Saturday, 7 May 2016

Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman - Award selections cry for transparency

How the awards scene of today has changed! Gone are the days when merit was, if not the sole, certainly the main criterion. Memories go back to the sixties, when my father-in-law S.R. Balasubramaniam was conferred a Padma Shri for his path breaking research on the history of the Cholas of South India. When the names were first mentioned in the papers, I remember the sense of amazement in our home that a hard working scholar, away from the corridors of influence and power, should have been remembered for his contribution, with such a prestigious award. After the congratulatory messages followed by the ceremony, one does not recollect anybody mentioning the award, or tagging it on to the name as a title in season and out of season. This was unlawful. 

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