Maharashtra Calls for Bharat Ratna for Tendulkar


Nanded (Maharashtra) Feb, 27: Maharashtra will recommend that the central government confer the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award, on master cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said here Friday.

"The state cabinet will take up the proposal soon and then we will forward it for the consideration of the Centre," Chavan told mediapersons here.

He said that Mumbai-born Tendulkar was an outstanding sportsman from Maharashtra and is at the pinnacle of the cricketing world due to his achievements over the years.

"He has won the hearts of his countrymen, is idolized in the state and is respected the world over. We feel that he richly deserves the honour of a Bharat Ratna," Chavan said.

Sachin Wednesday created yet another world record by becoming the first cricketer to score 200 runs in a one-day international match of limited 50 overs each side.

In Mumbai, Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said that besides recommending the Bharat Ratna, the state government would also set up a museum dedicated to the living legend.

"It will highlight the life and times of the great cricketer and also serve as an inspiration to the younger generations," Bhujbal said.

The Brihanmmbai Municipal Corporation is also honouring the master blaster - it plans to name one of the entry points to the metropolis after Tendulkar, an official said.

Since it was first introduced in 1954, the Bharat Ratna has been awarded to barely 40 eminent personalities from different walks of life, including three foreign-born dignitaries.

The current living luminaries on whom the title has been conferred include former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, melody queen Lata Mangeshkar and music maestros Pandit Ravi Shankar and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.

Besides them, the honour has been conferred on three foreign nationals so far - the Frontier Gandhi or Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, the Albania-born but naturalized Indian citizen Mother Teresa, who set up the Missionaries of Charity.

In 1990, the government also conferred the honour on former South African president Nelson Mandela, a Gandhian who spent nearly 27 years of his life in prison fighting apartheid.


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Title: Maharashtra Calls for Bharat Ratna for Tendulkar

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