Anupam Kher posted a picture on twitter highlighting his Padma Bhushan badge. I am happy for him that finally his hard work and dedication towards Indian cinema and theatre have given him something. Anupam Kher undoubtedly deserves the award. Though many of us will say that it has come out as a result of 'chamchagiri,' 'chaplusi,' and so many other derogatory terms. I will leave the part of shouting foul on others. Nevertheless, I have to say something about the prestigious Padma Shri award.
First of all, I would like to extend my greetings towards all the winners of honourable Padma Shri award by the hands of honourable Sri Pranab Mukherjee, the president of India. The major winners of Padma Shri in 2016 are:
Naresh Chander Lal, Dhirendra Nath Bezbaruah, Prahlad Chandra Tasa, Ravindra Nagar, Dahyabhai Shastri, Pushpesh Pant, Sundar Aditya Menon, Sudhakar Olwe, Deepika Kumari, Sushil Doshi, Veena Tondon and others. (Full list here) (you must be surprised with my list, it has a purpose)
It has been the classic trait of governments in India that they felicitate these awards with favouritism, if, bias is the harsh word for the purpose. Yes, there are exceptions - many (or some, depends on the government's mood) on the list of award winning candidates are truly deserving people whom we come to know only after they have won the award! You need to blame our 'blessed' mainstream media for this frustrating situation. For instance, do you know Subhash Palekar? I can bet 99% of the readers must not know about this person. However, maybe tomorrow you read something about him in local Marathi newspapers or a small 'media space' in some 'reputed' national dailies. Most probably, you might see a talk show on Doordarshan featuring Subhash Palekar. He has won for himself a Padma Shri this year. Subhash is an agriculturalist who is known for 'spiritual farming'. I have a question: why does this happen? While a farmer is a true contributor to the India's growth as a nation, what does a Bollywood personality does? Yes, accepting that they make our culture reflect in some of their best movies, what is their overall contribution? Saying that India has become intolerant? Claiming that the hanging of Yakub Memon was unrighteous? Gifting a 54 crore bungalow in Dubai to someone who can barely understand the importance of money? Sometimes, even transcending the limit and actively engaging in politics with their utter negative shadows:
Personally, I feel sorry for this 'poor' Bollywood's 'unclaimed' territory! He does not know anything but tweeting! Go & check his record, if you find anything worth he had his hands, please correct me and I will publicly go for an apology. These people only know to demotivate others and establish their superiority.
If you go back and have a glance at the list of Padma Shri awards winners, you will find a number of persons who cannot even claim to deserve it (fortunately, most of them come from Bollywood). Go and ask a common person of India and she will tell you that neither she knows about the Padma Shri nor she knows Aishwarya Rai. What she cares to know about is how to earn bread both the hours. Then why the Padma Shri wears the slogan of being a 'civilian award' if the civilians cannot be given fair opportunities to enhance & uplift their life standard and reach that stage? Change it to 'elite Indian award' and then I have no problem. Then, I will be satisfied with the thought that true heroes like Balbir Singh Seechewal do not deserve Padma Shri because they cannot hire costly PR agents to manage their media coverage and flash their 'social achievements' to the public.
Self-certified champions of Bollywood, do you know what real heroes look like? Look at the face of Leonardo DiCaprio; you will have both the answers - how to achieve on the stage; how to achieve in social causes! Only pretending to do social service and hiding the real 'sham' behind a mask makes you a candidate for Padma Shri in India... Then please give Bharat Ratna to Salman khan - kya hai yar? Ek kala hiran hi to mara hai aur han kuchh logon pe jara gadi chadha di thi... chalta hai bhai! Bhai hun bollowood ka, itna to banta hai na?
Governments came; government is here; governments will keep coming. The real dilemma is that we are still unable to felicitate the champion of children causes, Kailash Satyarthi in India. He has already won the Nobel Peace prize in 2014, but the government in India is still mulling over his achievements. Please wake up, dear people in India, media in India and the government in India. There are many leaders who are wandering here and there across the country and doing their services without asking for a camera to ride the fame journey. Go ahead and recognise them, encourage them.
Bharat Mata ki Jai! (always)