My honour list for Bharat Ratna & Padma awards

  • Khushwant Singh
  • |
  • Updated: Feb 04, 2012 22:45 IST

Every Republic Day I draw up my own honour list for Bharat Ratna and Padma Awards. I impose two pre-conditions. First, anyone known to have convassed for any award should be banned from receiving any honour. Nine out of 10, men and women do so.

If discovered, they should never be considered for being honoured. If found out later, the title should be taken back. This is the practice in England. My friend, Jack Lyons, had a Knighthood conferred on him. Later, when he was discovered to have been involved in shady deals, his Knighthood was cancelled. There was a strong element of anti-Semitism in the cancellation. Jack Lyons migrated to Israel -  a very bitter man.

My second suggestion is to set up a convention that recipients of awards should not attach them to their names or use them in letter-heads. Nine out of 10 Indians do: Padma Shri, Bhushan, Vibhushan, Shri or Shrimati, so on and so forth. It is cheap and vulgar.

Let others use them and describe the recipients but he or she should not do so. In England many titles like the Count, Earl, Lord or Sir are put before the person's name, but the majority do not use them.

Mark Tully, who has made India his home, was knighted many years ago and also got a Padma Bhushan, he has not used one or the other. He always remains simple Mark Tully.

Sheetal sharma
I am eager to write about people who conform to The Gita's ideal of service: "Perform your duty without looking for fruits of your labours (Karman-ev Adhikarastey, Maa Phaleshu Kadachana). One such person who came to my notice is Sheetal Sharma, Secretary of the Society that manages DAV schools and colleges. It is India's largest non-governmental educational organisation.

Sheetal grew up in an academic atmosphere and married an academic. Her father was Vice Chancellor of Vikaram University and later President of the DAV College Managing Committee. Her husband was an IAS and after retirement Vice-Chancellor of Kurukshetra University and Director of National Defence College. Sheetal is a product of the Delhi School of Economics and a B.Ed from Punjab University. She has held several educational assignments in Chandigarh and Delhi. She has visited England, Canada, USA, Egypt and Russia to study education systems prevalent there. She has put her experience to produce a series of publications entitled Look Around. Her latest series Hello Life (Tulip Publications), profusely illustrated, is to equip learners with life skills. She has specialised in helping disadvantaged children, distressed and mentally disabled and old people (I fall in the last category). I look forward to her visits as she is an attractive woman, full of smiles and laughter.

Due to the current financial situation caused by the slowdown of the economy, your government has decided to implement a scheme to put workers 50 years of age and older on early retirement. This scheme will be known as RAPE (Retire Aged People Early).

Persons selected to be raped can apply to the government to be eligible for the SHAFT scheme (Special Help After Forced Termination).

Persons who have been raped and shafted will be reviewed under the SCREW Programe (Scheme Covering Retired Early Workers).

A person may be raped once, shafted twice and screwed as many times as the government deems appropriate.

Only persons who have been raped can get AIDS (Additional Income for Dependents and Spouse) or HERPES (Half Earning for Retired Personnel Early Severance). Obviously, persons who have aids or herpes will not be shafted or screwed any further by the government.

Persons who are not raped and are staying on, will receive as much SHIT (Special High Intensity Training) as possible.

The government has always prided itself in the amount of shit it gives out. Should you feel that you do not receive enough shit, please bring this to the attention of your local MP. They have been trained to give you all the Shit you can handle.

Indo-Pak differences
Joke doing the round in Pakistan:

In India Government decides age of Army Chief.

In Pakistan: Army chief decides the age of government!


The views expressed by the author are personal


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