Interesting Facts about Bharat Ratna Award

This article is all about amazing, rare, unknown, interesting facts about Bharat Ratna Award. This article also explains the facts and information about all awardees/winners of this prestigious award of India.

Facts about Bharat Ratna Award

Bharat Ratna Award

Quick Basic Facts about Bharat Ratna Award

  • Established on : 1954
  • Presented by : President of India
  • Category/criteria : arts, literature, science, public service; later expanded to “any field of human endeavour“.

Historical Facts about Bharat Ratna Award

  • Bharat Ratna award was earlier conferred for performance in categories like arts, science and literature. In Dec 2011 government of India changed the criteria for nomination as “any field of human endeavour.”
  • The original design of medal was circular golden disc 1-3/8″ in diameter with sunburst (sun with light rays) design in center on front side. The text “Bharat Ratna” was inscribed in silver also on front side. The reverse side contained state emblem of India with the text “Satymev Jayate“.
  • That design was modified later and a peepal leaf was used in place golden of circular disc. The material of the medal was used as bronze while state emblem and sunburst were made of platinum.
Interesting Facts about Bharat Ratna Awards

First Bharat Ratna Awardees

  • Bharat Ratna awards was established in the year 1954. During the inaugural year, there were three awardees -i) C. Rajagopalachari, ii) Dr S Radhakrishnan and iii) Dr. C. V. Raman.

Interesting Facts about Bharat Ratna Award

  • Bharat Ratna award is India’s highest civilian award. This award is conferred for “recognizing exceptional service/ performance of the highest order, without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex“.
  • The recommendation for nomination is made by Prime Minister of India and is sent to President. President is the final authority to select the winner out of maximum 3 recommendations/suggestions given by Prime Minister.
interesting facts about Bharat Ratna Award

Maharishi Karve

  • In a special ceremony held in April 1958, Dhondo Keshav Karve was awarded on his 100th birthday. Dhondo Karve was famous social activist and reformer. He was popularly known as Maharishi Karve. Queen’s road in Mumbai was renamed to Maharishi Karve Road in his honour.
  • Only two foreign nationals are awarded by this award so far. The first foreign national was Khan Abdul Gaff Khan in 1987 and Nelson Mandela was the second person to be honoured in 1990. The naturalized citizen Mother Teresa received this award in 1980.
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri was the first person to be awarded posthumously.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi were the only two Prime Ministers who recommended their own names for this award.
  • The only filmmaker who was conferred with this award was Satyajit Rey in 1992.
  • Persons associated with classical singing and music to receive this award were: i) M. S. Subbulakshmi in year 1998, ii) Pandit Ravi Shankar in year 1999, iii) Ustad Bismillah Khan in year 2001 and iv) Bhimsen Joshi in year 2008.
  • One interesting fact about Bharat Ratna award is that there is no cash or monetary benefit associated with this award. Bharat Ratna award winners comes at seventh rank in Indian order of precedence.
  • The winners of this award can not use the award in surname or title as per article 18.1 of Indian Constitution.
  • The only person from industrialist and business background to receive this award was JRD Tata in year 1992.
  • Some of the prominent personalities got the global recognition first and after that they received the Bharat Ratna. For example Mother Teresa got the Nobel award first in year 1979 and Bharat Ratna later in year 1980. Amartya Sen got the Nobel prize in economics in 1998 and a year later he got Bharat Ratna.
  • Bharat Ratna Awards are manufactured at Alipore Mint, Kolkata. Some other prestigious awards which are produced at this mint are Param Veer Chakra, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan etc.

Controversial Facts about Bharat Ratna Award

  • Bharat Ratna award remain suspended from i) July 1977 to Jan 1980 and, ii) Aug 1992 to dec 1995. Reason of suspension during period 1977-80 was frequent change in central government and for period 1992-95 was a number of PILs (Public Interest Litigation) filed in different courts to challenge the validity of this award.
  • Sachin Tendulkar was the youngest and the only sports person ever to be honoured with this award in 2013. He received this award at age of 40 years. However his nomination drew controversy as he was awarded by the UPA (congress) government and at that time Sachin was himself member of Rajya Sabha in parliament. A PIL was also filed for ignoring the hockey legend Dhyan Chand.
  • In year 1992, Subhash Chandra Bose was declared for this award posthumously but it created huge protests and unrest due to word “Posthumous” and his family refused to accept this award.
  • The only film actor who was conferred with Bharat Ratna award was M.G. Ramchandran. He was bestowed with this award posthumously in 1988 by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in an effort to woo the voters of Tamil Nadu prior to elections of 1989.