We Indians are second to none when it comes to making a mountain out of a mole hill. We love controversy and in our fondness for controversy, we often forget what to criticise and what not to, we forget about decency or Laxmanrekha. All we need is an issue. Give us any issue and we have all the qualities to make it a controversial one.
If anyone needs proof of this great quality of ours, he or she can go through the media reports published in the last few days regarding honouring the great sons of Mother India with Bharat Ratna. The controversy created over conferring the highest civilian honour to three eminent persons of the country was completely unethical, unwanted and unimaginable. The three awarded persons have made the country proud on many occasions. Thus the effort to find a political motive behind the selection is condemnable.
It’s a pity to note that the critics are claiming that to regain lost ground in the North-East over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill, the ruling party has decided to award Bharat Ratna to late Bhupen Hazarika. The doyen of Indian music the late Bhupen Hazarika will forever remain in the hearts of everyone. One of his songs received recognition from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as the best Bengali song of the 20th century. He is truly a gem of India with or without any award from the government. So instead of trying to attach any political tone on him being conferred the award, it would have been better if the question being raised was why was he awarded so late? Are we so deaf that we could not hear his music for more than five decades? We did virtually nothing to support his music or efforts. Rather we left him to fight a lonely battle. And at last when the recognition finally came, knowingly or unknowingly we spoiled all his great works by equating the honour with political calculations.
Same is the case with Pranab Mukherjee and Nanaji Deshmukh. They are also among the gems the country has produced. They have always strived to make India stronger. They offered admirable service to the nation. So if they are awarded, their services are recognised, why should questions be raised about political benefits? The doomsayers should keep in mind that conferring an award cannot guarantee a win in elections. Time and again Indian electorate has proved that they use their most potent weapon wisely, effectively and without being bothered about cheap tricks. If an award can win votes, Congress was supposed to get the support of all the youths in 2014 general elections when it conferred Bharat Ratna to Sachin Tendulkar, the greatest youth icon India has ever produced. If publicity only can ensure votes, electoral verdict would have been different in 2004 as the rulers claimed India was shining.
So it is time now for us to realise that awards and politics are two different things. We will be wrong if we see everything through political prism. If we continue to do that, we only dishonour the great sons of India.