I was 10 when my grandfather passed away. I remember him as a kind-hearted and loving man who was full of Karuna (compassion). He would break into tears if he saw something wrong happening. The NDA government’s decision to confer the Bharat Ratna on him hasn’t really come as a surprise. There were talks that he would be given the award posthumously, it had been on the cards.
I think it all began on the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Varanasi and garlanded my grandfather’s statue. I think Modiji had made up his mind that day itself that the government would award Bharat Ratna to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya if he became the prime minister. That was followed by a flurry of leaders paying homage to my grandfather.
I am not sure why the recognition of his contribution did not come earlier, but it has come now. That’s fine. There are many legendary personalities that deserve this honour. I am sure their contribution to the country is great. But my grandfather was different in the sense that what he did could not have been done by a single person. His contribution was immense in diverse areas such as politics, education, social reforms, secularism and promoting Hindi and nationalism.
It’s a wonderful decision by the government to honour him on the eve of his birthday. I also express my gratitude to the government for declaring his and Atalji’s birthday as Good Governance Day. They have done a great job and there should be no controversy around it. I think the Modi government has been decisive in announcing the awards for my grandfather and Atalji.
Deserving people should be given the award without waiting for years. I haven’t had the time for any celebrations as I have been busy receiving calls and giving interviews to journalists. That itself is a matter of pride though. Modiji is visiting Varanasi tomorrow. I will definitely meet him and thank him. But I am not sure if he will have time to discuss some issues.
As told to Rahul Singh