There is now a decent size clamor for Sachin getting the Bharat Ratna. Easily the most prestigious award in the country it is normally given when person is dead or dying. There was no dispute when Pandit Nehru got it. Of course that was at a time when people like Maulana Abdul Kalam said government awards should not be given to government employees like civil servants and ministers (he said that to Nehru when he refused some award – do not remember which award).

Hopefully Pandit Nehru would have put in place a decent procedure for awarding the B Ratna (hopefully). However after that Lal Bahadur Shastri got the award. 2 non Indians who got it (as far as my memory goes) are Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and Nelson Mandela.

M S Subhalakshmi, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, etc. are some other notable winners.

Morarji Desai saw the politicisation of the award and stopped it in 1977 – of course Indira revived it in 1980. The worst was (was it in 1972?) when India trounced Pakistan (Bangladesh war) – Indira awarded the BR to herself!

Is Sachin as deserving as Nelson Mandela or a Pt. Bhimsen Joshi? Has he created some major change in the world. I think from a traditional point of view perhaps no. However he has brought Joy to a big part of the world in the past 20 years. He may not deserve it as much as Pandit Nehru (journalists those days did not write about big politicians), may not be as much as Nelson Mandela or a Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, but deserves it as much as as Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, …and some others.

However whether Sachin actually gets it will remain a political question…and perhaps whether he can keep himself in the limelight after his playing days are over. Normally B R is chosen very close to your date of death, if not after death 🙂

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  1. Dr Mohammed Ali Khan

    ALL awards are subjective and political.. There is no escaping this.. Even the Nobel peace prize.. After all they gave it to Al Gore (Global warming alarmist! ) and Obama ( Please tell me what he did ) .. If this is what happens to a “Prestigious” Nobel prize.. Think of our National awards..

  2. “Normally B R is chosen very close to your date of death, if not after death :)”

    In other words – Good Riddance

  3. cant we just abolish state sponsored awards?. why does the tax money my maid or driver paid be used to bestow a couple of lac rupees on someone a bunch of netas think is important to honor.
    tendulkar is already the darling of the masses.the market says so. he is the richest sportstar by a stretch and people truly like him.they are willing to pay thousands to go and watch him play.
    that said,the govt has no business in making such decisions using public money.
    if the legislators so want, they can chip in their personal money and give tendulkar anything they please.

  4. @Pravin
    Great thoughts
    The Government has no business doling out awards to (already) rich sport stars just so that some 2 bit politician can have a photo opportunity.. Let some private organization or a magazine offer them awards.. There is no use for these awards (except to frame questions for the various competitive exams that are being held — as a test of general knowledge).. Instead spend the money on sophisticated weaponry or spy equipment for our armed forces or CRPF..

  5. Lets give it to Sachin. And Kapil for winning the 83 world cup and also becuase you have to give it to a crieckter from north India. Gavaskar is the next logical recipient for his 10,000 runs but may face difficulty as Maharsatra would then have 2 cricket Bharat Ratans. And Ganguly from the east for taking off his shirt at Lords and in the biggest Britain bashing event after independence. That leaves South. Perhaps to Kumble for the 10 wicket haul against Pakistan. So we have national intgration and every one is happy.

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