Behind the Glory: Unveiling the Disputed Legends of the Bharat Ratna

The Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, has been bestowed upon many deserving individuals throughout its history. However, some recipients have also been the subject of controversy. Here are a few examples:

  • Subhas Chandra Bose: In 1992, the government posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna to Subhas Chandra Bose, a revolutionary leader who opposed British rule. However, Bose’s family refused to accept the award, arguing that the government had not officially accepted his death and that the timing of the award was politically motivated.
  • B.R. Ambedkar: B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution and a champion of Dalit rights, was awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously in 1990. However, some critics alleged that the award was given to appease Dalit voters in the upcoming elections.
  • Sachin Tendulkar: Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 2013, the youngest recipient at the time. While many hailed the decision, others questioned why he was chosen over other accomplished sportspersons like Vishwanathan Anand or Dhyan Chand. Additionally, some critics felt that the timing of the award, just before the general elections, was politically motivated.
  • Lata Mangeshkar: The legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 2001. However, some critics felt that the award should have been given to someone who had made a more significant contribution to the nation.
  • M.G. Ramachandran (MGR): MGR, a popular Tamil film actor and politician, was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1988. However, his critics argued that he did not deserve the award as his achievements were primarily in the field of entertainment and politics.