Bharat Ratna for thwacking a ball?

The prevailing mass delirium since the onset of the Cricket Test-series against West Indies has mercifully ended. The country can now return to normalcy. While I don’t grudge Sachin Tendulkar his Bharat Ratna — yet another instance of the Indian government following the street rather than its own best instincts, the bar for this highest civilian honour has certainly been lowered to the ground level. Now just about anybody can aspire to it for doing almost anything! I mean, if a person adept at thwacking a leather ball with a piece of wood can get one a Bharat Ratna, why not for the champion guli-danda player, say, doing his far more difficult task of physical dexterity?

No, the political calculation behind this conferral is more important. The Congress party-led UPA Govt of Manmohan Singh’s conferring the Ratna on Tendulkar is yet another instance of its clutching at straw to retrieve its sinking political situation. It hopes, wishes, prays that giving the Ratna to Sachin will fetch it votes. After all, it made such a big thing of nominating this cricketer to the Rajya Sabha, didn’t they?

Successful sportsmen have been amply rewarded and in this age of glamorous advertizing Sachin’s banking some $260 million — putting him among the top ten sportsmen, earnings-wise, would appear to prove that the game is surfeit with financial rewards, so much so they wouldn’t hanker for political gongs as well. Because let’s at least be clear about one thing that Bharat Ratna is mainly and ultimately a political award given by the govt of the moment for whatever small or big returns. In an election year, the Congress party hopes that this appreciation will convert into votes.Sonia Gandhi and cohort running the Congress must consider Indian voters to be daft. Or, are they?

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
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32 Responses to Bharat Ratna for thwacking a ball?

  1. RV says:

    Why didn’t the India Govt. follow through and confer the Bharat Ratna on Subhash Bose posthumously? He did more for India in a single day than Tendulkar could possibly hope to do in a lifetime!

  2. Prashant Mishra says:

    In fact I agree with you a lot and most of your writings. We are a country with no tag lines, we have knee jerk reaction to situations. Policies/ Awards are made to appease a section of society, without linking it with the overall framework of the set of rules which we should abide to make ourselves a strong nation.

  3. vasudev pandit says:

    sheer stupidity,

  4. Katyayana says:

    These awards are an extension of sops provided by a Government, stuck in a time warp of situation prevailing 3-4 decades ago. They are clueless about the aspiration of us young Indians. Want proof: look at the calls for withdrawing Bharat Ratna award of Lata Mangeshkar for endorsing Sri. Modi.
    UPA was given a mandate to perform 4 years ago by us. They have frittered it away in corruption scandals, economic downturn & raging inflation. Throwing sops at us now is like giving aspirin for a malignant tumour. Radical surgery is the only answer.

  5. Rahul says:

    Yet another stupid article by this “defence expert” after arguing so failingly for “Stop wasteful military deals”, not related to internal or external security or foreign policy. Though I agree that Congress wanted to show to the people of India that they are in sync with the emotional quotient of the millions and that’s why they rewarded Sachin with a Bharat Ratna, it is extremely preposterous to say that since the only contribution of Sachin towards India is hitting the leather ball with the wood he doesn’t deserve it….Maybe yes….Maybe armchair defence experts writing illogical and non- factual articles and appearing as experts on TV shows deserve more the Bharat Ratna….Yes, personal jealousy has its existence but the people of this country is in no mood to accept such illogical theories….

    • Katyayana says:

      Q.E.D. Armchair defense expert Mr. Karnad maybe, but he seems to have hit the nail on its head with this article.
      When you talk of Congress being in sync with “emotional quotient” of Indians, you have made the point for Mr. Karnad. This is exactly what the ruling party wanted. Tap into emotions of Sachin fans like you.
      I don’t grudge Sachin his Bharat Ratna award. But the way Congress has conferred it on him has not only degraded the award, but the man himself. He certainly deserved better.
      BTW: let Sachin Tendulkar utter a single word against Congress’s or better still endorse Sri. Modi. You will see the emotional quotient syncing then.

      • Rahul says:

        You may not grudge Sachin getting Bharat Ratna but the author has….When he mentioned in the headlines of the article that how can one get Bharat Ratna by thwhacking a ball….Also he mentions in his article that because somebody playing cricket was given Bharat Ratna, the dignity and prestige of the award has been lowered….That’s what prompted me to reply back to this armchair defence expert…..

      • RV says:

        @Rahul: I have no English masters, unlike your types who have an “Italian goddess”. I believe the award lost all dignity after it was awarded to Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi, and Mother Teresa. Why the award was not given to Bose is well known. But what about Dhyan Chand (the hockey maestro) who went into the heart of Nazi racism and put them to disgrace by scoring 3 goals in the 8-1 thrashing the German team got in the finals of the 1936 Berlin Olympics IN FRONT OF HITLER, who was visibly shaken??????? This feat had more ramifications, even outside the sporting arena, than Tendulkar could possibly dream of achieving in many lifetimes.

    • RV says:

      Wow! Some more words of “wisdom” from the “knuckle dragger”. ROTFL!!!

      • Rahul says:

        Doesn’t matter to anyone whether you ROTFL or VDWTCS(Very depressed wanting to commit suicide)……Facts are facts and the author is far away from it….And stop using those bombasting English words….No one wants to spend time learning English from you when your masters have left India way back in 1947….

      • RV says:

        @Rahul: I have no English masters, unlike your types who have an “Italian goddess”. I believe the award lost all dignity after it was awarded to Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi, and Mother Teresa. Why the award was not given to Bose is well known. But what about Dhyan Chand (the hockey maestro) who went into the heart of Nazi racism and put them to disgrace by scoring 3 goals in the 8-1 thrashing the German team got in the finals of the 1936 Berlin Olympics IN FRONT OF HITLER, who was visibly shaken??????? This feat had more ramifications, even outside the sporting arena, than Tendulkar could possibly dream of achieving in many lifetimes.

  6. RV says:

    Indians are a shallow and silly people who thrive on empty rhetoric. They excel at shallower versions of activities, while getting “creamed” in the deeper versions. The 3 “tests” India had over the past 250+ years resulted in getting the Indians getting thoroughly exposed – Panipat (1761), First War of Independence (1857), and 1962. Their record is marginally better in the shallower versions such as a stalemate/loss in the first Indo-Pak war (1948) where half of Kashmir was lost, a draw in the second Indo-Pak war (1965), a win in the third Indo-Pak war (1971), a resounding win in Operation Cactus against the formidable Maldivian rebels (1988), and if one counts Kargil as a war, then that was a win too.

    One may ponder endlessly and fruitlessly on how this malaise has now crept down to the individual level. However, I believe the Indians have not found a credible reason for India’s existence. Essentially, India as we know it in the modern sense is an artificial entity cobbled together through threat, bribery, and deceit by the British to streamline the administration of what was possibly the worst genocidal exploitation in human history (the UPA theft is still to be calculated). There are no common values and ethos that coherently defines India and unifies Indians today. Secularism, personality cults built around MKG, JLN, SG, RG-2 (Pappu), Mother Teresaa, Tendulkar, and, Hindutva are pathetic substitutes for a National Ethos.

    If one thought deeper, there’s infinitely more stuff in Shivaji’s Hindavi Swarajya, than in any other so-called belief the Indians parade to justify their existence as a Nation. Countries like China and the West have successfully created and fortified the Han identity, and the White Caucasian Christian identity, respectively. Pakistan despite its fault lines and fissures has an Islamic identity. IMHO, Hindavi Swarajya is the only ideology that would enable Indians to justify the existence of India as a Nation!

  7. RV says:

    Former RAW officer RSN Singh’s talk on the politicization of terror is worth watching:

  8. Rahul says:

    @RV, myself being a Bengali, plz don’t try to teach me about what the contribution of Bose is and whether he deserves Bharat Ratna or not….The problem that u and the author are facing are your illogical line of reasoning that since Tendulkar has been given the Bharat Ratna, no one else can be given the same….As if Tendulkar has snatched away the ‘single’ piece of Bharat Ratna meant for 1 billion Indians….Defeatist mindset….No one is denying the Congressi politics here but to say that since Tendulkar has already been given the Bharat Ratna, no one else could be given the same or as Tendulkar was born in post colonial India and his career started to bloom when Manmohan Singh opened the economic floodgates as a result of which international Cricket became a corporate sponsored game, Tendulkar’s contribution is null and void and the ‘only’ ‘mera bharat mahan’ contributions came from those legends who were fortunate to be born in colonial India…..Thankfully, u did not say that Lata Mangeshkar also doesn’t deserve the Bharat Ratna….How can be she given the same for giving “melody to a few lines of poetry” when people like Dhyanchand, Bose has not been given the same….May be u and they author did not say the same because Lata ji sang most of her songs before 1991…..

    Why don’t u guys commit suicide with such a defeatist and pathetic mental condition and leave the rest of Indians to leave in peace????

    • RV says:

      @Rahul: Your village (in Bangladesh????) is missing it’s turpentine sniffing, knuckle dragging idiot. Hurry back, they’re waiting for you!

      • Rahul says:

        You wont have to worry about them, they can take care of themselves….They are strong enough to tackle the threat from militant jihadi Islamic mindset prevelant in a country of which you are such a patriotic nationalist, writing opinions here in an Indian forum to stop Indian military modernization….

      • RV says:

        @Rahul: When did you illegally immigrate from Bangladesh? Did you pick up your turpentine sniffing habit in India or in Bangladesh? Your “knuckle dragging” of course is genetic! BTW, if I had my way, Indian military modernization is not obtained by buying foreign a/c for US Dollars 25-30 Billion, of which USD 7 Billion + are bribes! It’s done by strengthening the Indian MIC and educational system! BTW, if I had my way, the only jihadi in India would be a dead jihadi!

      • RV says:

        CORRECTED POST
        _________________
        @Rahul: When did you illegally immigrate from Bangladesh? Did you pick up your turpentine sniffing habit in India or in Bangladesh? Your “knuckle dragging” of course is genetic! Indian military modernization is not obtained by buying outdated foreign a/c (the Rafale would be outdated by the time it is inducted in any reasonable strength in the IAF) for US Dollars 25-30 Billion, of which USD 7 Billion + are bribes! It’s done by strengthening the Indian MIC and educational system! BTW, if I had my way, the only jihadi in India would be a dead jihadi!

  9. Rahul says:

    @RV, Yes, “Rafale will be outdated by the time it enters service”….Certified by a “Rub nose on ground” jihadi from the country against whom the outdated Rafales will be used to devastationg consequences…I can understand your fear….

    • RV says:

      @Rahul (or Mohammed, or Abdul, or whatever name your inbred parents gave you), I have a serious job and do, and have no time to waste on sub-human garbage like you who would serve better purpose if used for bayonet practice. So, kindly STFU and think as to how you can positively contribute to this discussion, or stay out of it. If you think you can hide behind behind a moniker, you may want to revise this assumption, naturally, within the limitations imposed by your inbred knuckle dragging brain, further damaged by perennial turpentine sniffing..

  10. RV says:

    @Rahul (or Mohammed, or Abdul, or whatever name your inbred parents gave you), I have a serious job and do, and have no time to waste on sub-human garbage like you who would serve better purpose if used for bayonet practice. So, kindly STFU and think as to how you can positively contribute to this discussion, or stay out of it. If you think you can hide behind behind a moniker, you may want to revise this assumption, naturally, within the limitations imposed by your inbred knuckle dragging brain, further damaged by perennial turpentine sniffing..

  11. RV says:

    @Rahul: Being an educated and rational person, I’m really sorry for any and/or unprofessional things I’ve directed towards you. Note this is not a mea culpa a-la Tarun T. -;). Perhaps if we really knew each other, we’d actually be friends, or at least find common ground. Let us participate on this forum in a constructive manner, and let bygones be bygones!

  12. RV says:

    CORRECTED POST
    __________________

    @Rahul: Being an educated and rational person, I’m really sorry for any mean and/or unprofessional things I’ve directed towards you. Note this is not a mea culpa a-la Tarun T. -;). Perhaps if we really knew each other, we’d actually be friends, or at least find common ground. Let us participate on this forum in a constructive manner, and let bygones be bygones! I’d be happy to rationally and systematically defend any of my assertions within the professional confines that bind me, as long as you reciprocate politely and not fling abuse/innuendo towards anybody. .

    • Rahul says:

      Agreed….I have nothing against u and trust me, I have only one name: Rahul…But I did not mind whatever you have said, on the contrary I enjoyed it….

      The only thing which forced me to write here was when the author questioned Rafale deal and why it would be foolish thing for IAF and why it should be substituted by Tejas bla bla…And many others, including you supported that argument….I don’t agree with it even a bit and that’s why I wrote what I wrote….

      • RV says:

        I’ll reply in some detail as to why I think he questioned the Rafale deal, and proposed the Tejas in the evening. But for starters, as you know, the Rafale deal was pegged in the range of USD 10-15 billion + full ToT. It’s currently in the range of 25-30 billion (at USD 25 billion, this works out to around USD 200 million/aircraft), and no ToT worth mentioning. This breaches the very terms this a/c was allowed into the MMRCA competition in the first place. Now, why this massive price increase. Certainly inflation has a role to play, but is there something more? Yes, its bribery on unprecedented scale. The current terms and conditions are such that for the slightest glitch in (say) the radar, the Indians have to pay through their nose.

        Here’s some evidence confirming what I’ve said above:

        http://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/le-rafale-indien-resterait-largement-produit-en-france.N180558

        It’s in French, but you can use Google’s french-English translator. Next, yhis interview of Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trapp in:

        http://www.vedomosti.ru/library/news/17428901/my-ponemnogu-vyzdoravlivaem-erik-trappe-prezident-i?full#cut

        explicitly highlights the spiraling costs of the Rafale deal. It’s in Russian, but the pertinent portions are pretty explicit!

        Hopes this helps for starters, and please feel free to ask me any questions.

  13. RV says:

    I’ll reply in some detail as to why I think he questioned the Rafale deal, and proposed the Tejas in the evening. But for starters, as you know, the Rafale deal was pegged in the range of USD 10-15 billion + full ToT. It’s currently in the range of 25-30 billion (at USD 25 billion, this works out to around USD 200 million/aircraft), and no ToT worth mentioning. This breaches the very terms this a/c was allowed into the MMRCA competition in the first place. Now, why this massive price increase. Certainly inflation has a role to play, but is there something more? Yes, its bribery on unprecedented scale. The current terms and conditions are such that for the slightest glitch in (say) the radar, the Indians have to pay through their nose.

    Here’s some evidence confirming what I’ve said above:

    http://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/le-rafale-indien-resterait-largement-produit-en-france.N180558

    It’s in French, but you can use Google’s french-English translator. Next, yhis interview of Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trapp in:

    http://www.vedomosti.ru/library/news/17428901/my-ponemnogu-vyzdoravlivaem-erik-trappe-prezident-i?full#cut

    explicitly highlights the spiraling costs of the Rafale deal. It’s in Russian, but the pertinent portions are pretty explicit!

    Hopes this helps for starters, and please feel free to ask me any questions.

  14. Rahul says:

    @RV: http://idrw.org/?p=30061.

    And if you/author still want to continue to place your bets on the “will be”, “would be”, “definitely for the future”, “planning to be”, “shall be” LCA Tejas and other projects taken up by our supremely efficient DRDO/HAL/other defense “navratna curry”, in connosance with some bureaucrats/politicans(who are in the payrolls of enemy), then w, aam admis, can only shake our heads in despair and prepare for the worst helpless scenario…

    • RV says:

      @Rahul: All the “bureaucrats/politicans (who are in the payrolls of enemy)”, who you claim to be in “connosance” with Karnad and me to push for the Tejas, are in fact pushing desperately for the Rafale. BTW, please name me one single bureaucrat/politician of any significance who is pushing for the Tejas. Please enlighten all of us as to how the Rafale which started off as a USD 10-15 Billion deal with full ToT is now a USD 25-30 Billion dollar deal with no ToT worth mentioning (at USD 25 Billion,it is around USD 200 Million/aircraft). This is a serious breach of the terms and conditions, after whose acceptance it was chosen as a candidate in the MMRCA competition and later as one of the finalist. Please read the English translations of:

      http://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/le-rafale-indien-resterait-largement-produit-en-france.N180558

      and:

      http://www.vedomosti.ru/library/news/17428901/my-ponemnogu-vyzdoravlivaem-erik-trappe-prezident-i

      Incidentally, what is your proven experience in combat aircraft, systems, and related issues? BTW, even if India had the Starship Galactica, what makes you think that the Indian politicians have the guts to take on Pakistan, when the ISI has the goods on the entire Indian power elite? Finally, for the last time I’m advising/asking you to stop accusing/defaming me of behavior such as being in connosance (which is being in accord) with people in the payroll of the enemy. If you think you’re invisible behind a moniker, then take some time off and think again.

  15. RV says:

    @Rahul: All the “bureaucrats/politicans (who are in the payrolls of enemy)”, who you claim to be in “connosance” with Karnad and me to push for the Tejas, are in fact pushing desperately for the Rafale. BTW, please name me one single bureaucrat/politician of any significance who is pushing for the Tejas. Please enlighten all of us as to how the Rafale which started off as a USD 10-15 Billion deal with full ToT is now a USD 25-30 Billion dollar deal with no ToT worth mentioning (at USD 25 Billion,it is around USD 200 Million/aircraft). This is a serious breach of the terms and conditions, after whose acceptance it was chosen as a candidate in the MMRCA competition and later as one of the finalist. Please read the English translations of:

    http://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/le-rafale-indien-resterait-largement-produit-en-france.N180558

    and:

    http://www.vedomosti.ru/library/news/17428901/my-ponemnogu-vyzdoravlivaem-erik-trappe-prezident-i

    Incidentally, what is your proven experience in combat aircraft, systems, and related issues? BTW, even if India had the Starship Galactica, what makes you think that the Indian politicians have the b@ll! to take on Pakistan, when the ISI has the goods on the entire Indian power elite? Finally, for the last time I’m advising/asking you to stop accusing/defaming me of behavior such as being in connosance (which is being accord) with people in the payroll of the enemy. If you think you’re invisible behind a moniker, then take some time off and think again.

    .

  16. RV says:

    @Rahul: All the “bureaucrats/politicans (who are in the payrolls of enemy)”, who you claim to be in “connosance” with Karnad and me to push for the Tejas, are in fact pushing desperately for the Rafale. BTW, please name me one single bureaucrat/politician of any significance who is pushing for the Tejas. Please enlighten all of us as to how the Rafale which started off as a USD 10-15 Billion deal with full ToT is now a USD 25-30 Billion dollar deal with no ToT worth mentioning (at USD 25 Billion,it is around USD 200 Million/aircraft). This is a serious breach of the terms and conditions, after whose acceptance it was chosen as a candidate in the MMRCA competition and later as one of the finalist. Please read the English translations of:

    http://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/le-rafale-indien-resterait-largement-produit-en-france.N180558

    and:

    http://www.vedomosti.ru/library/news/17428901/my-ponemnogu-vyzdoravlivaem-erik-trappe-prezident-i

    Incidentally, what is your proven experience in combat aircraft, systems, and related issues? BTW, even if India had the Starship Galactica, what makes you think that the Indian politicians have the guts to take on Pakistan, when the ISI has the goods on the entire Indian power elite? Finally, for the last time I’m advising/asking you to stop accusing/defaming me of behavior such as being in connosance (which is being accord) with people in the payroll of the enemy. If you think you’re invisible behind a moniker, then take some time off and think again.

    .

  17. Rahul says:

    You behave in a manner as if this forum belongs to you and you will admit whoever you want to and you will throw out others whose questions make you uncomfortable….And at the end of the day you will still hide yourself under “RV”, a touch better than “Anonymous” but works like “Anonymous”….In Bengali, we call such people “Bheetur Dim”…..

    Here is another one for you and the author….A new deadline from your beloved DRDO, 30 years after project initialization….Waiting for you guys to start blaming the army for this and for suggesting sabotage by the Army because of their love for T-90’s…..And your beloved in the Congress party will ask our enemy to wait a little more till the time we achieve that “eureka” moment in our research for the “ointment” which will take care of the periodic “acnes” in the somewhat beautiful face…..

    http://idrw.org/?p=30128#more-30128

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