Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has been conferred with the highest civilian award in India, Bharat Ratna. With this, he becomes the first sports person to get the prestigious award. Right from 2011, when the rules to confer the award were made lenient, many voices could be heard to dignify this sportsman who's brought too many laurels for the country. An announcement from the Prime Minister's Office confirmed the news. This decision has been taken to pay tributes to his 24-year international career as an ace cricketer.
"Shri Sachin Tendulkar is undoubtedly an outstanding cricketer - a living legend who has inspired millions across the globe," a PMO release said.The conferring of the award soon after his retirement at the age of 40 has been a fitting pay-off to his glorious career; The Government of India probably wanted to give him a great send-off gift for his contribution to Cricket. It is to be noted the the sportsman became a Rajya Sabha MP just an year ago.
Bharat Ratna Medal.
Image courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org
About the award:The award meaning "The Gem of India" was introduced in 1954. This award has so far been conferred upon 41 individuals. When the award was introduced it was given to honour the excellence in arts, literature, science and public services. Reently the rules were amended to consider broader categories. Presently, this award is given to recognise "performance of highest order in any field of human endeavour". Although there's no hard and fast rule that it has to be given only to Indians, most of the recipients have been Indians, barring a few exceptions like Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa, of course.
Other awards given to the Master Blaster:
Arjuna Award - 1994
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award - 1998
Padma Shri - 1999
Padma Vibhushan - 2008 along with chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand
Sachin Tendulkar - The Master Blaster