It is high time that India recognizes its talent pool both in the fields of social studies, literature and the avid and all important Sciences, as has been the balancing dictum as part of the Modi denomination’s forward policy.
By Dr Manan Dwivedi
It’s part of the Indic tradition and lore that laureates from spheres ranging Literature to Science have been decorated. If the nation pays tribute to science and discovery and innovation, it needs to be equally indebted to the moral and aesthetic practitioners in the sphere of liberal arts, performing arts along with the litany of the litterateurs of the land of Bharat.
Padma honours have been give to eight Malyalis for the year 2020 by the Modi denomination. Among these are Moozhikal Pankajasakshi a practitioner of the art form "Nokku Vidhya”, MK Kunjol in the sphere of social work and other attendant societal concerns, KS Manilal in the context of Science and Technology and Chandrashekaran Nair in the sphere of Literature and Education. Prof. Madhav Menon, the founder of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, who had received Padma Sri in 2003 was awarded Padma Bhushan this year.
Moozhikkal Pankajakshi is said to be the last practitioner of Kerala's traditional puppetry. The artiste's skill at the age of eighty one years figured a great deal in her praxis of balancing puppets on her lower lip.
Such laurels go a long way in sustaining and encouraging folk art forms and indigenous luster of Indic culture and tradition at a very effervescent and blossoming and blooming level. Professor K Manilal, the man behind advancing Indian taxonomy has around 15 books and 100 odd published papers to his credit. On the lines of honourable Dr Abdul Kalam, the erudite and prolific author has been awarded for activism in the sphere of spreading awareness among the youth through his Lohit Library Network.
Chandrashekaran Nair from Kollam is another scholar who has been awarded for his services and contributions to the national narrative as a Hindi scholar. It is high time that India recognizes its talent pool both in the fields of social studies, literature and the avid and all important Sciences, as has been the balancing dictum as part of the Modi denomination’s forward policy.
Kerala has figured prominently in the list of the awardees and they all are unique personages.
NR Madhav Menon has been conferred Padma Bhushan posthumously for his inimitable contributions in the sphere of Legal education et al. Puppetry artist Mooozhikal along with social activist Satyanarayanan and last but not the least, taxonomist K Manilal have been conferred the Padma Shri awards. Thalapi Pradep is another eminent awardee who has blazed a trail of innovation finesse through his work and vocation as a nanotechnologist at the Indian Institute of Technology at Rourkee.
Padma Awards were instituted in 1954 to be awarded to citizens of India in recognition of their distinguished contribution in various spheres of activity including the arts, education, industry, literature, science, sports, medicine, social-service and public affairs. It has also been awarded to some distinguished individuals who were not citizens of India but did contribute in various ways to India. Thus, it is the Indian diaspora and much beyond that categorisation which is part of this hallowed tradition of the sacrosanct Padma awards in the nation.
It is deeply embedded in the Indian psyche that a Padma awardee is similar to one of the highest honors being imparted to laurels in different spheres of vocational and life time achievements. In Devanagri and Sanskrit, the word Padma refers to the grand and beautiful lotus along with the terminology of Sheri which stands for Mr or Ms. It can be inferred as the “Noble one in Blossom” in the larger Indic and Bharatiya parlance.
(Author is Faculty, International Relations and International Organizations, IIPA)