While no one can deny or grudge the authenticity of singer Yesudas’ Padma Vibhushan awarded this year, the veracity of some of the Padma awards in the field of entertainment and cinema leave much room for skepticism.
Says a source close to the central government, “There are two Bollywood singers in the last. One of them has sung just a handful of songs that sound repetitive and monotonous. The other singer who is long retired made a career out of imitating and ripping off LataMangeshkar’s songs. Both these Padma Sri awardees have been lobbying relentlessly. In fact a veteran lyricist was desperately sending feelers to everyone in the Government until the last moment.He didn’t make it to the list.”
Neither did poor Manoj Bajpai.His name was almost finalized for the Padma Shri list.The media had got a whiff of it and friends , filmmakers and well-wishers had begun to congratulate Bajpai. To his embarrassment, his name was missing from the list.
When I asked a BJP politician why Manoj Bajpai was denied the Padma Shri at the last minute he explained, “Manoj is a brilliant actor. But he is just not pushy enough. To get aPadma award the artiste needs to lobby hard. Manoj didn’t even try. This is not the Nobelprize and Manoj is not Bob Dylan.”