Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, is bestowed upon individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the nation in various fields. Since its inception in 1954, it has been awarded to a select few who have left an indelible mark on the country’s history. This article explores the achievements and legacies of a few eminent winners or those who made it to the Bharat Ratna award list.
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: He is popularly known as the “Missile Man of India,” and was honoured with the award in 1997 for his extraordinary achievements in the field of science and technology. As a renowned aerospace scientist, he was pivotal in India’s missile and nuclear weapons programs. He was the chief architect of India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests, which showcased capabilities in nuclear technology.
Apart from his scientific contributions, Dr. Kalam was also a visionary leader and an exceptional educator. He strongly believed in harnessing the potential of the youth and inspired millions of young minds with his motivational speeches. His book “Wings of Fire” remains a source of inspiration for aspiring scientists and leaders across the globe. Dr. Kalam’s commitment to national development and his relentless pursuit of excellence made him a true Bharat Ratna.
Sachin Tendulkar: Sachin Tendulkar, widely regarded as one of the greatest cricketers of all time, was conferred with the Bharat Ratna in 2014, becoming the first sportsperson to receive this prestigious honour. Tendulkar’s cricketing career spanned 24 years, during which he broke numerous records and etched his name in the annals of cricketing history.
Fondly known as the “Master Blaster,” he amassed over 34,000 international runs, including 100 international centuries—an unparalleled feat in the sport. His technique, skill, and unmatched dedication to the game made him an icon and inspired an entire generation of cricketers in India. Tendulkar’s recognition not only celebrated his cricketing prowess but also acknowledged his status as a national hero who brought joy and pride to millions of cricket fans.
Lata Mangeshkar: Lata Mangeshkar, the legendary playback singer, was honoured in 2001 for her exceptional contributions to Indian music. With a career of more than seven decades, she has recorded thousands of songs in different languages, mesmerizing audiences with her soulful voice and emotive renditions.
Mangeshkar’s versatility as a singer allowed her to adapt to different genres, including classical, ghazal, and film music. Her iconic collaborations with renowned composers and lyricists have produced timeless melodies that continue to captivate listeners. Beyond her artistic accomplishments, Lata Mangeshkar’s philanthropic endeavours and her support for various charitable causes have further cemented her status as a national treasure.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar: Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, often called the architect of the Indian Constitution, was posthumously awarded in 1990. He was a social reformer, jurist, and politician who tirelessly fought for the rights of marginalized communities, particularly the Dalits. Dr. Ambedkar’s contributions in framing the Constitution laid the foundation for a democratic and inclusive India, guaranteeing fundamental rights and social justice for all citizens.
Mother Teresa: Born in Albania, she dedicated her life to serving the poor, sick, and needy in Kolkata, India. Founding the Missionaries of Charity, she established homes, hospitals, and centres to provide care and support for the most vulnerable. Her humanitarian work has profoundly impacted countless individuals’ lives and continues to inspire acts of kindness and service worldwide.
The award symbolizes the highest recognition of exceptional service to the nation and represents the embodiment of India’s rich cultural heritage. The achievements and contributions of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Sachin Tendulkar, and Lata Mangeshkar are a testament to the diverse talents and remarkable individuals that India has produced. Through their extraordinary accomplishments, those who made it to the Bharat Ratna award list have inspired countless individuals to dream big and strive for excellence in their chosen fields. These winners have left an indelible mark on the nation’s history and continue serving as role models for generations.