Bharat Jyoti Award

...and the winner is anyone who pays Rs 12,500

Write HAND Ajaz-ul-Haque
Publish Date: May 7 2006 12:00PM
Bharat Jyoti Award, like off season garments, is on a bumper sale. A ready made ‘acknowledgement’ of anything and everything one has done or not done. Don’t worry. Your ‘achievements’ can range from sleeping 18 hours a day to singing serenades on a riverbank. Beware! Even the wisest can be tricked. They send you a note of admiration acknowledging your ‘remarkable achievements’. You look back and wonder ‘when did I do it’? Forget about what you have done. Think what you have to do. Muster a sum of Rs 12,500, make a draft in favour of India International Friendship Society, address it C-23/2, Ist Floor, Goel Business Chamber, Connaught Place, New Delhi, 110001 and wait. Prepare yourself for a grand celebration. Friends, colleagues, relatives, neighbors with bouquets and sweets discover a new genius in you. You have got something to hang on your walls. Bad news is that the trend of bogus award making and award taking is once again beginning to take roots in Kashmir. A few years back when the practice was new enough to pass as valid, some investigative reports were published exposing the duplicitous background of such money scrounging schemes. It all scaled a comical high when a cook working in Greater Kashmir office was suddenly declared as the Man of the Decade by some American Biographical Institute. Imagine a young boy who had to sweat himself out for a modest kitchen job in Srinagar, at once hits the list of World’s Who’s Who. He gets an easy berth in the galaxy of ‘the most influential personalities of twentieth century’ perhaps for his ‘outstanding contribution’ in steaming pressure cooker for ten long years’. No fairy tale. The story got published in Asian Age and was done with the sole aim of holding back people from buying such fake honours which make these award selling quacks richer than ever. This was followed by a breather, as the ‘award winners’ would hesitate to identify themselves with these banners whose reality already stood stripped in the media circles. But the ghost of a false fifteen minute fame is beginning to revisit and results are obvious. Every other day, a new draft, a new award and the business goes on. No discounts, no bargains. Rate is fixed and rules are strict. Money once paid is not refundable. And it’s you to bear the travel expenses to and back. Even a new born baby can be awarded for his ‘life time achievement’ provided you attach a draft and a biodata. Mind you. Your ‘jury’ is not bothered about the identity of a person. They know your merit of paying a fixed sum and on that count, you stand selected. We don’t deny the contribution of award winners, but our target is to expose the already exposed trend of manufacturing acknowledgments and cashing on an innocent but crazy instinct of being famous. The text of the letter is sufficiently enough to canonize every human mortal in his own eyes. It reads. ‘After perusing your bio-data, most objectively and impartially, it remains our considered opinion that you have given a fight in life and your worthy example does inspire others towards certain remarkable achievements’. Look around, if there is no one, shake hands with yourself. Don’t mind, like the smiles of an air hostess, like the greeting of a sales girl at a high profile shopping mall, these words too are for all who board this charted plane of popularity. The words which everyone receives from India International Friendship Society. You don’t know for what ‘crime’ of yours the Society is extending a hand of friendship towards you. A hallowed man needs to do something to earn fame, as we had heard from our teachers and elders in childhood, but here it comes as easy as snow falls on the ground. Just watch it and it will happen by itself. By applying for such awards, we are only discrediting ourselves. By lending our name, we lend them a trust which they are in a desperate need of. Our genuine works when acknowledged by some frauds outside receive a blow. If IIFS acknowledges our contribution, why do they charge, and more importantly what do we pay for? Who does not desire to be awarded? It’s great to get a recognition. Everyone tries for it, is conscious of it and is happy to have it. Such people do us proud. But let fellowships be earned on merit and not bought against money. Moreover, they make a clever use of some names only as an attraction for their potential customers. Sports personalities, film actors, authors, politicians and intellectuals to follow. And if you happen to be one in the queue, someone called as Secretary General IIFS, Gurmeet Singh is waiting for you with all his or her (gender God knows) ‘certificates of excellence’ meant for you and you only. Mother Terressa has won it. Vajpayee, before he dies, may be in the list. And history has it that for a Bharat Jyoti Award, Newton tried but failed.
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