Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sadma of awards

A day before Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden has qualified for India's highest civilian honour, Padma awards. Though none of the newspapers carried the news properly, but they published that there is a climate change in the top terror leader's mind. And being a terrorist if you think about global warming that is a great step towards the well being of the world.
Padma awards are also meant to be for the people who contribute to make India proud and bring some good to the country.
The committee which decides the awards, consider only the positive work done by a person and ignores the negative part be it a CBI case or Wild Life Protection case.
While Safe Ali Khan who faced charges under Wildlife Protection Act for killing blackbuck in Rajasthan gets Padma Shri, Rekha after putting service of so many years in the industry comes in the same list. And 'an Idiot' who doesn't know what he is protesting against (Narmada campaign) but knows how to promote him self and boasts for his pesticide-drinking.
After putting the best efforts of their life Dr Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Allah Rakkha Rahman win Nobel and Oscar for India and get Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan.
If Nobels and Oscars demand too much effort, friends in high places help. Sant Singh Chatwal, the US-based hotelier keeps US president Bill Clinton and US State Secretary Hillary Clinton's personal numbers in his cell phone (and some PMO officials in his pocket), has been nominated for the Bhushan. Not bad for a bankrupt man who is going to invest $ 1 billion and already invested $ 250 mn in India. Chatwal just faced some cases in India (in which a $ 9 mn fraud is also included) which according to the CBI (whose case closings have always been front page headlines) sources say no cases were pending against him in India.
Though every year the Padma awards have not been away from the controversies, this year the controversy has taken a new dimension where an NRI hotelier has been named without being named in original Padma list.
Vir Sanghavi and Pritish Nandi have asked the Home Ministry about the whole process of Sant getting the award and questioned the transparency of selection process through RTI.
What ever the reasons are there behind decorating people with tinted backgrounds, the Home Ministry's cultural committee needs a doctor who can treat it of favouritism. And who knows next year the same doctor will be given a Padma award like Manmohan Singh's doctor Ramakant Panda gets Padma Shri this year and Atal Bihari Vajpayee's doctor Chitranjan Ranawat got it in 2001.

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