For the second year in a row, there are no working journalists— i.e. those still burning the phone lines and greasing the totempole in anticipation of the big day—in the 2012 Republic Day honours’ list.
Aside from the recently deceased cartoonist Mario Miranda has been decorated with the nation’s second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan, there is only one other living journalist on the 109-name list —Vijay Dutt Shridhar of Madhya Pradesh—who gets the Padma Sri.
In 2011, too, there was nobody from the Delhi set, although a number of names had done the rounds. Only the nation’s first woman news photographer, Homai Vyarawalla, and the veteran editor, author and columnist T.J.S. George had been found fit for the honour last year.
2008: Padma Shri VD, Padma Shri RDS and Padma Shri BD
2008: Why Rajdeep and Barkha Dutt must decline Padma Sri
2009: Third highest civilian honour for Shekhar Gupta
2010: Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria gets Padma Bhushan
2011: Padma Awards for Homai Vyarawala, T.J.S. George
2011: Did Niira Radia tapes impact journos’ Padma awards?
Awards are desirable but not to be sought. Service ought to be for the sake of service and an honest service at that. Virtue is its own reward. The moment you seek an award you become disqualified.