Bharat Ratna

Bharat Ratna

Bharat Ratna
Type Civilian
Category National
Instituted 1954
First awarded 1954
Last awarded 2015
Total awarded 45
Awarded by Government of India
Obverse An image of the Sun along with the words "Bharat Ratna", inscribed in Devanagari script, on a peepal leaf
Reverse A platinum Emblem of India placed in the centre with the national motto of India, "Satyameva Jayate" (Truth alone triumphs) in Devanagari Script
Ribbon
First awardee(s)
Recent awardee(s)
Award rank
Padma Vibhushan →

Bharat Ratna (Hindi pronunciation: ; Jewel of India)[1] is the highest civilian award of the Republic of India. Instituted in 1954, the award is conferred "in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order", without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex.[2][3][4] The award was originally limited to achievements in the arts, literature, science, and public services, but the government expanded the criteria to include "any field of human endeavour" in December 2011.[5] The recommendations for the Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President, with a maximum of three nominees being awarded per year. Recipients receive a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a peepal-leaf–shaped medallion; there is no monetary grant associated with the award. Bharat Ratna recipients rank seventh in the Indian order of precedence.

The first recipients of the Bharat Ratna were politician C. Rajagopalachari, philosopher Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, and scientist C. V. Raman, who were honoured in 1954. Since then, the award has been bestowed on 45 individuals, including 12 who were awarded posthumously. The original statutes did not provide for posthumous awards but were amended in January 1955 to permit them. The former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri became the first individual to be honoured posthumously. In 2013, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, then aged 40, became the youngest recipient, while social reformer Dhondo Keshav Karve was awarded on his 100th birthday. Though usually conferred on Indian citizens, the Bharat Ratna has been awarded to one naturalised citizen, Mother Teresa, and to two non-Indians, Pakistan national Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and former South African President Nelson Mandela. On 24 December 2014, the Indian government announced the award to freedom fighter Madan Mohan Malaviya (posthumously) and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The Bharat Ratna, along with other personal civil honours, was briefly suspended from July 1977 to January 1980, during the change in the national government, and for a second time from August 1992 to December 1995, when several public-interest litigations challenged the constitutional validity of the awards. In 1992, the government's decision to confer the award posthumously on Subhash Chandra Bose met with controversy. Due to the debate surrounding Bose's death, the posthumous mention of Bose was much criticised, and his family refused to accept the award. Following a 1997 Supreme Court decision, the press communiqué announcing Bose's award was cancelled; it is the only time when the award was announced but not conferred.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Regulations 2
  • Specifications 3
  • Controversies 4
  • Criticism 5
  • Popular demands 6
  • List of recipients 7
  • Explanatory notes 8
  • References 9
  • Bibliography 10
  • Further reading 11

History

On 2 January 1954, a press communiqué was released from the office of the secretary to the President of India announcing the creation of two civilian awards—Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, and the three-tier Padma Vibhushan, classified into "Pahela Warg" (Class I), "Dusra Warg" (Class II), and "Tisra Warg" (Class III), which rank below the Bharat Ratna.[2] On 15 January 1955, the Padma Vibhushan was reclassified into three different awards; the Padma Vibhushan, the highest of the three, followed by the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Shri.[3]

There is no formal provision that recipients of the Bharat Ratna should be Indian citizens. It has been awarded to a naturalised Indian citizen, Mother Teresa in 1980, and to two non-Indians, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan of Pakistan in 1987 and the late former South African president Nelson Mandela in 1990.[6] Sachin Tendulkar, at the age of 40, became the youngest person and first athlete to receive the honour.[7] In a special ceremony on 18 April 1958, Dhondo Keshav Karve was awarded on his 100th birthday.[8][1] As of 2015, the award has been conferred upon 45 people with 12 posthumous declarations.[10]

The award was briefly suspended twice in its history.[11] The first suspension occurred after Morarji Desai was sworn in as the fourth Prime Minister of India in 1977. His government withdrew all personal civil honours on 13 July 1977.[12][13] The suspension was again rescinded on 25 January 1980, after Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minister.[14] The civilian awards were suspended again in mid-1992, when two Public-Interest Litigations were filed, one in the Kerala High Court and another in the Madhya Pradesh High Court, challenging "the constitutional validity" of the awards.[11] The awards were reintroduced by the Supreme Court of India in December 1995, following the conclusion of the litigation.[13][15]

Regulations

The Bharat Ratna is conferred "in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order", without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex.[4] The award was originally confined to the arts, literature, science, and public services, as per the 1954 regulations.[2] In December 2011, the rules were changed to include "any field of human endeavour".[5] The 1954 statutes also did not allow posthumous awards, but this was subsequently modified in the January 1955 statute, and Lal Bahadur Shastri became the first recipient to be honoured posthumously in 1966.[3][16]

Although there is no formal nomination process, recommendations for the award can only be made by the Prime Minister of India to the President with a maximum number of three nominees being awarded per year. However, in 1999, four individuals were awarded the honour. The recipient receives a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a medallion without any monetary grant. Under the terms of Article 18 (1) of the Constitution of India,[2] the recipients cannot use the award as a prefix or suffix to their name, although recipients may use either the expressions "Awarded Bharat Ratna by the President" or "Recipient of Bharat Ratna Award" to indicate that they have been honoured with the award.[4] The holders of the Bharat Ratna rank seventh in the Indian order of precedence.[18]

As with many official announcements, recipients are announced and registered in The Gazette of India, a publication released by the Department of Publication, Ministry of Urban Development used for official government notices; without publication in the Gazette, conferral of the award is not considered official. Recipients whose awards have been revoked or restored, both of which require the authority of the President, are also registered in the Gazette. Recipients whose awards have been revoked are required to surrender their medals, and their names are struck from the register.[2][3]

Specifications

The original 1954 specifications of the award was a circle made of gold 1 38 inches (35 mm) in diameter with a centred sun burst design on the obverse side. The text "Bharat Ratna", in Devanagari Script, is inscribed on the upper edge in silver gilt with a wreath set along on the lower edge. A platinum Emblem of India was placed in the centre of the reverse side with the national motto of India, "Satyameva Jayate" (Truth alone triumphs) in Devanagari Script, inscribed in silver-gilt on the lower edge.[2]

A year later, the design was modified. The current medal is in the shape of a Peepal leaf, approximately 2 516 inches (59 mm) long, 1 78 inches (48 mm) wide and 18 inch (3.2 mm) thick and rimmed in platinum. The embossed sun burst design, also made of platinum, on the obverse side of the medal has a diameter of 58 inch (16 mm) with rays spreading out from 56 inch (21 mm) to 12 inch (13 mm) from the center of the Sun. The words "Bharat Ratna" on the obverse side remained the same as the 1954 design as did the emblem of India and "Satyameva Jayate" on the reverse side. A 2-inch-wide (51 mm) white ribbon is attached to the medal so it can be worn around the neck.[3][11][19] In 1957, the silver-gilt decoration was changed to burnished bronze.[2][20]

Controversies

The Bharat Ratna has been surrounded by several controversies and multiple Public-Interest Litigations (PIL) had been filed against the conferral of the award.[13][21][22][23][24]

Subhas Chandra Bose (1992)
In 1992, a press release was published to confer the award posthumously on Bose which was later cancelled by the Supreme Court of India in 1997.

On 23 January 1992, a press release was published by the President's Secretariat to confer the award posthumously on Subhash Chandra Bose. The decision triggered much criticism and a Public-Interest Litigation was filed in the Calcutta High Court to revoke the award.[21] The petitioner took objection to the conferral of the award and its posthumous mention of Bose, saying that honouring a personality higher than the award is "ridiculous", and it was an act of "carelessness" to classify such a person with past and future recipients. It also said that the award cannot be conferred to Bose posthumously as the Government of India had not officially accepted his death on 18 August 1945. The petitioner also requested the whereabouts of Bose from 18 August 1945 till date, based on the information collected by the 1956 Shah Nawaz Committee and the 1970 Khosla Commission. The family members of Bose also expressed their unwillingness to accept the award.[25][26]

To deliver the judgement, the Supreme Court of India formed a Special Division Bench with Judge Sujata V. Manohar and G. B. Pattanaik. The Solicitor General of India noted that to confer the award per the appropriate regulations pertaining to the Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri, the name of the recipient must be published in The Gazette of India and entered in the recipients register maintained under the direction of the President of India.[2] It was also noted that only an announcement had been made by press communiqué, but the government had not proceeded to confer the award by publishing the name in the Gazette and entering the name in the register. Furthermore, the then presidents of India, R. Venkataraman (1987–92) and Shankar Dayal Sharma (1992–97), had not conferred a Sanad (certificate) with their signature and seal.[25]

On 4 August 1997, the Supreme Court of India delivered an order that since the award had not been officially conferred, it cannot be revoked and declared that the press communiqué be treated as cancelled. The court declined to pass any judgement on the posthumous mention of Bose and his death.[25][27]

Constitutional validity (1992)

In 1992, two PILs were filed in the High Courts of India; one in the Kerala High Court on 13 February 1992 by Balaji Raghavan and another in the Madhya Pradesh High Court (Indore Bench) on 24 August 1992 by Satya Pal Anand. Both petitioners raised a question about the civilian awards being "Titles" per an interpretation of Article 18 (1) of the Constitution of India.[2] On 25 August 1992, the Madhya Pradesh High Court issued a notice temporarily suspending all civilian awards.[13] A Special Division Bench of the Supreme Court of India was formed comprising five judges; A. M. Ahmadi C. J., Kuldip Singh, B. P. Jeevan Reddy, N. P. Singh, and S. Saghir Ahmad. On 15 December 1995, the Special Division Bench restored the awards and delivered a judgement that the "Bharat Ratna and Padma awards are not titles under Article 18 of the Constitution of India".[15]

C. N. R. Rao and Sachin Tendulkar (2013)

Following the announcement, in November 2013, that C. N. R. Rao and Sachin Tendulkar were to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, multiple Public-Interest Litigations were filed challenging the conferring of the award. The PIL filed against Rao declared that other Indian scientists, such as Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai, had contributed more than Rao and his claim of publishing 1400 research papers was "physically impossible". The suit also stated that as Rao had proven cases of plagiarism, he should not be presented with the award but rather should be annulled.[22] The PIL filed against Tendulkar to the Election Commission of India under the Right to Information Act indicated that the awarding him the Bharat Ratna was a violation of the model code of conduct. The petitioner noted that as Tendulkar was an Indian National Congress nominated Member of Rajya Sabha, the decision to award him the Bharat Ratna would influence the voters of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram where the election process was underway at the time.[23] Another PIL was filed against Tendulkar and a few ministers, "alleging a conspiracy to ignore" an Indian field hockey player Dhyan Chand."[24][3]

On 4 December 2013, the Election Commission of India rejected the petition stating that conferring the award on people from non-polling states did not amount to a violation of the code.[28] Other High Courts of India also rejected the petitions raised against Rao and Tendulkar.[29]

Criticism

Several presentations of the Bharat Ratna have spurred criticism as they have been considered "political awards" to persons who have not necessarily merited the honour. As the recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister of India to the President, the then Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru (1947–64) and Indira Gandhi (1966–77, 1980–84) have been criticised for honouring themselves with the awards in 1955 and 1971 respectively.[30][31] While Nehru was awarded by the then President Rajendra Prasad, another President V. V. Giri decided to honour Gandhi. Both of these presidents were awarded the Bharat Ratna immediately after their respective presidential terms ended. Prasad was awarded in 1962 while Nehru was still in the office of Prime Minister. Similarly, Gandhi was Prime Minister when Giri was conferred the award in 1975. When the recommendations for awarding Nehru, Gandhi, Prasad, and Giri were requested through the Right to Information Act, the Prime minister's Office and Rashtrapati Bhavan could not provide the records and file notings relating to information or achievements as not available.[32]

In 1988, then Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi (1984–89) conferred the Bharat Ratna posthumously on film actor and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M. G. Ramachandran, in a bid to influence voters prior to the Tamil Nadu assembly elections in 1989.[33][34] The decision was also criticised for awarding Ramachandran before independence activist B. R. Ambedkar and Vallabhbhai Patel, who were bestowed the honour in 1990 and 1991 respectively.[35] While Ravi Shankar was accused of lobbying for the award,[30] the decision by Indira Gandhi to posthumously honour K. Kamaraj was considered to have been aimed at placating Tamil voters for the Tamil Nadu assembly elections in 1977. The seventh Prime Minister V. P. Singh was also criticised for posthumously honouring B. R. Ambedkar to please Dalits.[31][33]

A few of the conferments have been criticised for honouring personalities only after they received global recognition.[36] The award for Mother Teresa was announced in 1980, a year after she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Satyajit Ray received an Academy Honorary Award in 1992 followed by the Bharat Ratna the same year.[37][38] In 1999, Amartya Sen was awarded the Bharat Ratna, a year after his 1998 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. The award was proposed by President K. R. Narayanan to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who agreed to the proposal.[39][40]

Popular demands

Though, as per the statutes for the Bharat Ratna, the recommendations for the award can only be made by the Prime Minister to the President,[4] there have been several demands from various political parties to honour their leaders. In January 2008, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L. K. Advani wrote to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recommending Singh's predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee for the award.[41][42] This was immediately followed by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) lobbying for their leader, Jyoti Basu, former Chief Minister of West Bengal.[43] Basu, India's longest-serving chief minister, said that he would decline the honour, even if awarded.[44] Similar such demands were made by Telugu Desam Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Shiromani Akali Dal for their respective leaders N. T. Rama Rao, Kanshi Ram and Parkash Singh Badal.[45]

Per the original statutes, sportspersons were not eligible for the Bharat Ratna; however, a revision of the rules in December 2011 made eligible "any field of human endeavour".[5] Subsequently, several sportspersons' names were discussed; among the most talked-about of these was field-hockey player

  • Murthi, R.K. (2005). Encyclopedia of Bharat Ratnas. Pitambar Publishing.  
  • Chandra, Shailesh (2009). Bharat Ratna: The Jewel of India. Alfa Publications. p. 320.  

Further reading

  • Basu, Kanailal (2010). Netaji: Rediscovered. AuthorHouse.  
  • Bhattacherje, S. B. (2009). Encyclopaedia of Indian Events & Dates. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd.  
  • Daniel, P. (1958). The Indian Review 58. G.A. Natesan & Company. 
  • Edgar, Thorpe (2011). The Pearson General Knowledge Manual 2011. Pearson Education India.  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Osnes, Beth (2013). Theatre for Women's Participation in Sustainable Development. Routledge.  
  •  
  • Taneja, V. R.; Taneja, S. (2000). Educational Thinkers. Atlantic Publishers & Dist.  
  •  

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References

  1. ^ The Bharat Ratna ceremony is usually held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi but a special ceremony was held at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai to honour Karve on his 100th birthday on 18 April 1958.[9]
  2. ^ a b Per Article 18 (1) of the Constitution of India: Abolition of titles, "no title, not being a military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the State".[17]
  3. ^ The PIL accused the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Sports Minister Bhanwar Jitendra Singh and the secretary to the union home department.
  4. ^ In 1960, Ramachandran was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, but declined as the invitation was written in the Devanagari script and not Tamil.[81]
  5. ^ Desai had earlier abolished the awards while he was in the office of Prime Minister for it being "worthless and politicized".[88]
  6. ^ Earlier, Abul Kalam Azad had refused the Bharat Ratna while he was Education Minister of India (1947–58) citing that the selection committee members should not themselves be recipients.[30][90][91]

Explanatory notes

List of laureates awarded the Bharat Ratna[10]
Year Laureates Notes
1954 C. Rajagopalachari An Indian independence activist, statesman, and lawyer, Rajagopalachari was the only Indian and last Governor-General of independent India.[51] He was Chief Minister of Madras Presidency (1937–39) and Madras State (1952–54);[52] and founder of Indian political party Swatantra Party.
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Philosopher Radhakrishnan served as India's first Vice-President (1952–62) and second President (1962–67).[53][54] Since 1962, his birthday on 5 September is observed as "Teachers' Day" in India.[55]
C. V. Raman Widely known for his work on the scattering of light and the discovery of the effect, better known as "Raman scattering", Raman mainly worked in the field of atomic physics and electromagnetism and was presented Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930.[56]
1955  – Bhagwan Das Independence activist, philosopher, and educationist, Das is a founder of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith and Benaras Hindu University.[57]
M. Visvesvaraya Civil engineer, statesman, and Diwan of Mysore (1912–18), Visvesvaraya was a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire. His birthday, 15 September, is observed as "Engineer's Day" in India.[58]
Jawaharlal Nehru Independence activist and author, Nehru is the first and the longest-serving Prime Minister of India (1947–64).[41][59]
1957 Govind Ballabh Pant Independence activist Pant was premier of United Provinces (1937–39, 1946–50) and first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (1950–54). He served as Union Home Minister from 1955-1961.[60]
1958 Dhondo Keshav Karve Social reformer and educator, Karve is widely known for his work related to woman education and remarriage of Hindu widows. He established the Widow Marriage Association (1983), Hindu Widows Home (1896), and started Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women's University in 1916.[8][61]
1961  – Bidhan Chandra Roy A physician, political leader, philanthropist, educationist, and social worker, Roy is often considered as "Maker of Modern West Bengal".[62] He was second Chief Minister of West Bengal (1948–62) and his birthday on 1 July is observed as National Doctors' Day in India.[43]
 – Purushottam Das Tandon Often titled as "Rajarshi", Tandon was an independence activist and served as speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly (1937–50). He was actively involved in a campaign to get official language status to Hindi.[63]
1962 Rajendra Prasad Independence activist, lawyer, statesman, and scholar,[64] Prasad was closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi in the non-cooperation movement for Indian independence.[65] He was also elected as the first President of India (1950–62).[53]
1963  – Zakir Husain Independence activist and education philosopher, Husain served as a Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (1948–56) and the Governors of Bihar (1957–62).[66] Later, he was elected as second Vice-President of India (1962–67) and went on to become the third President of India (1967–69).[53][54]
 – Pandurang Vaman Kane Indologist and Sanskrit scholar,[67] Kane is best known for his five volume literary work, History of Dharmaśāstra: Ancient and Medieval Religious and Civil Law in India. The "monumental" work extends over nearly 6,500 pages with the first volume was published in 1930 and last volume published in 1962.[68]
1966 Lal Bahadur Shastri Known for his slogan "Jai Jawan Jai Kisan" ("Hail the Soldier, Hail the Farmer"),[69] Independence activist Shastri served as second Prime Minister of India (1964–66) and led the country during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.[41][70]
1971 Indira Gandhi Former Prime Minister of India (1966–77, 1980–84),[41] Gandhi is also known as the "Iron Lady of India".[71] During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, her government supported Bangladesh Liberation War which led to the formation of a new country, Bangladesh.[72]
1975  – V. V. Giri Trade unionist Giri was the first Acting President of India and later elected as the fourth President of India (1969–74)[53][73]
1976 K. Kamaraj Independence activist and statesman Kamaraj was a former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for three terms; 1954–57, 1957–62, and 1962–63.[74][75]
1980 Mother Teresa # Catholic nun and founder of the Missionaries of Charity, Teresa is also known as "Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta".[76] She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work in 1979.[77] She was beatified on 19 October 2003 by Pope John Paul II.
1983 Vinoba Bhave Independence activist, social reformer, and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, Bhave is best known for his Bhoodan movement, "Land-Gift Movement".[78] He was given the honorific title "Acharya" ("teacher") and was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award (1958) for his humanitarian work.[79]
1987 Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan Widely known as "Frontier Gandhi", independence activist and Pashtun leader Khan was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. He joined Khilafat Movement in 1920 and founded Khudai Khidmatgar ("Red Shirt movement") in 1929.[80]
1988 M. G. Ramachandran[4] Actor turned politician Ramachandran served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for three terms; 1977–80, 1980–84, 1985–87.[74]
1990 B. R. Ambedkar Social reformer and leader of the Dalits,[82] Ambedkar was the Chief architect of the Indian Constitution.[83]
Nelson Mandela Leader of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa, Mandela was the President of South Africa (1994–99).[84] In 1993, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.[85]
1991 Rajiv Gandhi Gandhi was the ninth Prime Minister of India serving from 1984 to 1989.[41]
Vallabhbhai Patel Widely known as "Iron Man of India",[86] Patel was an independence activist and first Deputy Prime Minister of India (1947–50). He was often called by the honorific title "Sardar" ("Leader").[87]
Morarji Desai[5] Independence activist Desai was the sixth Prime Minister of India (1977–79).[41] He is the only Indian national to be awarded the Nishan-e-Pakistan, highest civilian award given by the Government of Pakistan.[89]
1992 Abul Kalam Azad[6] Independence activist Azad was India's first Minister of Education and worked towards free primary education. He was widely known as "Maulana Azad" and his birthday on 11 November is observed as National Education Day in India.

[92]

 – J. R. D. Tata Industrialist, philanthropist, and aviation pioneer, Tata founded India's first airline Air India and also became the first Indian to get the commercial pilot's license. He is the founder of various institutes in India including the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the Tata Memorial Hospital, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, the National Institute of Advanced Studies, and the National Centre for the Performing Arts.[93]
Satyajit Ray Having debuted as a director with Pather Panchali (1955),[94] the film-maker Ray is credited with bringing world recognition to Indian cinema.[95] In 1984, Ray was also awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India's highest award in cinema.[96]
1997  – Gulzarilal Nanda Independence activist Nanda was two times interim Prime Minister of India (1964, 1966) and two times deputy chairman of the Planning Commission of India.[41][97]
 – Aruna Asaf Ali Independence activist Ali is better known for hoisting the Indian flag in Bombay during the Quit India Movement in 1942. Post Independence, Ali was elected as Delhi's first mayor in 1958.[98]
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Aerospace and defence scientist, Kalam was involved in the development of India's first Satellite launch vehicle [53] Later, he was elected as the eleventh President of India during 2002 till 2007.[99]
1998 M. S. Subbulakshmi Carnatic classical vocalist Subbulakshmi, often hailed as "Queen of songs", is the first Indian musician to receive the Ramon Magsaysay award.[100]
Chidambaram Subramaniam Independence activist and former Minister of Agriculture of India (1964–66), Subramaniam is known for his contribution towards Green Revolution in India. During the late 1970s, he also worked for International Rice Research Institute, Manila, and the International Maize and Wheat Research Institute, Mexico.[101]
1999  – Jayaprakash Narayan Independence activist, social reformer, and commonly referred as "Lok Nayak" ("People's Hero"), Narayan is better known for "Total Revolution Movement" or "JP Movement" initiated during the mid-1970s to "overthrow the corrupt and exploitative Congress government".[102]
Amartya Sen Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences (1998),[103] Sen has done research over several topics including social choice theory, ethics and political philosophy, welfare economics, decision theory, development economics, public health, and gender studies.[104]
Gopinath Bordoloi Independence activist Bordoloi is the first Chief Minister of Assam (1946–50).[105] His efforts and association with then Minister of Home Affairs Vallabhbhai Patel was widely acknowledged while keeping a North-east Indian state Assam united with India when parts of Assam were to merge with then East Pakistan.[106]
Ravi Shankar Winner of four [107]
2001 Lata Mangeshkar Widely credited as the "nightingale of India",[108] playback singer Mangeshkar started her career in the 1940s and has sung songs in over 36 languages.[109] In 1989, Mangeshkar was also awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India's highest award in cinema.[96]
Bismillah Khan Hindustani classical Shehnai player, Khan played the instrument for more than eight decades and is credited to have bought the instrument to the centre state of India music.[110]
2009 Bhimsen Joshi Hindustani classical vocalist, Joshi was a disciple of Kirana gharana, Indian musical school. He is widely known for the Khyal genre of singing with a "mastery over rhythm and accurate notes".[111][112]
2014 C. N. R. Rao The recipient of Honorary Doctorates from 63 Universities including Purdue, IIT Bombay, Oxford, chemist and professor Rao has worked prominently in the fields of Solid State and Materials Chemistry, Spectroscopy and Molecular Structure. He also has authored around 1600 research papers and 48 books.[113]
Sachin Tendulkar Having debuted in 1989, Tendulkar played 664 international cricket matches in total in a career spanned over two decades. He holds various cricket records including the only player to have scored one hundred international centuries, the first batsman to score a double century in a One Day International and the only player to complete more than 30,000 runs in both One Day International and Test cricket.[114][115]
2015 Madan Mohan Malaviya Scholar and educational reformer Malaviya is a founder of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha (1906) and Banaras Hindu University and served as the university's vice-chancellor from 1919 till 1938.[116] He also started a Hindi-language weekly—the "Abhyudaya" (1907), an English-language daily—the "Leader of Allahabad" (1909), and the Hindi monthly—the "Maryada" (1910) and was the Chairman of Hindustan Times from 1924 to 1946.[117]
Atal Bihari Vajpayee Parliamentarian for over four decades, Vajpayee served as the Prime Minister of India for three terms; 1996, 1998, 1999-2004.[41] Editor-Writer-Poet Vajpayee's published works include "Meri Sansadiya Yatra", "Meri Ikkyavan Kavitayen", "Lok Sabha mein Atalji", "Mrityu Ya Hatya", "Amar Balidan", "Kaidi Kaviraj Ki Kundalian", and "Amar Aag Hai".[118]
Key
   # Naturalized citizen recipient
   Non-citizen recipient
   Posthumous recipient

List of recipients

[50][7] became the first sports-person to receive the honour and this gathered much criticism for the government.Sachin Tendulkar However, in November 2013, cricketer [49][47] In July 2013, the ministry again recommended Dhyan Chand.[48].National Rifle Association of India Bindra had also been recommended for the award in May 2013 by the [47]