There does not seem to be anything wrong, in Padma Award aspirants directly approaching concerned bureaucrats, leaders recommending or deciding on the conferment of Awards, or the leaders of the particular Region or State, direct with their applications or CVs or CDs.
This can at the most be called sakAma karma (action, seeking fruits of performances). Why should anybody in a Capitalist Society do nishkAma karmas (actions without expecting fruits and results)? Asha Parikh, the Veteran Hindi Star is right in approaching Mr. Nithin Gadkari, seeking his help in getting a Padma Bhushan.
The real rot does not lie in that. Our decay has reached a level, where aspirants send brokers with wads of currency, to canvass for them, and buy it by any means. Nobody knows the size of the India's Padma Market. Of course, Prices will vary depending on the level of the Award (Bharat Ratna 1, Padma Vibhushan 2, Padma Bhushan 3, Padma Shri 4, Padma Shri being the lowest in the ladder).
Are Foreign Investments through Mauritius, Dubai and Singapore welcome? Electronic Money Transfers will not be allowed. Correct!
Will there be concessions for God Persons and Spiritual Gurus? Or the Telugu proverb "ekkaDainA bAvE kAni, vanga tOTalO bAva kAdu" will apply? Here is an anecdote which explains the background of this Telugu proverb. In Telugu lAnguage, an elder sister's husband is called "bAva". (Difference between brother-in-law and bAva is: Brother-in-law of the English language does not make any distinction between two brothers-in-law in age or respectability. For example, English language does not make any distinction between an elder-sister's husband, and an younger sister's husband. But Telugu language aims at mathematical exactitude and fineness of measurements in the meanings of words. bAva, an elder-sister's husband denotes greater respectability, whereas "maridi" an younger-sister's husband indicates, an younger age, less respectability, but more affection. These distinctions will be discussed in another blog post. Maridi is expected to show ample respect to his bAva. But this does not happen in brinjal gardens.
Back to the story of "ekkaDainA bAvE kAni, vanga tOTalO bAva kAdu" (meaning: Anywhere a brother-in-law, but not a brother-in-law in a brinjal garden). A bAva went to his (bAva-maridi= wife's younger brother) maridi's brinjal field, to see his maridi (also maradi). After the exchange of usual affections and courtesies, the bAva went back, empty handed. The maridi has not gifted any brinjals to his bAva either out of affection or respect. (Here, we should remember Karl Marx's saying: All human Relationships are pecuniary, monetary, financial). When the bAva returned home empty-handed, his wife (elder sister "akka" of our brinjal-garden owner) asked her husband (bAva): "Where are the brinjals?" . I am waiting for them to make a curry. The husband wearily replied: "Where are the brinjals? ekkaDainA bAvE kAni vanga tOTalO kAdu. Don't you know this proverb?". The akka became silent.
Click to go to ndtv.com/india-news, which reports a disclosure by Mr. Nithin Gadkari, India's Transport Minister 2014-16.
"(We) receive so many letters for Padmashree and Padma Bhushan recommendations. I have sent around thousand recommendations until now,"
"...One actress met me, she has turned old... Asha Parekh. She came to meet me in Mumbai. The lift to my residence was not working, she climbed up 12 floors. I felt very bad and asked her why she took the trouble. She said I have received Padmashree, Nitinji, now I want Padma Bhushan. I said you have received a Padmashree, it is like Padma Bhushan. She said no, ..."
ybrao-a-donkey's humble comments. वैबीराव एक गधे के विनम्र राय . వైబీరావ్ గాడిద వినమ్ర వాణి. You have every right to differ with me. I respect your right. आपको मेरे मत से भिन्न राय रखने के संपूर्ण हक है। मै उस अधिकार को परिपूर्ण रूप से गौरव देता हुँ. మీకు, మీ భిన్నమైన అభిప్రాయాన్ని కలిగిఉండే సంపూర్ణ హక్కు ఉంది. దానిని ఎంతో నేను గౌరవిస్తాను. However, pl. examine this donkey's views also. परन्तु एस गधे के दृष्टिकोण को भी अनुशीलन कीजिये. కానీ ఈ గాడిద దృష్టికోణాన్ని కూడ ఓర చూపుతో కంటజూడుమీ, క్రీగంట జూడమీ.
I do not want to cast any aspersions on Mr. Gadkari, though in his previous incarnation of BJP President, he was made to quit his post, on allegations of some corruption. Of course, the politicians expect, and it is also true, that the memory of People is poor. Hence, what I write here may or may not apply to Mr. Gadkari's thousand recommendations for Padma Awards. There are 29 States in India, and about 650 Districts. Applications for Padma Awards may be recommended from any of these 650 Districts and 29 States, not to speak of Indian Embassies and Consulates Abroad. Probably even Foreign Embassies and Consulates operating in India can also probably put through their recommendations. Can apply to anybody, some or all.
Even if Rs. 10,000 is charged for forwarding an application with no guarantee of success, for 1000 applications, the aggregate will come to Rs. 1 crore (10 million). Suppose, a bargain is struck, with a guarantee of success, and if at least a million Rupees are charged for that particular case, and if a political leader succeeds in getting, say, 10 awards in his quota, the Marginal Revenue will be another Rupees 10 million. Total Revenue will be Rs. 20 million.
The mistake done by Ms. Asha Parikh is, she approached directly, climbing stairs of 12 floors. She ought to have sent wads of currency notes, not necessarily to Mr. Gadkari, to the right person who is an "ande vEsina cEyi" (A Telugu idiom) in lobbying for awards.
Meaning of the Telugu idiom "ande vEsina cEyi" = Hand which is embellished with a gold or diamond studded gold bracelet. This Telugu gold/silver ornament "ande" can be used to adorn either wrists or legs. cEyi= "hand".
Even in the 20th Century, it was a custom in Andhra Pradesh (probably throughout South India), to reward people with "ande"s and en-bangle their hands with "suvarNa ghanTA kankaNams" (gold studded wrist braclets or a sort of bangles with hollow-but-large girth, with interlaced precious stones). The suvarNa ghanTA kankaNams, artists, poets and scholars used to conspicuously demonstrate and exhibit, to show-case their merits.
Back to Mr. Gadkari's quote that Ms. Asha Parikh climbed 12 floors of stairs to reach him at his Residence in Mumbai, as lift was not working. I am unable to convince myself that Mr. Gadkari would have climbed 12 floors on foot to reach his home, if lift was not working. My understanding, --may be erroneous-- is , that there will be a separate lift for a VVIP politician like him which will be kept in a working condition. He ought to have requested her to use that Special VVIP Lift, and instructed the Operator of that Lift over phone to allow Ms. Parikh to use it. It is the way to honor a Senior Artist.
The non-working lift may be for hoi pollois to dissuade them from coming up. We should appreciate Ms. Asha Parikh's stamina, and sincerity in climbing stairs to 12 floors.
About "Padma Awards" in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh States, we shall take up in a separate blog post.
To continue and revise this, with more proof.. सशेष. సశేషం.