for 24 years.

The Maharashtra school curriculum will include a chapter on Sachin Tendulkar’s exceptional career as a cricketer.

Tributes flowed for the little master of cricket from the media all over the world in appreciation for his outstanding talent, true grit lined with supreme integrity and soft spoken humility.

Sachin Tendulkar merits being a Bharat Ratna

Bringing honor to India through unbelievable toil for 24 years is sufficient for Sachin to lay claim to the Bharat Ratna as has been announced by the Government of India. Cricket is synonymous to Sachin Tendulkar then why is such hell breaking loose or so much being written against the giving him the award. With the fanatical proportions to which cricket has gained popularity in the Indian subcontinent as a whole it is fully vindicated and warranted.

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