New Delhi, Aug.10 ANI | 3 months ago

Speculation is rife over the identity of this year's Bharat Ratna awardees, even as the government ordered 5 medallions from the RBI Mint. Two names which have been discussed the most frequently are those of freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and of senior BJP leader Atal Behari Vajpayee.

This year's winner, Sachin Tendulkar, continues to garner controversy as politicians question his selection over hockey legend Major Dhyanchand. Rahul Mehra, spokesperson for AAP said to ANI, "I am not saying that Sachin Tendulkar did not deserve it but I think major Dhyanchand should have been the first sportsperson to receive this award." Agreeing, CPI leader pondered, "If cricket through Sachin Tendulkar can be honoured why has the national game of India, namely hockey, not been honoured yet?"

Mehra also wondered if, by presentating the Bharat Ratna to multiple people in the same year, the honour of the award was being devalued.

The family members of those discussed for the award had differing views on the matter. Karuna Shukla, Vajpayee's niece told ANI, "If this were to happen, it would be a huge honor for the family as he has been an inspiration to many."

However, Sugata Bose, Netaji's grand nephew, told ANI that he hoped "there is no basis to this speculation". Speaking to ANI, Bose said, "I believe Gandhiji and SC Bose should be kept above Bharat Ratna. SC Bose deserves a Vishwa Ratna because I feel he is on par with the Father of Nation."

(Posted on 10-08-2014)

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