Last Friday, many journalists received an SMS that contained the list of names that had apparently been forwarded to the Union home ministry for consideration for the Padma awards this year.
The names: Manini Chatterjee (The Telegraph), Raj Chengappa (The Tribune), Vijay Darda (Lokmat), Arnab Goswami (Times Now), Aarti Jerath (The Times of India), Alok Mehta (Nai Dunia), Vinod Mehta (Outlook), K.S. Sachidananda Murthy (The Week), Dileep Padgaonkar (ex-Times of India), Sanjay Pugaliya (CNBC-Awaaz) and M.K. Razdan (PTI).
M.J. Akbar‘s Sunday Guardian even gave the SMS some oxygen by putting it out and a few more of its own: Barun Ganguli, Pandit Dinesh Kumar Dube and Dr Chandra Dev Pandey.
But when the Padma list came out this evening, on the eve of the 61st Republic Day, it contained none of the names that was allegedly being scrutinised by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Instead, there was India’s first woman news photographer, Homai Vyarawala, with the nation’s second highest honour, decorated with the Padma Vibhushan.
There was T.J. S. George, founder-editor of Asiaweek magazine and editorial advisor of The New Indian Express, and a best-selling author, with the Padma Bhushan.
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T.J.S. George: Lessons for Vir and Barkha from Nikhilda
A deep mind with a straight spine who stands tall
What K.M. Mathew could teach today’s tykes
When an editor makes way for editor gracefully
Also read: Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria gets Padma Bhushan
Third highest civilian honour for Shekhar Gupta
Padma Shri VD, Padma Shri RDS and Padma Shri BD
One of the happiest days in my life.
Kudos to Vyaravala and George! They are a very special inspiration to many generations of Indian journalists.
As one who had worked with Homai Vyarawala
in the British High Commission in New Delhi
many years ago, I was glad to see her receive a Padma award this year. But why did the powers-that-be wait until Republic Day 2011 to honour her? Or is it that only now they discovered that she was India’s first woman news photographer?
I am proud that Education (besides literature) was mentioned by the government as the reason for honouring Mr George. How many journalists get recognised for their contribution to training in their profession, after all.
He was the moving spirit behind the Asian College of Journalism which was started in the Indian Express building in Bangalore in 1994 and has become the name it is in media education in the country and a model that has been replicated by many with mixed success.
George is playing the role an ideological broker for the Indian Capitalists. If you can make a good rapport with them, they would get you anything, including ‘Padmabhushan