Are Posthumus Awards Appropriate?

When a person dies, those dear and near to the person feel very sad; some cry loudly, and some weep silently, while a few people do not react, realizing that death is a natural and unavoidable event.

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The Government of India has recently conferred the highest award on a highly respected mass leader of deprived people who passed away around 35 years ago. Additionally, an award has been announced for a film actor who passed away a few days ago. This is not the first time, as several posthumous awards have been conferred in the past, for whatever it is worth. Looking at these announcements, one cannot be blamed if they think that conferring awards on a deceased person is not an appropriate idea.

When a person dies, those dear and near to the person feel very sad; some cry loudly, and some weep silently, while a few people do not react, realizing that death is a natural and unavoidable event. When a person dies, the people who love the person really cry for themselves only, as it is immaterial to the deceased person whether one cries or not.

No one really knows what would be the destination of the deceased person. Some religions say that the person would be reborn, and some other religions say that a person would go to hell or heaven depending on their good or bad deeds. In any case, the fact is that the deceased person has gone forever.

In such circumstances, does it really matter for the deceased person if an award would be conferred on the person a few days after death or 35 years after death?

Obviously, posthumous awards are given as per the will and the pleasure of those who are still living. Neither the deceased person would know nor would the person care wherever the person may be now.

Maybe the posthumous awards are given for some gain for the persons who are in a position to confer the award. Perhaps, the lighthearted way of describing posthumous awards is that this is an award in a vacuum.

N.S.Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause and to promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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