However, there have been clamour for conferring Bharat Ratna on many other non-political personalities too.

Here are 10 such names all of us are familiar with:

1. AR Rahman:

Allah Rakha Rahman is the winner of 2 Academy Awards, 2 Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, 4 National Awards and 15 Filmfare Awards. The ‘Mozart of Madras’ is one of the most deserving candidates to receive the Bharat Ratna. His fans call him ‘Isai Puyal’ (the musical storm).

2. Dhyan Chand:

The hockey wizard is considered as the greatest ever to wield the stick in the history of the game. Chand helped India win three Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932, and 1936 Olympics. August 29 is celebrated as National Sports Day to commemorate his birth anniversary. He died in 1979.

3. Dilip Kumar:

The legend has contributed over six decades of his life to the Hindi cinema. He is considered as the first superstar of independent India. Pakistan has already decorated him with the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, the highest civilian award of that country.

4. Viswanathan Anand:

The five-time World chess champion too deserves the highest civilian award. The legend dominated the international chess arena for several years. He was the undisputed World Champion from 2007 to 2013. He was also the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991-92.

5. Baba Amte:

Social activist and Magsaysay Award winner Murildhar Devidas Amte has devoted his life to the care and rehabilitation of leprosy patients. His community development project at ‘Anand Van’ near Nagpur is recognised and respected around the world. He died in 2008.

6. Verghese Kurien:

He is another serious contender for the Bharat Ratna. The milk man of India, he is the one behind the milk revolution in the country. He had served as the head of the National Dairy Development Board for many decades and was the architect of the White Revolution of the 1970s. He died in 2012.

7. Kailash Satyarthi:

He is the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan and an avid activist against child labour. His original name is Kailash Sharma. He has been fighting to protect children’s rights for three decades now.

8. Homi Bhabha:

He was one of the pioneers of the Indian nuclear programme. He is known as the ‘father of the Indian bomb’. He died when his flight crashed near Mont Blanc in 1966. He received Padma Bhushan in 1954.   

9. E Sreedharan:

He is popularly known as the ‘Metro Man’. He is the man behind Konkan Railway and Delhi Metro. He is known for changing the face of public transport in India. He received the Padma Vibhushan in 2008.

10. RK Laxman:

For several decades, Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Laxman represented the Indian common man through his subtle, yet hard-hitting cartoons lampooning the issues of the country and the world. He received Padma Vibhushan and Raman Magsaysay awards. He died on the Republic Day of 2015.

Varun Sharma/JPN

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