Next year onwards the prestigious Bharat Ratna awards will be given out for all Aadhaar Card holders. The government has taken this inevitable decision after the recent developments related to the much coveted award. Addressing the media, a government spokesperson made the decision public.
“Owing to the recent developments and discussion about the matter, the government has decided to award the Bharat Ratna to all Indian citizens who are eligible. There will be two criteria – one should have an Aadhaar card and he or she should ask for the award.”
While there have been mixed reactions to this government decision, most people have welcomed the move.
On being asked the reason for such a decision, the spokesperson explained the developments that built up to it. In the last few weeks rumours have been spreading that the government is considering certain individuals for the Bharat Ratna this year. Though the government neither confirmed not denied this, hectic lobbying started.
“People started asking that if rules can be changed to accommodate sportspersons, why can’t it be done for others. If a cricketer gets it, why can’t you give it to people from other sports? Soon sports bodies started sending representations to the government. The heads of these organizations wanted the award for themselves and for people playing those sports. First it was hockey and football. Then it was tennis and Kabaddi. Soon Scrabble Players Association and Marble Players Club joined.
“It took a serious turn when political parties started lobbying for the award for their party leaders. The movement took colour when Bollywood joined the bandwagon. Then it became secular with religious bodies of all religions jumped into the fray. It became more widespread with the inclusion of human rights activists, women’s rights activists, children’s rights activists, animal rights activists, dog owners, cat owners, taxi drivers associations, left-handers, retirees. We had to set up a special desk to receive these requests that came in floods. People started asking for reservation based on state, city, gender, region, religion and language among other things. Individuals started turning up and demanding reasons why he or she cannot be given the award.
“Things became ugly when the opposition parties started supporting all these people and groups, with an eye on the next elections. That is when the government deliberated on the strange situation and came out with this decision. There was no other option left”.
Though appreciating the circumstances that led to the decision, a still unhappy reporter posed a question, “Sir, why can’t people without Aadhaar Card get the award? How are they less eligible to get the award?” The spokesperson had a ready answer, “You are right. We have decided to carve out a quota and reserve it for those that do not have Aadhaar Card and for those that do not even ask for the award. And even for those who decline it – they will be forced to accept it. We hope that will satisfy one and all”.