Friday, 6 November 2015

Intolerance and awards

Intolerance and awards
The other day Jaitish came to me sulking and said, “Nanu I am 

returning the best student award to the school authorities’ I was 

naturally taken aback.

“But why, Jaitish ?”, I asked

“ Sandeep  slapped Rajesh and teacher did not  punish Sandeep” 

Jaitish said.

“ Wait a minute. Who is Sandeep and Who is Rajesh?” I sought an 

answer as I had never heard their names before.

“They are students of my school but are not my classmates”

“They are not your classmates yet you are so perturbed that you 

have decided to return the award”

“ I am concerned, Nanu. Why should I tolerate such behavior on 

the part of Sandeep ? We must protests. Nahi” He seems to be 

genuinely worried and sought a positive reply from me.

“ Is returning of award, the only choice left with you”, I asked him 


“Yes, this way I will bring this incident to the notice of the 

Principal and the Management”

“ But their must be more severe incidents before too. This is just a 

matter of slapping”

“Yes there were numerous incidents of head knocking, bouts, hand 

to hand fights etc. earlier too…”  

I immediately interrupted him.

“ Did anyone return the award then ? I asked.

“ No, not to my knowledge. Not at all,” he saw me suspiciously.

“ Why are you doing this now ?”

“ Because I want that the violence should have no place in the 

school and watching me return the award, other awardees will 

follow suit”

“You mean they don’t have the mind of their own and simply will 

follow you.” I said watching his reaction which was bordering 

confusion and frustration.

“ No, I just want to return the award. Ghandhi Ji told that violence 

has no place anywhere” He was insistent.

“ As you said that your school had witnessed more severe violence 

earlier too, your school must have been tolerant enough to tolerate 

such incidents of intolerance.” I played with his curiosity.

“Don’t sidetrack the issue, Nanu. I am returning the award. That’s 


“Who gave you this award” I did not let me overpower me with his 


“ The school”. He said waiting for another question

“ What does school mean to you ?”

“What do you mean, Nanu. School is everything to me.”

“What does your school consists of”

“ Students, teachers, Principal, all”

“It means the award received by you is not given to you by either a 

Principal or a teacher or a student. It is given by the SCHOOL. 

Am I right?”

“Yes.” He became curious.

“ Have you read the preamble of the our constitution:- WE THE 


“Yes, I have read that people are supreme in a republic and that a 

Government is by the people, for the people and of the people”. 

Jaitish was quite excited now.

“ In other words, the SCHOOL has  unanimously or by majority 

 appreciated your talent. The award was bestowed on you because 

in their intellect, you were the best in your own field. Returning 

the award means that you will insult those very people who 

bestowed the award on you, who allowed you to reach upto this 

pedestal. You are insulting the judgment of students, teachers and 

the Principal  etc”

“But Nanu, so many writers, filmmakers, artists are returning the 

awards now a days”

“ My dear Jaitish, they are not only insulting the Constitution of 

India but also the people of India who  have all along recognized 

their talents and works. All these attained glory and fame because 

of the people of India. They received awards at various levels 

including national level because the whole nation wanted it. They 

are infact insulting their own nation, the MOTHER INDIA. In the 

similar way, you will insult the SCHOOL, that very school which 

teaches you basics of life to begin your life.”

“What should I do now, Nanu.  I can not tolerate this injustice to 

Rajesh”, Jaitish became subdued while seeking my advice.

“Well, there are other form of protests which you have to explore 

without hurting the ethos of your school.

Jaitish had something to ponder about.
by tribhawan kaul


  1. Babu Nov 7
    Good one. Returning Awards is not a good idea.

    via verdurez

  2. KGRD Nov 7
    I think all these "award returnees" are trying to prove to others that they are above all awards and rewards when coming to national interests! They dont mind throwing away their honours, if a national interest can be protected by such revolt projecting their attitude(real or false who knows) that personal gain is least important than national interests.
    But, if this is a genuine concern, originated from individual by feeling deeply, we may give some merit. But this is simply politically motivated by a few with vestred interest to create disturbance and others just blindly follow like flock of sheep, which is utterly stupid.

    via verdurez

  3. vijayan006 Nov 7
    All these Award Wapsis have the freedom to say what they want and act in the way the they want.
    Govt tolerates all this nonsense. Then where is Intolerance ?

    via verdurez


  4. Hari1941 Nov 7
    First of all it will not be fair to say that why the awards were not returned when much more serious things happened in the past. The implication is that the awardees did not want to annoy their 'aakas' (bosses). May be. But it does not mean that it should not happen now. There is no fixed time for a beginning. Intolerance of any type must be opposed.

    Secondly, saying that returning the awards is insulting the Constitution is also not fair. So many army men returned their awards during OROP agitation. It was not termed as insulting the nation or Constitution.

    Thirdly, this is not the first time that awards have been returned. Tagore did it. It was not termed as insulting the Noble Committee.

    Fourthly, it is being said that there are various other modes of protest meaning thereby, the protests have some weight. No one has the right to suggest to act in a certain way to protest. People have the right to protest the way they want.

    Fifthly, it can not be denied that there have been some serious attempts to disrupt the social fabric of the country by some one close to the ruling dispensation. They cannot get away by saying that they are just fringe elements or loud mouths. These are people in responsible positions and should be reigned in but politics being a dirty game, who will do that?

    I am not pro anybody.

    via verdurez

  5. Dear Hari No one becomes pro while discussing issues which are making headlines. Every one has a right to protest to in any way they like. My moot question was that the honour bestowed by the people at the highest level through their President should not be dishonoured whether it is for bravery in battle field or for sterling work in any other field. I am not talking about sundry odd awards given at every level by tom-dick and harry. However no one has returned those awards( Param Veer Chakra, etc) which are accompanied by the perks it attracts except one or two civilian awardees and those are found to be the congress stooges.

  6. RGupta Nov 8
    Thanks for being the sane voice. Gandhi said "Religion is a personal matter. It ought not to affect the political field". Unfortunately that's what we are doing. Anyone who says or utters otherwise becomes anti national.

    I felt a tinge of sadness when the government termed scientists who returned their awards as juvenile and anti national. These men and women have nurtured institutions we all Indians should be proud of. To work in India amidst the Indian way of doing things is not easy. These guys didn't become great because they got government recognition. They were anyway doing great original work and they were recognized and respected by their peer group.

    Recently in Bombay, supporters of BJP were hurling abuses at poet lyricist GULZAR under the assumption that he was not Hindu. Once they got to know he is Hindu, the tonality changed. Why the abuses? Because he spoke about intolerance. Or like Prof Romila Thapar she refused Padma award offered twice to her both by NDA and Congress government. Saying she doesn't accept state awards. She has commented on what's been happening. Where do we put her? Double anti-national? Supporter of some other third front.

    Poets like Munnawar Rana would still be great whether he government recognized his words. I don't think Kabir got any government recognition during his time. We still dip into poetry.

    Munnawar Rana said it well शेर का ताल्लुक ना हुकूमत से होता है ना तारीख से होता है-. (Lion is neither connected with the ruling government nor is concerned with good or bad times.)

  7. Dear Robina. Intolerance breeds intolerance. This is game being played by vested interests by successive Govts. and Institutions of different hues since partition. One gets recognised for his/her work by the people first and later the Govt. comes into the picture. People seek awards too to get recognisedin public. You are right likes of kabir, ravidass, premchand never sought any award for their work yet people all around have recognised their work.
    Fringe fanatic elements from all walks of life do disturb us mentally but can not help it. Every Govt. is to be blamed including the present one. Karnatka incident of yesterday is one such incident where State Govt. is not going to take any action as the dead man was from majority community and the perpetrators were from different community. Intolerance begins here.

    via verdurez

  8. muthurajan Nov 9
    I appreciate Little Nanu! Can someone give him unbiased advice (Worst vice!) as to how to show intolerance to injustice?
    VAS Nov 9
    We all tolerate,corruption,rape,molestation...but not casteism or religionism!!!..
    More than 70 to 80 crore poor Indian people don't even know about the return of awards!!!..
    Better not to waste our time on this small issue.They have the right/ freedom to do what they want & we can't question.
    Let us focus & raise our voice on major issues like black money,corruption,rape etc.
    KGRD Nov 9
    Dear TK, The following was my response in Times of India who published my comments too, in response to their news "Top scientist Bhargava to return Padma Bhushan to protest science and reason ‘being eroded in the country"

    This is a meaningless act. After enjoying the dignity of getting the prestigious award and being in that elated mode for a couple of years, when these feelings of greatness is no more active.....all these awardees are returning the award. If they refused to. accept the award itself that could be really a big sacrifice. or instead, they can throw away their hard earned money of say 5 to 10 lakh in crowded locality for public consumption it will be more meaningful protest. Now they are only surrendering dead stuff..old awards....a childish affairs
    via verdurez