Vidya Balan is a ravishingly beautiful, highly talented, splendid actress. Also, she is either very naïve or extremely selfish! How do I know this? Arre Yaar! She refuses to return the National Film Award. Does she not even know, that every award in India must be returned; and that the only honourable thing to do with any award is to return it? If you don’t believe me, ask Rahman Abbas, Ajmer Singh Aulakh, Mangalesh Dabral, Arman Seth, Ghulam Nabi Khayal…… Of course you know who they are. They are the patriots who returned their awards. I bet you didn’t know who they were. You hadn’t even heard about them till they returned that piece of paper called the Sahitya Akademi award! That’s my point.
Poor girl, this Vidya Balan! Give her a break. Nayantara Sahgal, is basking in the sun now by “returning” the Sahitya Akademi award. What’s wrong with it, you ask? Nothing— the award was given in 1986! (By now 3 generations have grown up without even knowing that she wrote). Only, it has taken her a little while to find out that she does not want it, because the nation is now ‘intolerant’. But that makes me happy for Vidya. Somewhere in the next 2 decades she can find something she disapproves of, return the award, and honourably acquit herself. C’mon Vidya , you can do it, I am behind you all the way!
Please don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against the Sahitya Akademi. It is a unique institution. After all, how many people would have thought of spelling “Academy” with a “k” and an “i”? Oh, how I wish I had known about them when I failed in the spelling quiz in 4th Grade. Just think, which institution grows in fame (follow it in the media) as people keep returning its awards? Truly, a unique institution.
I am a bit puzzled, though, by the silence in the media about one point. They have not said anything about the awardees returning the cash component of the Sahitya award. Probably they thought Rs.1 lac was petty cash? I suppose that makes sense — after all, how much of Tur Dal or Onions can you buy with a paltry sum like that? And a Suresh Kalmadi cannot even buy a roll of toilet paper with it!
Don’t hold me back: I have made a momentous decision. I am returning the prize I got for Poetry Recitation in 3rd Grade. And I have a bloody good reason: If the Government had a consistent education policy they would not have failed me in the spelling quiz of 4th Grade for mixing my c’s and k’s. Never mind that I found out about the Sahitya Akademi’s spelling policy only now. Patriotism has no time bar !