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Home > News > PTI

RSS wants Bharat Ratna for Bhagat Singh

January 21, 2008 21:31 IST
Last Updated: January 21, 2008 22:15 IST

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The drama around Bharat Ratna

The BJP's demand for Bharat Ratna for former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has found little favour with the RSS which has suggested that Bhagat Singh or the Indian soldier deserved the country's highest civilian honour.

An editorial in RSS weekly mouthpiece Panchajanya said "if one listens to ones heart, the two names that come up instantly to the mind are Shaheed Bhagat Singh and the Indian soldier".

Recalling that the country had only recently celebrated the birth centenary of Bhagat Singh, Panchajanya said, "Who could be the ideal for the youth than the great martyr."

It notes that India has the largest number of youth in the world and it will be a great move if the country honours its topmost youth idol with Bharat Ratna.

The editorial in the special Republic Day edition lavishes praise on Bhagat Singh and regretted that the revolutionary could not get the honour so far as "successive governments lists included only secular people"

Maintaining that the Indian soldier was the second rightful claimant for the highest honour, the editorial said that "it was he who has done the country proud by always bringing it victory by putting his life in danger".

"He never asks anything and always gives. With a brave heart he guards the motherland even in the most difficult and treacherous terrain and keeps the Tri-colour flying high," it said.

Significantly, the Panchajanya editoral has no mention of Vajpayee's name while it recounts demands for Bharat Ratna for industrialist Ratan Tata and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar [Images].

On the contrary, the editorial said it was ironic that Indian politicians decide on Bharat Ratna and political parties generally do not see beyond their own contours.

"It is because of this that hardly someone has ever found anyone outside his party eligible for the Bharat Ratna," it said.

"It seems that our national viewpoint has been limited only to me and mine," the editorial said.

The editorial also rejected the demand for giving Bharat Ratna to Tata or Tendulkar simply on the basis of their acquiring enormous wealth or popularity.

"These are the people who already possess so much money that their next seven generations can lead a comfortable life without having to do anything," it said.

"Bharat Ratna should ideally go to someone who without being desirous of anything for himself uses his self for the progress of the Indian nation and its people," it said.

There was no immediate reaction from the BJP on the Panchajanya editorial while the Congress said awarding of Bharat Ratna should not be politicised.

"This should not be a subject of debate. The government will consider all before deciding and it should not be politicised," Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan said.

She said, "These are decisions that government takes after due consideration and through exchange of letters or writing of articles."

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