Over the last few days, social media users have greatly amplified calls for industrialist and philanthropist Ratan Tata to be awarded India's highest honour for civilians - the Bharat Ratna award. Till date, less than 50 people have received the award, with the most recent recipients being Pranab Mukherjee, Nanaji Deshmukh and Bhupen Hazarika. Interestingly, J. R. D. Tata had also been a recipient of the award.
But while many believe that the former chairman of the chairman of Tata Group, who continues to head some of the group's ventures, he does not seem to share the opinion. Taking to Twitter on Saturday, Tata said that while he "appreciated the sentiments expresed by a section of the social media" he was requesting that such campaigns be stopped.
"Instead, I consider myself fortunate to be an Indian and to try and contribute to India’s growth and prosperity," he added.
While Ratan Tata does not have a Bharat Ratna award, he has been the recipient of some of India's highest civilian awards. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in the year 2000 and received the Padma Vibhushan in 2008.
The hashtag had begun trending on Twitter on Friday after several well known Twitter users called for an award for Tata. While this is not the first time anyone has called for the same, the current trend appears to have originated from a post by motivational speaker Dr. Vivek Bindra.
"Inspiring the young achievers, Ratan Tata says that believing in one`s ability is essential to achieve success in life. We confer the country`s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna for Ratan Tata. Join us in our campaign," he had urged on Friday afternoon.