New Delhi: Yoga guru Baba Ramdev and spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar have humbly declined to accept the Padma award which was slated to be awarded on the occasion of 66th Republic Day. Instead, both of them recommended on Saturday that the prestigious Padma Vibushan, the second highest civilian award, should be given to some other 'great' person.
While Ramdev said that he is grateful for being chosen for the honour but it should be given to someone else and not to an ascetic, Sri Sri thanked the Narendra Modi-led NDA government for considering him for the award.
Baba Ramdev, in a letter to the Home Minster Rajnath Singh, humbly refused to accept the Padma award adding that since he is a 'sanyasi' hence should refrain from getting "rewards or honours". "I am a `sanyasi` and want to serve the country without expecting anything," he said, adding that a recluse must remain the same while he is honoured or disrespected.
Ramdev further said that this honour should be given to some other personality who is more deserving. "I urge you to give this honour to somebody doing something great. I would be grateful to you," he said.
The letter sent by Ramdev reads as follows:
Baba Ramdev writes to Home Minister, humbly refuses to accept the Padma Vibhushan pic.twitter.com/wN1sKWZZmU
— ANI (@ANI_news) January 24, 2015
Shortly after Ramdev's letter, Ravi Shankar, who heads the Art of Living Foundation, also declined to receive the award, saying in a tweet that it would be nice if the Central government gives the award to somebody else.
Rajnath Singhji called to inform me about Padma Awards.I thank Govt.for considering me.Instead of me, I'd like them to honour someone else.
— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (@SriSri) January 24, 2015
However, both the developments comes in prior to an official announcement, yet to be made by the government regarding the final list of this year's Padma awardees.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, yesterday, said that the government has not yet announced any names for the Padma Awards, 2015, and added that the names appearing in the media are speculative.
"Govt has not yet announced Padma Awards for 2015. These awards are announced on 25th of January every year, on the eve of the Republic Day," it said.
"The names appearing in the media are speculative and there is no official confirmation for the same," it added.
Media reports have been speculating that spiritual guru Baba Ramdev, actor Amitabh Bachchan and BJP veteran LK Advani may be conferred the Padma awards on Republic Day.
The yoga guru was recently made brand ambassador of Haryana. As per Haryana Cabinet Minister for Health Anil Vij, the decision was taken in view of Ramdev’s contribution in the field of yoga and ayurveda, as per PTI.
On the issue of black money, Baba Ramdev, on previous many occasions has pitched hard while asking the people of India to keep faith in PM Narendra Modi adding that the money will surely be brought back from foreign banks to India.
(With Agency inputs)