Monday, January 21, 2008

Candidates for the Bharat Ratna

The BJP has been demanding our highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, for former PM Vajpayee. Now, to stress the point that age should not be a limiting factor for the Bharat Ratna (or maybe to stress some other point that eludes me), the BJP's parent organisation, the RSS, is demanding one for Bhagat Singh, who was born 100 years ago and died over 75 years ago.

So we don't need to confine ourselves to individuals of contemporary importance. Good. Now that we're clear on that, here's a list of Indian individuals that have regrettably not been awarded our highest civilian honour; I think the omissions should urgently be rectified.

  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Rabindranath Tagore
  • Thyagaraja
  • Tansen
  • Akbar
  • Adi Sankara
  • Ashoka
  • The Buddha
  • Lord Rama

I'm sure I've left out a few deserving names above. But no doubt our government will speedily attend to the matter.


km said...

Tansen? Highly over-rated, if you ask me. Just because he helped developed our system of music does not make him Bharat Ratna material.

Vajpayee, on the other hand...

Anonymous said...

especially glad Tyagaraja finds a place in your list. he is certainly right up there with all these other people...(though i dont concur with the fact that Akbar and Ashoka are there but that is another issue) ...wonder if you might make the list "complete" by including scientists.....aryabhatta or perhaps nilakantha ...and sportsmen.....dhyan chand perhaps?

Rahul Siddharthan said...

km - Vajpayee is certainly fine. I mean, if Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, Morarji Desai -- in fact, ALL our prime ministers up until 1989 except for Charan Singh -- could get it...

anonymous -- it may surprise you to know that I don't concur with giving the Bharat Ratna to ANY of the names in my list.

km said...

Uh-huh, I know your list was meant in sarcasm, but to Anonymous: dude, Ashoka and Akbar were instrumental in defining "Bharat". Some consideration for that, please.

//And why stop at Thyagaraja? Why not the other two in the Trinity?

//sarcasm is dead.