Thursday, December 25, 2014

Bharat Ratna: Masterly choice

The government has decided to award Bharat Ratna to Vajpayee and Madan Mohan Malavia. I am forced to mention the full name of the latter because Bharat Ratna to him was totally unexpected.

Congress, as is the unfortunate tradition in India for an opposition political party, deems it its duty to criticise each and every move of the government. But in this case, the government has been extremely clever.

MMM was the president of Congress four times. So, present day Congress leaders are unable to criticise the choice. He was also in the Hindu Mahasabha. Thus the government has shrewdly created a precedent to present what are called 'the religious right' in a positive light.

Historians like Ramchandra Guha may criticise the choice. Congress however is forced to accept the decision because otherwise it will again be ridiculed for not accepting any Congress leader save the Nehrus.

Guha's argument that there were many Indians who outshone MMM in patriotism and scholarship is beside the point because no one is above everybody else. Guha's plea that posthumous awards be avoided is worth considering.

The government, or whoever conceived the surprising idea, has cleverly exploited the coincidence of birth days of Vajpayee and MMM. In the absence of MMM's connection with Congress, leaders of the decimated party would have 'discovered' parallels between MMM and KKK.

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