Hurt at missing out on Padma Bhushan award for the second year in a row, 16-time world champion cueist Pankaj Advani says he does not know what he needs to do more to receive the coveted civilian honour.
Even, India’s badminton doubles specialist Jwala Gutta lashed out on social media after being snubbed for Padma awards saying that it is awarded to those who can procure “recommendation letters”.
Advani, who has pocketed eight world titles in the last eight years, was recommended for the third highest civilian award of the country by the Karnataka government as well as the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI).
The Bengaluru-based Advani, one of India’s greatest cueists, did not say much after being overlooked for the award yet again, but expressed his feelings on social media.
“Thank you sir. Just feel after 16 world titles and 2 Asian games golds if I’m ignored for a padma bhushan, don’t know what more I need to do,” Advani tweeted in his response to Sports Minister Vijay Goel, who congratulated him for winning a staggering 28th national title in Pune earlier this week.
Thank you sir. Just feel after 16 world titles and 2 Asian games golds if I'm ignored for a padma bhushan, don't know what more I need to do https://t.co/kI1pmFL0M9— Pankaj Advani (@PankajAdvani247) January 25, 2017
Jwala in a Facebook post also vented her anger. “I always wondered the concept of applying for particular award which is the most reputed awards in our country, but then that’s what the procedure is.. so I did apply...applied cos it’s prestigious to have the award..cos I thought maybe I made the people of my country proud by my game and deserved it...” Jwala lashed out in a Facebook post.
“I have been playing for this country for more than 15 years now..and have won so many prestigious tournaments..I thought maybe I should apply..but I guess it’s never enough..you need recommendations, recommendations that you deserve an award,” she wrote on her FB page.
The shuttler, who is known to speak her mind said that to get awards, one needs to get letters from influential authority.
“You need to put in a word and get letters and the list goes on and on..but the question I still have is why do I have to apply for an award and also ask for recommendation,” she said.
Jwala then reminded that she is a two-time CWG medallist with a gold and silver. She is also a World Championship medallist.
“Aren’t my credentials good enough? Well, I am really curious about the whole system. My two consecutive medals, Delhi CWG gold and Glasgow silver is not enough. My World Championships medal is not enough, I was top 10 ranked in this women doubles and mixed doubles and my superseries performance and medals in Grand Prix gold is not enough.
“I am 15 times NationaI champion and I am also the first Indian (shuttler) to qualify for two events (doubles and mixed) in (single) Olympics in Indian history, I’m the first Indian to win a medal after Prakash Padukone sir in world championships and so many other firsts,” she said.