After demonetisation, everyone would’ve thought that the country is used to PM Narendra Modi’s shocking activities. However, the world’s most followed politician changed this notion by taking an unexpected decision again. Modi is both lionized as well as criticised for taking life changing decisions on the spur of the moment. This time it were the national awards that faced the impact of his out-of-the-box perspective.
The most shocking news of the day came from New Delhi, where PM Narendra Modi announced that the PM office will handle the rights of distribution of the Padma Shri awards this year.
For those who don’t know, Padma Shri or Padmashree is the fourth highest civilian award in India. This prestigious laurel is awarded to distinguished prodigies for their outstanding contribution to Arts, Literature, Education, Industry, Public Affairs, Science, Sports, Social Service and Medicine. After the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan, the Padma Shri hold extreme significance in the Indian valedictory ceremonies. These awards are announced on the Indian Republic Day every year, that is on January 26.
Earlier, it was the Ministry of Home Affairs that prepares the nomination list stating potential contenders for the award. The list is handed over to the PM officer for final approval. However, this time, a slight change in plan is in order. As per the PM’s latest announcement, the PMO will look after the proceedings of award distribution. This includes handling applications, preparing nomination list, short-listing and approving the final candidates.
While this may not be a big deal for an average Indian however, it’ll surely affect the opposition’s stand against the PM. Considering the last year’s incident, wherein many recipients of the National awards have returned their prizes due to contradictions with the PMO, the opposition might suspect it as a strategy to favour personal candidates.
Whatever may be the reason, it’ll be really interesting to see the underlying reason behind this decision. As of now, we wait for the leaders to express their views regarding the PM’s decision.