Syed Junaid Hashmi
JAMMU, Mar 19: Jammu and Kashmir government officially recommended names of 9 individuals for Padma Awards but the one who was awarded had neither filled the form online nor had been recommended by anyone including the panel of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Kashmiri theatre artist Pran Kishore Kaul, who shot to fame with his screen play of famous Television serial ‘Gul Gulshan Gulfam’, was awarded with Padma Shri for year 2018 by the BJP-led government at the centre. His name was considered despite him neither being recommended by the state government nor by Governor and not even by the 19 member inter-ministerial search panel for the Padma awards, which was headed by an Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry.
Koul’s name does not figure in the list uploaded by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on its website wherein names of all those have been mentioned who were recommended for being considered for Padma Awards either by the citizens or by the state governments or by the Governors of respective states or by the MPs, MLAs or by the Central Ministers. If he was not recommended and was the choice of the 2018 Padma award committee, those left out maintain that then the recommendations should not be called for and instead, applications should be invited, followed by an interview.
The Padma awards selection committee should interview all the deserving personalities and take a decision, who should be given and who should be left out. 2018 Padma awards selection committee comprised with Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister P K Mishra, former Union Minister Arif Mohammad Khan, Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta, cricketer Anil Kumble, former chairperson of State Bank of India Arundhati Bhattacharya, singer Shekhar Sen and Harivansh.
If Koul’s name had not been recommended and he was awarded without being asked to follow the cumbersome process of getting recommended by someone or by some institute or by some MP or by the state government or atleast by search panel or by some Ministry or social organization, those left out maintain that useless exercise of online nominations should be stopped. According to the details available with Jammu Kashmir Newspoint, Jammu and Kashmir government had promised many but recommended names of 9 eminent personalities for the Padma Awards.
The list of recommendations which is available on the website of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs reveals that the then Deputy Secretary to the Government Imtiaz Kacho had on the advice of the officials of the Chief Minister’s secretariat recommended names of Dr. Susheel Razdan, K.C.Sharma, Rehman Rahi, Narsingh Dev Jamwal, Tsering Norboo, Javed Ahmad Tak, Pandit Bhajan Sopori, Rashid Jahangir and Haji Ghulam Rasool. None of the 9 was considered by Padma wards committee despite the fact that some of these personalities are known world over.
Not to be left out, Governor N.N.Vohra had recommended names of Mohammad Sultan Khuroo, Vishwa Murti Shastri, Ghulam Mohammad Bhat and Bindraban Thusoo. Even his recommendations were not considered by the Padma Awards Committee. They all were rejected. Interestingly, while both the state government as well as Raj Bhawan found nomination of Ladakhi engineer, innovator and education reformist Sonam Wangchuk not worth recommending, his name was recommended by the 19 member inter-ministerial search committee constituted by the Union Home Ministry.
Though the awards committee rejected his nomination but it shows, how much is the talent awarded and rewarded as per merit Jammu and Kashmir. Apart from these high profile nominations being rejected, ex-MP and son of the soil Dr. Karan Singh had recommended name of former Miss. India, Anchor, socialite and Dancer Shivani Wazir Pasrich. Even her name was not considered. The one who was awarded Padma Shri was recommended by none.
According to the Padma awards rules and regulations, recommendations are invited every year from all State / UT Governments, Ministries/Departments of the Government of India, Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan awardees and Institutes of Excellence. Recommendations received from them and also from other sources like Ministers, Chief Ministers/Governors of State, Members of Parliament, as also private individuals, bodies are placed before the Padma Awards Committee which takes the final decision. Padma Awards Committee is constituted by the Prime Minister every year.
All nominations are placed before the Padma Awards Committee which is headed by the Cabinet Secretary and includes Home Secretary, Secretary to the President and four to six eminent persons as members. Recommendations of the committee are submitted to the Prime Minister and the President of India for approval. 2018 Padma awards selection committee comprised with Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister P K Mishra, former Union Minister Arif Mohammad Khan, Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta, cricketer Anil Kumble, former chairperson of State Bank of India Arundhati Bhattacharya, singer Shekhar Sen and Harivansh.
The Government had also constituted a 19 member inter-ministerial search committee for the Padma awards, which was headed by an Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry. The Padma awards are given to recognize works of distinction and exceptional achievements in different fields and disciplines such as art, literature and education, sports, medicine, social work, science and engineering, public affairs, civil service, trade and industry. Padma awards 2018 will be conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind on March 20 and April 2 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.