Crowned with India’s top civilian honour, Sachin Tendulkar goes down in history as the first sportsperson and the youngest recipient of the award till date, surpassing late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s record.
He will also become the ninth person from Maharashtra to join the exclusive club of 43 Bharat Ratna awardees till date, which includes a galaxy of presidents, prime ministers, Nobel laureates, scientists and artistes.
While Rajiv Gandhi held the record for being the youngest Bharat Ratna awardee, posthumously at the age of 47, Sachin, now 40, has pulled down the record even further.
People from Maharashtra – either those born here, or who lived and worked here to contribute to the nation have bagged the lion’s share of the Bharat Ratnas announced till date.
Some of them include: the Father of Indian Constitution, B R Ambedkar, Vinoba Bhave, Morarji Desai, Pandurang Vaman Kane, Dhondo Keshav Karve, Lata Mangeshkar, J R D Tata and Bhimsen Joshi.
The latest entrant on the list is Sachin Tendulkar – a true blooded Mumbaikar like Lata Mangeshkar, another awardee who was named in 2001.
In fact, the late Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, though hailing from Karnataka, but spent a better part of his life and shaped his career in Maharashtra, was the last recipient of Bharat Ratna in 2008.
The first Bharat Ratna, coming after nearly six years, has gone to a Mumbaikar and the city now boasts of two living Bharat Ratna legends — Lata and Sachin.