Do you remember Abhinav Bindra being awarded rupees ten lakhs by our Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi? Abhinav Bindra possesses a lavish indoor range in the backyard of home, which he uses for shooting practice. He has graduated from the University of Colorado in the United States, with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. Apart from being a professional shooter, he holds the position of the CEO of Abhinav Futuristics - the sole distributor of Walther arms in India. He is also the Director of Abhinav Hotels & Inns Pvt. Ltd. He has sponsorship tie-ups with some of the renowned brands including Samsung and Sahara Group.
I really doubt if rupees ten lakh was worth anything for Bindra. I also do not know whether he actually got the money from Mr. Gogoi or not. But Mr. Gogoi got publicity worth more than ten lakh rupees. It is, of course, a different issue that Mr. Gogoi hesitated to provide even one lakh rupees to WWF Musle Mania Champion Mahadeb Deka for his passage to the competition.
More recently, the cricket World Cup winners of India have been showered with gifts and awards. Bord of Control for Cricket in Idia (BCCI), the club that employs these players, has announced rupees one crore each to the players, Himachal Government has offered a plot of land to both Dhoni and Tendulakar at Chandigarh, Kartantak Government has offered house in Bangalore to all the players from the state in the winning team and last but not the least, the Railway Ministry has given all the players in the winning team a life-time first class AC travel pass in Indian Railways. So what if the players actually never travel by train and prefer to travel by aeroplanes (preferably chartered)?
The Telegraph today went into elaborate description on how the Railway Minister got the congratulatory letter drafted and typed soon after Indian(?)team's historic win, signed the letter next day early morning and then made sure that the letter reaches Mahendra Singh Dhoni at his hotel in Mumbai by 11 A.M. If only she was equally anxious for passengers wishing to reach their destination on time!
These tamasha of rewarding and awarding the achievers indeed is a very cheap means to bask in reflected glory (pan intended). But, it seems nobody minds as long as it is glorious.