Window Seat | Mrinal Chatterjee


Padma Awards

The Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian honours of India announced annually on the eve of Republic Day. The Awards are given in three categories: Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service), Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher order) and Padma Shri (distinguished service). The award seeks to recognize achievements in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of public service is involved.

The Government of India instituted two civilian awards-Bharat Ratna and  Padma Vibhushan in 1954. The latter had three classes, which were subsequently renamed as Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri on January 8, 1955.

The Padma Awards are conferred on the recommendations made by the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year. The nomination process is open to the public. Even self-nomination can be made.

As these awards are considered ‘prestigious’, the awardees are generally held in high esteem in public. However, of late there has been a growing tendency among some of the awardees to flaunt these awards. Some even use these titles as suffixes or prefixes.

My friend Saral Das, tells me that the Padma Awards are called ‘the National Awards’ and do not amount to ‘Titles’. According to Article 18(1) of the Constitution, they should not be used as suffixes or prefixes. If this is done, the defaulter will lose the National Award conferred on him or her (Balaji Raghuram vs.Union of India). In spite of this a number of awardees are prefixing the awards to their names as ‘titles’, which is illegal. Even in both print and electronic media, while addressing them, the awards are being prefixed to their names, which is not correct. Media persons should not address a person as ‘Padma Shree’ or ‘Padma Bhushan’ or ‘Bharat Ratna’. The correct address is ‘Shri ‘x’, awarded Padma Shree by President of India and so on. In Odia media, we are frequently coming across the addresses like Padma Shree Dilip Tirkey, Padma Shree Haladhar Nag, Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar etc. which is not only incorrect but also illegal. If the awardees use these as ‘Titles’ they run the risk of losing the National Award. Ignorance is no excuse. I am sure the same is happening in other language media as well. We must be careful about using these titles.

Confusions that people face in their twenties

As my son reaches his mid-twenties, I find him engaging with some confusion. So do, I am sure, most of the persons in this age group. Let me detail the confusions:

Confusion number one: Am I Young Or Am I Old? It’s during your twenties that kids start addressing you as Uncle/ Aunty and deep down, you have the urge to sock them in the face but you obviously can’t do that. You only keep questioning yourself whether you’re old or still young.

 Confusion number two: Career Choices. There are way too many options and that’s the whole problem. You might not know what you want and at times, you might but what you want isn’t the same as what your parents want and you don’t want to upset them with your choice. Urrrgh! It’s complicated.

Confusion number three:  Love. Heart breaks. More Love. Falling in love and heartbreaks are a common thing is the twenties. Isn’t it? Either you have fallen in love or you are suffering from a major heartbreak.

Confusion number four: Marriage. Marriage is another ball game altogether! People around you are talking about you getting married and you’re just wondering what’s wrong with them. The moment you hit your twenties, people start questioning you about marriage and you really have no answers to their questions.

Confusion number four:  Money. Seeing people around you work and earn and you still having to depend on your folks can be quite frustrating. You may also be earning but not enough, you just want more. Oh! You might also be earning a lot and you might not know what to do with all the money. Irrespective of whichever situation you’re in, you’re confused.

Confusion number five: Where is my life taking me? You have no idea as to where life’s taking you. You try hard to figure out but you only end up confusing yourself further.

Tirupati Diary 1

I went to Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh on invitation of Padmavati Women’s University as a member of the Board of Studies of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) and MBA in Media Management. It is one of the few universities in the country to offer this course.

Established in 1983 in Tirupati, it is the first women’s University of undivided Andhra Pradesh, catering mostly to the rural areas. Spread over a hundred acres, it has a very we’ll maintained and green campus. The University did well and continued to grow in stature. However, I am told that the division of Andhra Pradesh had impacted the quality of student intake of this university, as many students of the newly formed Telengana were taking admission in universities of their state for different reasons including financial.

Tirupathi Diary 2

As I was taken on a tour to rural Royalseema, I came across the carcass of a river. The serpentine sand dunes and ditches of water at places were there, which once used to be a river. Living river. And Swarnamukhi or Suvarnamukhi was its name. It used to flow from Tamil Nadu, through Royalseema area of Andhra Pradesh into Bay of Bengal. There were many temples and maths on its bank. One such temple is Parasurameswar Temple at Gudimallam, about 20 kms from Tirupati. It is an ancient temple of 2nd or 1st Century BC and has one of the earliest found Shiva Linga. This temple is presently maintained by Archaeology Department.


The title of Akshay Kumar’s new movie is Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.

How would you ask your friends out for the movie: Chalo, Toilet challenge

And FB status updates?

At Toilet with GF and four other friends.

And comments after seeing would be like:

Kya zabardast Toilet tha re…uthne ka mann hi nahi kar raha tha… And jo sound effects the….dolby digital sound…


A journalist turned media academician Mrinal Chatterjee lives in Dhenkanal, a Central

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