Consent should be taken before giving the award… Parliamentary committee’s suggestion on ‘Award return’, know what else said…

By Priyanka Tiwari July 25, 2023 4:59 PM IST

Report – Arunima

New Delhi. Recipients of awards from the government must give their written consent and sign an undertaking before receiving the honour. A parliamentary committee has put forward a proposal to discourage the process of returning the award after receiving the award for political reasons. These days this process is very much in vogue which is popularly called ‘prize-return’.

Returning after getting the award is an insult to the country
The Parliamentary Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture tabled a report titled ‘Functioning of National Academies and other Cultural Institutions’ in Parliament on Monday. The committee, headed by YSRCP’s Vijay Sai Reddy, said, “The committee suggests that whenever an award is given, the consent of the recipient must be taken, so that he does not return it for political reasons. Because it is a matter of dishonor for the country. Prominent members of the committee included Dr. Sonal Man Singh, Manoj Tiwari, Chhedi Pahalwan, Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirhua’, Tirath Singh Rawat, Rajni Patil, Tapir Gao and Rajeev Pratap Rudy.

Academy and non-political organization not for politics
Justifying the proposal, the committee said that Sahitya Akademi and other institutions are non-political organizations in which “there should be no room for politics”. The report said, “There are cases of recipients of awards given by Akademis (such as the Sahitya Akademi Award) returning their awards in protest against certain political issues, which are outside the purview of the autonomous functioning and cultural authority of the respective Akademi… Such unwarranted incidents involving return of awards undermine the achievements of other award winners and also affect the overall prestige and honor of the awards.”

The committee also questioned the re-appointment of awardees who joined the academy after disrespecting it. The committee said, “A system may be devised where while accepting the award, an undertaking is taken from the proposed awardee and the awardee cannot dishonor the award at any point of time in future. Without such an undertaking, the award cannot be given. In the event of the prize being returned, the prize winner will not be entitled to receive the prize in future.

since when did the award come back into circulation
The most notable award return case is that of 33 awardees led by Uday Prakash, Nayantara Sehgal and Ashok Bajpai, who returned their awards after the Kalburgi murder case in 2015. Since then it has come into vogue. The most recent example was leading wrestlers threatening to throw their medals in the Ganges during a protest against WFI president Brij Bhushan Singh, who is facing sexual harassment allegations. At present, this process is followed for the Padma Awards. The awards are announced after taking consent from the proposed awardees. However, many of the people on the list refused to accept the honor after the list was made public.

Tags: Academy Awards, Padam awards, Padma Bhushan award