Sachin, CNR receive Bharat Ratna

Sachin, CNR receive Bharat Ratna

Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and eminent scientist C N R Rao were on Tuesday conferred the country’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna, by President Pranab Mukherjee at the majestic Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Tendulkar became the only cricketer to get Bharat Ratna. The batsman, who recently retired from international cricket, is also said to be the first sitting Rajya Sabha MP to get the highest civilian award.

“Though my cricket has stopped, I will continue to bat for India and try my best to give the people a reason to smile,” an elated Tendulkar told journalists after the ceremony. 

Tendulkar, who wore a black bandhgala, was accompanied by wife Anjali and daughter Sara. Rao, 79, was the first in the order to get the award. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and some Union cabinet ministers were present.

“It is fantastic. It is more important than anything. Nothing compared to India honouring me,” Rao told reporters after obliging admirers with autographs. Icons in their respective fields, Tendulkar and Rao were earlier awarded with Padma Vibhushan. They joined a list of 41 Bharat Ratna recipients, including Ustad Bismillah Khan (2001), Bhimsen Joshi (2009), Amartya Sen (1999), J R D Tata (1992) and Nelson Mandela (1990).

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