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Saina Nehwal questions if Sport Ministry is gender-biased?

  • IWB Post
  •  January 5, 2015


2015 was not a good start for ace Badminton Player and Olympian Saina Nehwal. On January 3, she took to Twitter to strongly put her views on why her name is not among those who will receive the Honory Padma Bhushan award this year.

We read her tweets in the morning and wondered what went wrong that this woman has to speak publically.

 “I saw the news in Times of India about the Padma awards and I was really sad to see that my name was not sent to Ministry of Home Affairs by the Sports Ministry of India. I got the Padma Shri in 2010 and there is a policy that you can get the next Padma award only after 5 years and this year I completed my five years.  When I sent my file in 2014 for the Padma Bhushan award, the ministry said you have to follow the rules and submit the application after 5 Years. So my file got rejected last year and I again applied this year for the award.”

Everything sounded genuine till here. But then the following tweet captured our attention –

 “I read that Sushil Kumar’s name is recommended by the Sports ministry and he has not completed 5 years as a special case but even I won the Olympic bronze medal in 2012 and won many titles in 2014. I won the commonwealth games gold in 2010 and I am world number 4. As a player, we feel good when we get such a great award and it motivates us.”

As per the norms, there must be a gap of at least 5 yrs between 2 Padma awards and Sushil, having got the Padma Shri in 2011, wouldn’t have been eligible for the Padma Bhushan before 2016. But the home ministry has considered him saying it as a ‘highly deserving’ case.

Is this a case of gender-biasness? Is this why Saina decided to go public and convey the message to the Sports ministry. This is definitely an ‘on-your-face’ moment for the ministry which decided to skip Saina’s name and propose wrestler’s name with similar qualifications. Like any good sportsman, Saina later tweeted:

“I hope sports ministry look up to this and I will be more than happy if both me and Sushil gets the award as we both won medals in 2012 Olympics. Friends, I m not demanding for the award. My question was why my name was not sent to the home ministry and then of course the panel will decide the awards.”

We wish you all the best, girl. We really admire how gracefully you have put your point. We wish the best decision to implement. FYI, seeing her and public outrage, the Sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said that he will examine the possibility of recommending her name separately. Fingers-crossed!

Latest update: Sports ministry recommended Saina’s name for Padma Bhushan, but insisted that it did not receive her nomination from the Badminton Association of India (BAI) within the stipulated deadline: “In view of the achievements of Ms. Saina Nehwal, the department of sports has decided to recommend her case for Padma Bhushan to the ministry of home affairs as a special case although the last date for making the recommendation is long over,” the ministry said in a statement.

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