For all its traditions of revering its sages and savants, this country is sadly deficient in the gift of honouring those who do it distinguished service. This has, let it be said right away, nothing to do with rewards. The truly great servants of a nation do not give a damn about re¬wards for services rendered. But surely there is such a thing as recognition. And, it, alas, is in short supply in India today.
Though governments do set the tone in such matters the fault is not that of the governmental system alone; the approach of the entire society seems flawed. After all, why are festschrifts so unknown in this land of 800 million people? The institution of abhinandan granths was degraded to the point of destruction long ago by turning it into a vehicle of sycophancy chiefly of those ensconced in power and of most of whom little trace survived their loss of office.
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