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Return of Bharat Ratna speaks prejudice thinking of BJP
HARISH DIDO | 01 Aug 2013

Honestly speaking, anybody can disagree with his views but demand of return of the Bharat Ratna speaks about the prejudice thinking of the BJP MP. This will give a wrong message to the youth of the country and it looks as if it was conferred conditionally which needs to be condemned by one and all.

Bharat Ratna (Jewel of India or Gem of India in English) is the Republic of India's highest civilian award, for performance of highest order in any field of human endeavour.  Any person without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex is eligible for the award. However the recommendations forBharat Ratna are to be made by the Prime Minister of India to the President of India.  The holders of the Bharat Ratna rank 7th in the Indian order of precedence; however they do not carry any special title or any other honorifics.

 

Media in India are discussing Nobel laureate Amartya Sen's offer to return the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, after he was criticised for his remarks about controversial politician Narendra Modi.

But the demand of return of Bharat Ratna by Noble Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen is very unfortunate and a shocking comment when everybody knows how much the recipient of the honour deserves it. It is conferred on him by the country, people of the country in appreciation,   

 

The Bharat Ratna was awarded to Amartya Sen for his contributions to welfare economics, social choice theory, economic and social justice, economic theories of famines, and indexes of the measure of well-being of citizens of developing countries. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998.

 

The most surprising is that this demand has come from the BJP MP, Chandan Mitra to return the Bharat Ratna, who himself is known senior educationist. The national level party BJP, has no place, in a world’s largest democratic country like India with thinking of such a narrow mindedness.  

 

Despite all this controversy, the Nobel Prize winner, economist Amartya Sen has offered to return the Bharat Ratna if former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee asks him to do so, escalating the row over BJP member Chandan Mitra's comment that Sen should be stripped of his honour for taking a partisan line on Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

 

What made promoted Chandan Mitra for return of the Bharat Ratna was that a noted economist, Sen has said he does not want to see Modi, the chief minister of the western state of Gujarat, as prime minister.

In fact, this has irritated the party leaders when Modi is projected as the candidate for the Prime Minister and he has recently been declared as senior leader of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the party's campaign chief for the general election, due next year.

Perhaps, Chandan Mitra may not know that the Bharat Ratna was given to me by the BJP-led government and was handed to Amartya Sen by former PM] Atal Behari Vajpayee.  However, Sen has offered that If Vajpayee wants me to return it, I will certainly return it.

 

What I feel is that the Modi often divides political opinion in India. Many feel he did little to stop the anti-Muslim riots in his state in 2002, which left over 1,000 people dead and he has always denied any wrongdoing.

The only problem with the BJP leaders is that a person honoured with the Bharat Ratna should speak in favour or against any part or leader or not? But they should understand that such awards are given by state governments and no the government of any party.  The Centre Government announces his not as his party nominee but as a representative of the state and is awarded from all the citizens of India. It does not matter, as to who is ruling the government. Bharat Ratna is for whole of the country and not of a particular government.  When BJP-led government has given this award, it should not expect that he should be loyal towards that party and government apart from expecting from him to close his eyes and ears.

 

The Bharat Ratna is given to an individual for his special contributions and after receiving the same, it is not expected from him that he should put his individual thoughts under lock for which has no key.  Every one including Amarty Sen has the right to criticize the Indian politics and society like any leader to express his liking and disliking. 

 

Honestly speaking, anybody can disagree with his views but demand of return of the Bharat Ratna speaks about the prejudice thinking of the BJP MP.  This will give a wrong message to the youth of the country and it looks as if it was conferred conditionally which needs to be condemned by one and all.