Taking forward the suggestion to the Indian govt mooted by Justice
Markandey Katju to give Bharat Ratna to Mirza Ghalib, a Mumbai
based organisation has filed an online petition requesting the
President of India to confer the highest civilian ward on the late
19th century poet.
"As suggested by Justice Markandey
Katju, recently retired Supreme Court Judge, the great Urdu poet
Mirza Ghalib of 19th Century eminently deserves to be awarded
Bharat Ratna along with Subramanya Bharathi from Tamil Nadu and
Sarat Chandra of Bengal", Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer, Chairman of
Centre for Study of Society and Secularism wrote in the online
"Ghalib represents Indian ethos as he was one of the greatest
representatives of composite culture, liberalism and secularism",
he added in his petition.
"In his long poem “Chiragh-e-Dair”
he calls Banaras, Kaaba-e- Hindustan. In this poem he says one who
saw Ganges of Banaras his eyes will be always be protected from
any harm. Among his friends were Hindus as well as Muslims, Sikhs
"His Urdu poetry welcomed 19th
Century modernity and even goes beyond it. He was truly humanist
and represents human values", he said in the petition addressed to
the President of India, Mrs Pratibhatai Patil.
"He believes in Sufi school of Unity of Being and so he believed
in unity of entire humanity. Then if not Ghalib who else deserves
this highest award? We the signatories of this petition request
you, Madam President to confer this highest ward on late Mirza
Ghalib", Dr. Engineer said in the online petition.
Dr Engineer's petition came after
Justice (rtd) Markandey Katju in December last suggested to the
Indian govt to confer Bharat Ratna award on Bharat Ratna for Mirza
Ghalib, one of the greatest Urdu poets.
Stating that Bharat Ratna has been
awarded posthumously several times in the past, he said "in my
opinion there is no fitter person to whom the award can be given
than Mirza Ghalib, who is one of the foremost figures representing
our composite culture."
He also appealed to all Urdu lovers to appeal to Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh to recommend Bharat Ratna for the Urdu poet.
Katju's suggestion follows the government's move to amend rules to
pave way for sports-persons to be eligible for the country's
highest civilian honour.
"By awarding Bharat Ratna to Mirza Ghalib, we will not be
honouring Ghalib but ourselves," he said.
The petition filed yesterday has
already been signed by 156 people. Following is the link of the
online petition filed by Dr Engineer: