The President’s Office announced the Bharat Ratna award to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (posthumously) on the eve of his 153rd birth anniversary. Today, the award was given to his family for Malviya’s outstanding work in education field and the country’s freedom struggle.
Pandit Malviya is the 12th person to be honoured the highest civilian honour posthumously. Earlier recipients of the award include former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Morarji Desai, Lal Bahadur Shastri, along with first Governor General of free India C. Rajagopalachari, and former Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Madan Mohan Malaviya or Mahamana Malaviya was born on December 25, 1861 in Allahabad, in a family of six brothers and two sisters. He was a ardent social reformer, and looked beyond the then prevalent caste barrier. Malaviya made massive efforts for the entry of Dalits into any Hindu temple.
As an important figure of the non-cooperation movement Malaviya protested against the Simon Commission. In an act of delicious irony, Malaviya, borrowing from the ‘Buy British’ movement in England, started the ‘Swadeshi movement against the British rule. He also wrote a detailed criticism of the Montagu-Chelmsford proposal for Indian constitutional reforms in 1918.
Malaviya was a long standing member of the Congress party. As a paternal figure to many of the second wave Congress leaders, he influenced, among others, Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru. In his part Gandhi, who considered him as an elder brother, gave him the honorific title of ‘ Mahamana ’ or great soul.
A prolific journalist himself, he had been the chairman of the Hindustan Times from 1924 to 1946, and was instrumental in the launch of the newspapers Hindi edition. In his youth, he also founded the now defunct English language newspaper The Leader as well as the Hindi monthly called Maryada and the Hindi weekly titled Abhyudaya.
Being an ardent Hindu, he was also one of the founding members of the Gorakshak Mandal— intended to protect and preserve cows, which Hindus consider holy. The mandal, along with similar organisations, were instrumental in making the prohibition of cow slaughter an article in the Directive Principles of State Policy.
Being very active in the field of Indian Politics, he remained Congress President for a record number of four times- in 1909 (Lahore), in 1918 (Delhi), in 1930 (Delhi) and in 1932 (Calcutta).
Gandhi family dynasty involved in the genocide, as per the author
Western governments toed the line of their Indian counterpart and downplayed events
To bolster the insinuation that the Sikhs’, the government commissioned a series of documentaries in early 1984
New Delhi, December 12: The 1984 anti-Sikh riots following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that claimed the lives of an estimated 8,000 people in Delhi and around the country were not spontaneous as has been made out but were government-orchestrated, says a scathing new book on the four days of mayhem, adding it’s time the world took note of the killings, as it did of the slaughter of a similar number of Bosnian Muslims in 1994.“At the time, the authorities projected the violence as a spontaneous reaction to the tragic loss of a much-loved Prime Minister. But evidence points to a government-orchestrated genocidal massacre unleashed by politicians–with the trail leading up to the very heart of the dynastic Gandhi family–and covered up with the help of the police, judiciary and sections of the media,” author Pav Singh writes in ‘1984 – India’s Guilty Secret’.The government of the day “worked hard on its version of events. Words such as ‘riot’ became the newspeak of an Orwellian cover-up, of a real 1984. To protect perpetrators, the most heinous crimes have been obscured from view; evidence destroyed, language distorted and alternative ‘facts’ introduced. The final body count is anybody’s guess,” the author says.
And yet, “what may well go down in history as one of the largest conspiracies of modern times is hardly known outside of India. At that time, Western governments toed the line of their Indian counterpart and downplayed events–arguably for fear of losing trade contracts worth billions–to the misnomer of ‘communal riots”, the author says.Pointing to a meeting held at the residence of then Information and Broadcasting Minister HKL Bhagat on the evening of October 31, hours after Gandhi was assassinated, and attended by an Additional Commissioner responsible for the capital’s Central, North and East districts, and the SHO of the Kalyanpuri police station, all of which bore the brunt of the violence, the author writes: “The foundation of their plan had, however, been laid well in advance and were in part the outcome of years of suspicion, misgivings and disagreements between the Centre and the state and its political, economic and social demands as framed by the Akali Dal, the governing Sikh-centric party in Punjab.”“It is believed that key players in the Congress government used the increasingly volatile situation in Punjab to blur the perception of the Sikh community in the eyes of their fellow citizens…These poisoned sentiments gathered such deadly momentum that the execution of Operation Bluestar in June 1984 was regarded by some as ‘inevitable’,” writes Pav Singh, a member of the Magazines and Books Industrial Council of Britain’s National Union of Journalists who has been campaigning on the issue for a number of years.To bolster the insinuation that the Sikhs’ desire for regional autonomy posed a national threat, the government commissioned a series of documentaries in early 1984. Mani Shankar Aiyar, Joint Secretary to the Government of India, was said, by an associate, to have claimed that “he was given the unpleasant job of portraying Sikhs as terrorists”. He was on some special duty with the Minister of Information and Broadcasting. The minister in question was none other than Bhagat, the book says.Pointing to an elaborate cover-up of the four days of mayhem, the author says a key figure in the deception was Home Secretary MMK Wali.“At a press conference on November 1, he insisted that most of the violence consisted of arson and that few personal attacks had occurred–in what seems an outrageous statement he even claimed that only two people had been confirmed killed in New Delhi.“He revised the figure to 458 on November 4 soon after being sworn in as Delhi’s new lieutenant governor. The Indian Express had reported on November 2 that in two incidents alone there were 500 dead, including 200 bodies lying in a police mortuary and at least 350 bodies on one street in East Delhi,” writes Pav Singh, who spent a year in India researching the full extent of the riots.His research led to the pivotal and authoritative report ‘1984 Sikhs’ Kristallnacht’, which was first launched in the UK parliament in 2005 and substantially expanded in 2009. In his role as a community advocate at the Wiener Library for the Study of Holocaust and Genocide, London, he curated the exhibition ‘The 1984 Anti-Sikh Pogrom Remembered’ in 2014 with Delhi-based photographer Gauri Gill.The book is highly critical of the manner in which subsequent governments have acted.Figures released in 2013 show that of the 3,163 people arrested in the capital, just 30 individuals in approximately as many years, mostly low-ranking Congress party supporters, had been convicted of killing Sikhs. This represents less than one per cent of all those arrested, the book says.“Out of those arrested, a staggering 2,706 were subsequently acquitted. Convictions for riot-related offences amounted to 412. One hundred and forty-seven police officers were indicted for their role in the killings, but not one officer has been prosecuted. Nobody has ever been prosecuted for rape,” the book says.It’s time India and the world called a spade a spade, the book says in its conclusion. IANS
Located in a dingy and dirty lane, there’s hardly any scope for the sun’s rays to penetrate into Surjeet Singh’s 50 sq yard home. The two room set is the only shelter for him, his wife, four children and widowed mother, to whom the house was alloted after his father was killed in the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 — when he was just eight at the time.
“You can see how we are surviving. It has been now more than three decades of the 1984 riots, but seems our lives have remained stagnant. Forget justice, our condition of living has rather deteriorated. The riots shut our doors to a better life,” Surjeet, now 40, told IANS.
The Widow’s Colony in West Delhi’s Tilak Vihar was established by the government and alloted to the widows who survived as a part of the compensation to victims of the anti-Sikh riots that broke out on October 31, 1984 on the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. However, the present condition of the colony is extremely miserable; power lines hang low, garbage is littered over the narrow lanes and the drains are left uncovered.
Around 3,000 widows were alloted houses in Tilak Vihar but now only a countable are left. Many went back to Punjab while few have settled in other parts of Delhi.
Sixty-five-year-old Kuldeep Kaur, one a widow who has been residing in the colony since its inception, said that she has now learned to live with the traumatic and harrowing past pain but was worried about the future of her children and grandchildren
“I am old now and have accepted whatever was written in my destiny. The riots not just took away life of my husband but permanently closed the scope of leading a secured and decent life. My three children saw their father being burnt alive in front of their eyes; they didn’t attend school. And now, my son drives an e-rickshaw; what future will he give to his children,” Kuldeep Kaur lamented.
Surjeet Singh, who is a freelance photographer by profession, said he saw his father murdered by angry and violent mobs but was too young to understand what was happening. “Imagine a life without a father, how difficult it must have been for the widows to continue their lives with the sole earning member gone. At that time, women were not so educated to get a job. The situation after the riots was very bad,” he voiced.
The riots had majorly affected the children of the widows living in the colony; they got involved in addictions — started taking drugs and surrendered themselves to alcohol –and left schooling.
“Nobody could afford school, even though some went to school they couldn’t complete their education because the dreadful past was too difficult to forget and difficult to concentrate on studies. The boys of Tilak Vihar are actually useless but you cannot blame them,” Surjeet Singh pointed out.
Kuldeep Kaur recalled how their lives changed in a blink; she and her children had no roof to shelter them and had to spend many days hungery. Being less educated, she couldn’t get a job so took up a stitching work to continue her livelihood.
“And this is not just what I have gone through but tale of all the widows in Tilak Vihar. Kamane ka zariya khatam ho gaya hain (our medium of earning a livelihood is closed). Now they (the survivors of the riots) either run autos or have small shops of their own,” she further added.
The survivors pitched that despite knowing under what circumstances they live, there has been no help from the government.
“Its all gimmick by the political parties, whosoever comes to power. They leaders show their face either before the elections or during this time. They show their sympathy, give us false promises and then vanish, no sign of them for a year,” Surjeet Singh pointed out.
Kuldeep Kaur lamented that even the compensation amount which was offered by the government has not yet been fully given to them. She said: “Kishto mein milta hai (we get in installments). Had we got the money in time, our children could have at least completed their education, got a decent job and settled well.”
Surjeet Singh said that he doesn’t expect any monetary compensation — all that he wants is a better life for his children and doesn’t want them to struggle for a living.
“Only those who have gone through this knows the pain. But now, our hunger for justice have also died. We have lost all hope for the culprits to be punished. Every year many journalistst turn up, they talk to us, express their grief and gratitude, but nothing fruitful comes of it,” he replied.
“An earnest request,” Singh paused before adding: “Please do write something that forces the government to take up our case seriously.”
(Somrita Ghosh can be contacted at email@example.com)–IANS
New Delhi, September 17, 2017: Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the Republic of India and is given for exceptional performance in any of the fields of human Endeavour.
Here is the list of all Bharat Ratna award winners from 1954 to 2015:
C Rajagopalachari (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1954): C Rajagopalachari, informally called Rajaji or C.R., was the Governor General of India from 1948 to 1950. He served as the Chief Minister of the Madras Presidency from 1937 to 1939, at the time of British rule. He was the Chief Minister of the Madras State from 1952 to 1954. He was also the founder of the Swatantra Party.
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1954): Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was an esteemed Indian philosopher. He was the Vice President of India from 1952 to 1962 and the second President of India from 1962 to 1967. It’s on his birthday, which falls on September 5, we celebrate Teacher’s Day in India.
CV Raman (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1954): CV Raman was an internationally acclaimed scientist and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930. He is widely known around the world for his remarkable work called Raman Scattering, which deals with the scattering of light and its effect.
Bhagwan Das (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1955): Bhagwan Das was an Indian theosophist who co-founded the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith in 1921. It was with his assistance that Madan Mohan Malaviya established the Banaras Hindu University.
M Visvesvaraya (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1955): M Visvesvaraya was a renowned engineer and it’s on his birthday, which falls on 15 September, Engineer’s Day is celebrated in India.
Jawahar Lal Nehru (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1955): Jawahar Lal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of free India and the leading figure in the Indian independence movement. Also known as Chacha Nehru, his birthday, which falls on November 14, is celebrated around the country as Children’s Day.
Govind Ballabh Pant (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1957): Govind Ballabh Pant was the first chief minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1950 to 1954, and became the home minister of India in 1955. He played a significant role in the freedom movement as well as in the government during British rule and in independent India.
Dhondo Keshav Karve (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1958): Karve was a social reformer who played a vital role in the upliftment of women in the country. He worked for remarriage of Hindu widows and education of women. He started many organizations for women development such as the Widow Marriage Association and the Hindu Widows Home. The Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University was established by him in 1916.
Bidhan Chandra Roy (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1961): Bidhan Chandra Roy was an acclaimed physician and a freedom fighter. He also served the Chief Minister of Bengal from 1948 to 1962. His birthday on July 1 is observed around the country as National Doctor’s Day.
Purushottam Das Tandon (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1961): Purushottam Das Tandon was a freedom fighter who was given the title of Rajarshi. He is known and remembered for his campaign asking to provide Hindi, the official language status.
Rajendra Prasad (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1962): Rajendra Prasad was the President of India from 1950 to 1962. Other than that, he was also a brilliant scholar, a lawyer, and statesman.
Zakir Husain (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1963): Zakir Hussain was the Vice President of India from 1962 to 1967 and the President from 1967 to 1969. He has also served as the Vice Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University from 1948 to 1956.
Pandurang Vaman Kane (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1963): Kane was a Sanskrit scholar as well as a notable Indologist. He is known for his monumental work, History of Dharmaśāstra: Ancient and Medieval Religious and Civil Law in India.
Lal Bahadur Shastri (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1966): Lal Bahadur Shastri served as the Prime Minister of India from 1964 to 1966. He is the originator of the famous slogan Jai Jawan Jai Kisan.
Indira Gandhi (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1971): India Gandhi was the prime minister of India from 1966 to 1977, and 1980 to 1984. She is known as the Iron Lady of India. She was responsible for the liberation of Bangladesh in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971.
V V Giri (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1975): V V Giri was the first acting president of India and a noted freedom fighter.
K Kamraj (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1976): Kamraj was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu from 1954–57, 1957–62, and 1962–63.
Mother Teresa (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1980): Mother Teresa is widely known around the world for her humanitarian work. She received the Nobel Peace Price in 1979.
list of all Bharat Ratna award winners
Vinoba Bhave (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1983): Vinoba Bhave was a social reformer and an active freedom fighter. He is famous for the Bhoodan movement, a Land-Gift movement. He was also awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1958.
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1987): Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was a noted freedom fighter who founded the Khudai Khidmatgar in 1929. He was a devoted follower of Mahatma Gandhi, and was known as the Frontier Gandhi.
M G Ramachandran (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1988): Ramachandran was an actor who later went into politics. He was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu during the years 1977–80, 1980–84, and 1985–87.
B R Ambedkar (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1990): B R Ambedkar was a Dalit leader who fought against social discrimination that Dalits used to witness. Ambedkar is the drafter of the Indian Constitution and was also appointed as the first Law Minister of the country.
Nelson Mandela (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1990): Mandela famous for his significant role in South Africa’s Anti-Apartheid Movement, was the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, and is also called the Gandhi of South Africa.
Rajiv Gandhi (Awarded Bharat in 1991): He was the Prime Minister of India from 1984 to 1989. He was the youngest Prime Minister of India at the age of 40.
Vallabhbhai Patel (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1991): Vallabhbhai Patel, a freedom fighter, played a prominent role in integrating the princely states into the Indian Union. It was for the same reason that he came to be known as the Iron Man of India.
Morarji Desai (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1991): He was the Prime Minister of India from 1977 to 1979. Desai is the only Indian to have bagged Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest civilian award presented by the Pakistan government.
Abdul Kalam Azad (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1992): Abdul Kalam Azad was the first Minister of Education. 11th November, which is Kalam’s birthday, is observed as the National Education Day in India. He is also known as the missile man of India.
JRD Tata (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1992): JRD Tata was an industrialist and a philanthropist. He is famous for his accomplishments such as establishment of Air India as well as institutes such as Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
Satyajit Ray (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1992): Satyajit ray was an Indian filmmaker and author. Ray received Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1984. Some of his most famous works are Pather Panchali and Shatranj ke Khilari.
Gulzarilal Nanda (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1997): Gulzarilal Nanda served as the interim Prime Minister of India in 1964 and 1966. He has also served twice as the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission
Aruna Asaf Ali (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1997): Aruna Asaf Ali, a prominent freedom fighter became the first mayor of Delhi in 1958.
A P J Abdul Kalam (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1997): Kalam was the President of India from 2002 to 2007. He was also an acclaimed aerospace and defense scientist.
list of all Bharat Ratna award winners
MS Subbulakshmi (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1998): Subbulakshmi was a Carnatic classical vocalist who became the first Indian to have won the Ramon Magsaysay award. He is also known as the Queen of Songs.
Chidambaram Subramaniam (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1998): Subramaniam was India’s Agriculture Minister form 1964 to 1966. He made a remarkable contribution towards Green Revolution.
Jayaprakash Narayan (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1999): Jayaprakash Narayan, also known as Lok Nayak, is known for his struggle against the government of Indira Gandhi in the 1970s, for which he initiated the Total Revolution Movement.
Amartya Sen (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1999): Amartya Sen, an acclaimed economist, had done research in a number of topics. He won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998.
Gopinath Bordoloi (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1999): Gopinath served as the Chief Minister of Assam from 1946 to 1950. He played an important role in keeping Assam united with India at the time of partition.
Ravi Shankar (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1999): Ravi Shankar was an internationally recognized sitar player. He has won four Grammy Awards. Some of his famous works include collaborations with George Harrison.
Lata Mangeshkar (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 2001): Lata Mangeshkar, owing to her melodious voice, is referred as the Nightingale of India. She won the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1989.
Bismillah Khan (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 2001): Bismillah Khan was a Shehnai player famous not only India but all over the world. He played a major role in the popularization of shehnai.
Bhimsen Joshi (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 2009): Bhimsen Joshi was a renowned vocalist from the state of Karnataka. He received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 1998.
CNR Rao (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 2014): Rao is a professor and chemist, who has significantly worked in the fields of Spectroscopy, Molecular Structure, Solid State, and Materials Chemistry. He is a holder of prestigious positions, like the Director of the ISI, National Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru Professor, all in India, University Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and Eberly Professor of Statistics and Director of the Center for Multivariate Analysis at Pennsylvania State University in USA.
Sachin Tendulkar (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 2014): Sachin is considered as one of the best cricket players in the world. Sachin. He has added many records in his career of two decades, including the record of being the first batsman to score a double century in a One Day International.
Madan Mohan Malaviya (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 2015): Madan Mohan Malviya founded the Banaras Hindu University. He also served as the president of the Indian National Congress.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 2015): Vajpayee was the Prime Minister of India during the years 1996, 1998 and 1999 to 2004. In 1994, he was given the Best Parliamentarian Award.
-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha