How Did These People Get Bharata Ratna???

Isn’t it strange if I recommend myself for an award and get felicitated!? Isn’t it unethical to say that I’ll give this award to myself through others!? Isn’t it foolish to say that I’m the greatest among all in the country!?

If yes, then please decide how we should call Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and his beloved daughter Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Because the facts that are going to be presented below will surprise you that these two ‘eminent personalities’ of our country were the ones who did all the three things that were stated in the beginning of this article!

Bharata Ratna is the highest civilian award given in our country in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour. The Prime Minister of India recommends to the President with maximum of three nominees per year.

When we see the list of Bharat Ratna awardees in our country, it is interesting to note that three members of Nehru – Gandhi family have got Bharat Ratna. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1955, Mrt. Indira Gandhi in 1971 and Mr Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. Now the question comes about what were their contribution to be qualified for this highest civilian award and who recommended them.

Pandit Nehru was an active freedom fighter. He had given leadership for Kisan movements in Uttar Pradesh and other parts of the country; he was an active negotiator with the British government along with Mahatma Gandhiji, he participated in various satyagrahas and was one of the public faces for individual satyagrahas along with Acharya Vinoba Bhave and so on.

However, what are the achievements or contributions of Mrs. Indira Gandhi? Bringing emergency in the country? During her tenure as Prime Minister, the country saw the worst times due to emergency and rampant corruption in bureaucracy. The favouritism reached its peak in her time that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India was chosen based on the personal relationships rather than merit. That means the supremacy and purity of Judiciary was also polluted by her. 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act that was brought by her government aimed to centralise all the powers in the hands of the executives and she was literally a dictator of the country. Whether these achievements qualified her to become a Bharat Ratna?

Rajiv Gandhi’s achievements are also equally questionable so as to qualify for Bharat Ratna. Because, every Prime Minister of India has brought reforms in the country and if he is given the award for those reforms, then every Prime Minister of India till date qualify to be the Bharat Ratnas!

Second part of the story is, who recommended Father – daughter duo for this award.  In 1955, it was the government of first Prime Minister of our country Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru which was in power. As we have seen already that Prime Minister recommends the nomination for this award. That means, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India recommended to the then President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad that the freedom fighter of this country Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru should be felicitated with Bharat Ratna.

The story doesn’t end there. Daughter is a dedicated follower of her father’s footsteps. In 1971, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India recommended to the then President of India, V. V. Giri that let Mrs. Indira Gandhi be felicitated with Bharat Ratna (for whatever the achievements that she did)!!!

Now, it is for the people to decide are they really Bharat Ratnas! Awards don’t judge the personalities. There is sanctity for this award. Letting it down for selfish motives is never justified.

Akshara Damle