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Debate: A trial balloon? - 1

by TIMES NOW 19:07 mins

Debate: A trial balloon? - 1

by TIMES NOW 19:07 mins

As speculation swirled that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose may be named for Bharat Ratna, there was a clamour for Dhyan Chand, Kanshi Ram and Bhagat Singh to be also considered for the country's highest civilian award. Congress said more eminent personalities should figure in the Bharat Ratna list if government was going by the "historical route". Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari wanted names of legendary freedom fighters including Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Lala Lajpat Rai be also considered. "If govt going the historical route on Bharat Ratnas it should also consider the names of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukdev, Lala Lajpat Rai...," he said on Twitter. Tewari also suggested names of founders of the INA Rash Behari Bose, Gen Mohan Singh, Annie Besant & AO Hume and Gopal Krishna Gokhale in his tweet.The former Union Minister also recalled litigations in early 1990s over conferring the highest civilian award.Another Congress leader Rashid Alvi said besides Bose, Kanshi Ram, who was BSP founder, and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)founder Sir Syed Ahmed Khan should get the honour. He, however, said the award should be announced only after the upcoming Assembly elections in four states, including Maharashtra and Haryana, to avoid any politics. Alvi told PTI he was writing a letter on the issue to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Former Allahabad High Court judge Justice Giridhar Malaviya, the grand-son of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, while reacting to reports that the name of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) founder is also doing the rounds said he was one person who had made contribution in "so many fields." Madan Mohan Malaviya had also helped establish the Hindu Mahasabha.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had paid floral tributes to Madan Mohan Malaviya's statue in Varanasi before filing his nomination papers in the holy town for the Lok Sabha polls. Giridhar Malviya was among those who proposed Modi's nomination. Ashok Kumar, son of Dhyan Chand, hoped that the hockey legend will be also considered for Bharat Ratna. Known as 'The Wizard', Dhyan Chand is widely considered as the greatest field hockey player of all time. Many are of the view that Dhyan Chand should have been the first sportsperson to have been conferred the Bharat Ratna and should have been bestowed the honour ahead of cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. SP leader Naresh Agarwal said socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia should be also considered for the honour.In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Dr Sambit Patra, Spokesperson, BJP; Kumar Ketkar, Sr Journalist; Amee Yajnik, Spokesperson, Congress; Prof Kancha Illiah, Dalit Activist and Author and TSR Subramaniam, Former Cabinet Secretary -- discuss whether -- has India's highest civilian honour been reduced to a race?

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