History

First president of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad ordered for establishing biggest ever civilian award Bharat Ratna on January 2, 1954. Concept of awarding this award posthumously was not there in the original statute declared in January 1954...

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Key Points

Soon after the award was established its original concept followed presenting a circular gold medal that would have state emblem and motto and rest aspects as decided thereafter. Factors including concrete decision about design to choose...

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Diputes

Posthumous Bharat Ratna award to the Indian freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in 1992 came into news for typical reasons. A Public Interest Litigation stalled everything and the award was forced to be withdrawn thereafter...

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Criticism

Various awards mentioned in Bharat Ratna had incited higher condemnation since these have been ranked as “political awards” given to those who actually have not earned this award. As per the regulations of this award the Prime Minister of the country can nominate the names for the awardees to President of India. It was in year 1955 and 1971 that the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru (1947-64) and Mrs. Indira Gandhi (1966-77 and 1980-84) awarded themselves with the award thus dishonouring the meaning of the award.

It was in year 1988 that Rajiv Gandhi; Prime Minister of country (1984-89) deliberated the Bharat Ratna award retrospectively to film actor and M. G. Ramachandran former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu so that more voters could get attracted to cast their votes in their favour before assembly elections in year 1989. The other decision that was criticised was the award given to Ramachandran even before awarding the honour to the independence activists B. R. Ambedkar and Vallabhbhai Patel who were later given the honour of the award in year 1990 and 1991 respectively.

Ravi Shankar was also suspected of politicisation of the award, Indira Gandhi during her tenure as Prime Minister of country retrospectively honoured K. Kamaraj for attracting the voters of Tamil Nadu during the 1977 Tamil Nadu assembly elections. To please the Dalit community, V. P. Singh, the seventh Prime Minister of country also was questioned for nominating B. R. Ambedkar for the award.

Many of the awardees have been honoured with this award only after they recognized fame at global level. Few of the lists of these awardees include Mother Terasa nominated for year 1980, Satyajit Ray in year 1992 and Amartya Sen in year 1999. They were awarded with Bharat Ratna only after global recognition either same for same year or consecutive year.