Monday, 18 July 2016

“Work for Satisfaction, not for Recognition ― Be Above Padma Awards” ―Professor M.S.Rao

“It requires a lot of courage to become an educator as it is not for everybody. If a parent is unworthy, children are spoiled; if a doctor neglects his duty, the patient dies; if an engineer performs poorly, the infrastructure collapses; and if an educator makes a mistake, an entire generation is ruined.” ― Professor M.S. Rao, Author of ‘Vision 2030: One Million Global Leaders.’

Padma Awards are very prestigious awards given by government of India for contribution to various areas every year. They are awarded for exceptional and distinguished service. They were instituted in 1954 to be awarded to citizens of India in recognition of their distinguished contribution in various spheres of activity including the Arts, Education, Industry, Literature, Science, Sports, Medicine, Social Service and Public Affairs. They have also been awarded to some distinguished individuals who were not citizens of India but contributed in various ways to India. The recommendations for Padma Awards are received from the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations, Central Ministries/Departments, Institutions of Excellence, etc. which are considered by an Awards Committee. On the basis of the recommendations of the Awards Committee, and after approval of the Home Minister, Prime Minister and President, the Padma Awards are announced on the eve of the Republic Day. They are conferred by the President at a function in Rashtrapati Bhawan in March/April every year. Most Indians consider it an honor to receive these prestigious awards.

Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India, after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan. However, there are controversies behind these awards. There is often a criticism that some deserving citizens were denied due to political reasons. There are allegations that the eminent people who are close to the government or in the good books of the politicians in the power are bagging these awards.

It is deplorable that some celebrities demand these awards publicly. They use social media to brand themselves and kick up controversies rather than adding value to their domains. It appears that they work hard only for awards, not for their satisfaction and for becoming role models for others. It is unfortunate that most of them overestimate about themselves and underestimate others.

Are Padma Awards a Farce?

There is a feeling that those who are good at networking and lobbying with money power get these awards. The people who have strong connections in the Central Government and the ruling party receive these awards. Critics comment that the selection process is completed flawed since there is limited time available to shortlist the nominations.  They feel that it is a stage-managed drama to conduct the process of selection, and finally the pre-decided list is placed before the committee for endorsement. There is involvement of vote bank politics and regional issues. To overcome the challenges, maintain transparency in the selection process to ensure sanctity to these awards. Remember, it is not who is right or wrong but what is right or wrong matters in the selection process.

The awards must be given to meritorious people with credentials. The background verification must be done before giving away awards. People with criminal background should not be given these awards to avoid mockery and ensure sanctity.

Padma Awards for Educators and Intellectuals

It is unfortunate that the eminent people from academia are not getting their share of awards as they are shy to market themselves. On the other hand, film stars, cricketers and politicians market themselves to get noticed quickly to bag these awards.  It is ironical that cinema and cricket receive more attention and coverage than academia in India.

Government of India must consider giving more awards to educators who build nation by shaping students as healthy citizens and leaders. The intellectuals and educators are not selling themselves currently. In a country like India, they are admired with great respect but not given adequate representation in allocation of awards. It is time Indian government considered allocating more awards to educators and intellectuals.

Work for Satisfaction, not for Recognition

Padma Awards are only recognition to your distinguished service. Your satisfaction that you truly added value to your area and the people around you is more important than the so-called recognition. Do your duty sincerely without expecting any returns. You will be recognized and earn such awards. Above all, remember to live in the hearts of the people, not in the minds of the people. Padma Awards can take you to the minds of the people temporarily whereas when you truly add value to your domain and society, you live in the hearts of the people permanently. When you look at late A.P.J Abdul Kalam, he lives in the hearts of the people. When you look at Mahatma Gandhi he did not receive Nobel Prize but five of his followers ― Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama, Barack Obama, and Aung San Sui Kyi received Nobel Prizes. It is obvious that Mahatma Gandhi was above Nobel Prize.

To conclude, deliver your best to your area without expecting any returns. Add value to your area and make a difference to the world. Be above Padma Awards. You will be remembered beyond your lifetime as a legend.

“Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.” ― Abraham Lincoln

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Life is great!

Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
Recipient of 10th International Prestigious Sardar Patel Award―2015

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