Give Bharat Ratna to Tenzing: Raju Bista in Lok Sabha
Darjeeling MP Raju Bista on Tuesday demanded in the Lok Sabha that highest civilian award Bharat Ratna be conferred on Everester Tenzing Norgay Sherpa posthumously, months after he and Bengal minister Gautam Deb had sparred on the issue.
Speaking in Nepali, the BJP MP reminded Parliament about the “humblest of backgrounds” of Tenzing and his struggle “to become an icon for the entire world”.
Mount Everest had been conquered for the first time by Tenzing, along with Sir Edmund Hillary, on May 29, 1953.
The demand to bestow Bharat Ratna on Tenzing started gathering steam in 2012 after the Centre had widened the ambit of the award to “recognise excellence in any field of human endeavour”.
Earlier, the country’s highest award had been restricted to exceptional achievements in art, literature, science and public service.
On Everest Day, which is commemorated on May 29, Bista and tourism minister Deb had sparred over the Bharat Ratna issue. While requesting Bista to take up the demand with the Centre, Deb had then said: “It is unfortunate that we have to raise the demand time and again before the central government.”
Bista then reminded the minister that he had already raised the demand in Parliament on March 12, 2020. The MP said he had “been doing so much before he (Deb) shared his concern with me”.
“I also request him (Deb) to send all documents and communication that the Bengal government had sent to the Centre in this regard as they would further strengthen my efforts to bring due recognition to one of the world’s greatest inspirations — our Gorkha great Tenzing Norgay Sherpa ji,” Bista had said in a written statement.
Tenzing received a host of medals from Britain, Iran, Nepal, the Soviet Union, France and Italy. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1959 and Padma Vibhushan posthumously in 2008 — some 22 years after his death at the age of 71.
In 2015, a mountain region in Pluto was also named after Tenzing by the International Astronomical Union, the internationally recognised authority for naming celestial bodies and their surface features, after the same was recommended by the Nasa.