Just ahead of the much hyped 2019 Lok Sabha Polls, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi sprung a surprise . It conferred the nation’s highest civilian award to – former President and Congress stalwart Pranab Mukherjee, Sangh icon Nanaji Deshmukh and noted Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika.
It took everybody by surprise to find the name of Pranab Mukherjee among the recipients. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been relentlessly advocating on each and every platform for a Congress Mukt Bharat and reminding the people of the Emergency under Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi. So to give an award to Mukherjee, who was Indira’s right hand man and a Congress man all through his political career left the political fraternity stunned .
Many see this move as a aim to make an aim to make in- roads into West Bengal by the BJP. The Party is desperately keen to make an impact in the state and perhaps honouring one of the stalwarts of politics from the state is one of the ways to woo the electorate .
The RSS and the BJP have a been at loggerheads on issues like Ram Temple and chief Mohan Bhagwat has not shied away from commenting on crucial issues that has irked the government. This Bharat Ratna to Nanaji Deshmukh is perhaps an attempt to keep the Sangh happy.
With the citizenship amendment bill , NRC and other issues rocking Assam, the BJP is seeking to win many seats in the North East region as it expects losses in the North in the up-coming Lok Sabha Polls of 2019 . So a Bharat Ratna for one of the icons of music from the state Bhupen Hazarika is not a bad idea to seek votes.
While there is some political connect to all the three awards given, it nevertheless has restored the sheen of the awards somewhat. The nation’s highest civilian award’s image took a severe beating when one saw on television its recipient – with all respect and admiration for his towering records as batsman in cricket- ‘Mumbai Bomber’ Sachin Tendulkar, appearing in Television commercials and selling – Kent RO water Purifier and Luminous Batteries. It was the nadir for the award.
Moreover, the entire parliament in one voice gave nod for him be conferred with Bharat Ratna. Yet , Sachin in return did not in gratitude have time to attend parliament .i.e Rajya Sabha as a nominated member. In- fact had the worst attendance record along with another icon – actress Rekha . Despite his flop show in parliament though , he had time always though to attend bashes hosted by the richest man Mukesh Ambani. And be ever present at the dug-out of IPL team Mumbai Indians, owned by Mukesh Ambani as mentor. And sycophants were eager to highlight his presence when Mumbai Indians won – with a line- Sachin had encouraging words for the boys.
Sachin , always one felt was bestowed the Bharat Ratna a tad bit too early. Hockey icon Dhyan Chand would have been an apt choice . Now to give Dhyan Chand would be an insult. The family members of icon Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose too had refused to accept when the government thought of giving Bose. Imagine the scenario Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose gets Bharat Ratna after Sachin Tendulkar. It would have been an insult not a tribute to the legendary freedom fighter.
The Narendra Modi government therefore before it goes to the polls has somewhat with the Bharat Ratna awards to three well deserving names have managed to restore the prestige of the coveted award.