One-liners win Sidhu Hindi Rattan
AMRITSAR: 'Sidhuism', a term often used to refer to Navjot Singh Sidhu's amusing and hard-hitting one-liners, became a tribe of its own not only for the cricket discourse but also as a general commentary on things beyond it.
The former cricketer turned BJP MP has got recognition for his iconic knack for words as the Hindi Bhawan bestowed Hindi Rattan Award upon Sidhu on Friday for promoting idiomatic and Taksali Hindi in the country despite belonging from a non-Hindi-speaking background. Sidhu becomes the second Punjabi after commentator Jasdev Singh to have received the award.
Sidhu humbly gives the credit of this recognition to his father Bhagwant Singh Sidhu. "It is the heighest honour for me due to my father," he said while talking to The Times of India on Friday. Sidhu recounts, everyday his father would narrate him stories from Ramayana and Mahabharta and would ask him to read three newspapers, including one of Hindi.
"He would let me watch Hindi news on TV," said Sidhu in an emotive note. "With a rigorous training of 10-15 years, I hardly realized when I started speaking good Hindi, which later became a part of my profession" he said.
Regarding the future of Hindi in the wake of rising influence of English across the country, Sidhu replied, "If we take pride in our language, then everyone would do the same."
Coordinator of Hindi Bhawan Madhukant told TOI that Sidhu was selected for the award by the trustees of Sri Parshottam Hindi Bhawan Nyas Samiti for his extraordinary contribution in promoting the national language. The award was bestowed upon him by Sushma Swaraj and Gobind Vyas.
Alka Sinha, another office bearer of Hindi Bhawan, said Sidhu had made a significant contribution in spreading common Hindi than literary one.
She said, "Sidhu's one-liners had caught the fancy of people at large, and through this award he has been applauded for his Hindi commentary despite being from Punjab."
Some of the non-Hindi-speaking persons who had received the award include Namgiri Rangopalan (Tamil), Saiji Makino (Japaneese), Amin Sayani (Gujrati) and Bal Shory Reddy (Telugu), Madhukant said.