Dr Elattuvalapil Sreedharan…..The Bharat Ratna no one talks about

Dec 31st 2011

India had just lost the boxing day test match, with a day to spare. Star News was deciding who was the ‘Match Ka Mujrim’. Others were wondering when Sachin will finally score that created in the boardroom, 100th hundred. If an alien visited India around that time and switched on the tele, he/she would have thought our world started and ended with cricket.

Pretty sad, considering an event that slipped  completely under our radar.

Dr Elattuvalapil Sreedharan, affectionately called the ‘MetroMan of India’, bid adieu to his 56 year long career of creating 21st century monuments. His exit was a reflection of how he lived; simple, elegant and completely inconspicuous.

Just pause for a moment and think.

56 successive years, in a single job, without a break.

56 Years.

In other words, Dr Sreedharan, worked continuously for a duration, in which an average Indian generally goes from the cradle to his/her grave.

And no one in the media was paying a tribute to this great man. They were not even talking about it. All they had was a silly ticker at the bottom of the screen, that said ‘Dr Sreedharan Retires’. No ten thousand word articles, no special Dr Sreedharan shows, nothing. It was like, it didn’t even happen.

Fundamental question is, Why?

Is it simply because, Dr Sreedharan, is not your quintessential Indian Success Story?

I mean, he is not a IITian, nor is he from an IIM. He is not from a minority community. He did not surmount racial and casteist prejudices imposed by the society. He did not fetch water at 4 in the morning and did not study under street lamps. He did not milk cows to pay for his education. He is neither an actor nor a singer. Neither is he a cricketer nor a cricketer who claims to be an actor.

He was just a simple middle class Indian, who went about his job.

In other words, he does not fall under any bracket that our media terms as ‘an Indian Success Story’.

And according to the media, not an ‘Indian Success Story’ meant ‘No tribute’. And this in a day, when even a guy like Chetan Bhagat will get a glowing biography on his life and times, the day he finally decides to stop writing.

OK, sod the the media. They have TRPs and paying news customers to take care of. But what about the government? They don’t have to answer to anybody. And this guy dedicated his entire life to them. At least they can do something.

But No.

When names were being bandied about for the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor, everyone, from politicians to Dhanush,  had only one name, ‘I am stuck on 99’ Tendulkar. Infact lobbying for that guy reached such epic proportions, that the government actually changed the award criteria to accommodate that actor.

And Mr Sreedharan, who triple checks all the existing criteria, was not even being mentioned.

The travesty is all the more acute if you consider what Dr Sreedharan has done for our nation.


Date: 22nd of December in 1964,

Location: Rameshwaram town

For most of the non south-Indians, Madras and South India are interchangeable terms. But what you do not know is, South India also happens a favorite holiday spot for various cyclones brewing in the Bay of Bengal. And this South India is not Madras alone, but the entire states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

This geographical part of India has been hit by so many cyclones that nowadays meteorologists have run out of names.

For most of us, This is THANE

One such cyclone, hit the coastal town of Rameshwaram on 22nd of December, 1964. And it was a deadly one.

Not so long ago, south of Rameshwaram, there used be a bustling town called Dhanushkodi. It had its own post office, customs office and even a Railway Station. My bet is most of you wouldn’t have heard about it. Why?

Because on that fateful night, the Indian Ocean swallowed the entire town. More than 2000 Indians were killed. The ocean even ensured that, a passenger train which was beginning its last journey of the day at 11.15 P.M, made its last journey ever. If you still can’t imagine the ferocity of this cyclone, let me help you

Dhanushkodi, before and after

So where does Dr Sreedharan come in all of this?

As a sideshow, the cyclone destroyed the Pamban Bridge, the only bridge connecting Rameshwaram to mainland India. And this meant Rameshwaram was completely isolated. Considering the above cyclone something had to be done, and fast.

At that time, Dr Sreedharan was a Deputy Engineer in the Southern Railway. And this piece of wreck was in his territory. Indian Railways, gave Dr Sreedharan six months to restore connectivity to Rameshwaram. Which was asking a lot considering

Dr. Sreedharan, had to convert this



Dr Sreedharan finished the job in ..FORTY SIX 1964 DAYS.

He took one month and 15 days to restore, THAT bridge, back to full operation. The bridge which was India’s longest sea bridge for 96 years, till the Bandra Worli Sea Link was inaugurated in the year 2008.

Forty six days to restore this 2.3 Km bridge in a state where


took six effin months to restore after being washed away by a flash flood, in 2006.

There are some achievements that look cool, but once you get an award, you completely forget about them. And then there are some you won’t forget, even if you suffer a total memory loss.

This was one of those things.

For all this trouble, Dr Sreedharan got a Railway award consisting of Rs 100 and an awful looking plaque.

The process of short-changing Dr E Sreedharan, began in 1964.

Even If Dr Sreedharan, sat and twiddled his thumbs for the rest of his life, he would have been considered a superhero for his bridge-building awesomeness alone. Fortunately for India though, he did not like twiddling thumbs.

Packing his bags for his next assignment, he set off to Calcutta, where he became the chief designer of the Calcutta Metro. And then, getting bored of railways in general, he took charge of India’s largest Ship building company, Cochin Shipyard.

There he designed, built and commissioned India’s first indigenously built Merchant vessel, the Rani Padmini, in 1981.

Back then, it was state of the art

After building everything from trains to ships, Dr Sreedharan according to government rules, had to retire in 1990 when he completed 60 years of age.

But, when you are Dr Sreedharan, you don’t have the plebian privilege of retirement.

He was asked to go to Mumbai, to take charge of what was then deemed to be India’s toughest project since independence. It involved burrowing through basalt mountains, spanning kilometer long marshes and rivers and taking railways to a place where even the Britishers thought it was impossible.

This region was the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, affectionately called, the Konkan.

The railway babus simply called this herculean venture, Konkan Railway. Naming things is not really their forte.

And slapped it with a pathetic logo

This is what Dr E Sreedharan had to do,

Lay 760 Kms of railway track, through a terrain

that had



and this

infested with

and perennially at the risk of

And to do that, Sreedharan had to

1. Acquire 5000 hectares of land from 42,000 assorted land owners.

2. Build 2000 Bridges, both major and minor, across Marshes, swamps, rivers and backwaters.

3. Blast 92 tunnels, totaling 83 kilometers in length through Basalt, nature’s adamantium and soft soil, nature’s china clay. You need nuclear weapons and Arnold to bore through the former while the latter generally collapsed on itself, if someone as much as farted.

And then came the most difficult task in the Indian Index Of Difficult tasks

4. Dealing And Negotiating With The Chief Ministers, Home Ministers, Other Ministers And Their Chelas Of Four Different States.

And to complete all of the above tasks, Dr Sreedharan, was given 8 years.

It would be like Hercules being asked to accomplish his twelve tasks, blinded and with one hand tied to his back, in three days.

This is Hercules

Needless to say, he would have failed.

Dr Sreedharan, supposedly retired and who qualified for Indian Railway’s senior citizen quota, finished the job in 7 years.

Konkan Railway to me, is the second biggest achievement of Independent India, with the first being India remaining India. New standards will have to be invented, to realistically measure the impact of Konkan Railway on the Indian economy.

For starters

1. For the first time ever, three largest ports on the Indian coast, Mumbai, Karwar and Mangalore have a direct connection.

2. Travel time from the southern states to the north, have been reduced by upto 40 percent. The crummy old Nethravathi Express, used to take 38 hours to travel from Trivandrum to Mumbai.

Now, thanks to Dr E Sreedharan and the


the same train takes 22 Hours. A 16 hour reduction in travel time. And a 16-18 hour reduction in travel times of all trains going from Kerala,Karnataka, Goa to the North.

All the trains.

Try measuring the impact. Don’t bother, you can’t.

And new levels of difficulty need to be established to measure the difficulty of this task. The sheer number of architectural impossibilities overcome by Dr E Sreedharan and his team in making this wild dream a reality, is mind boggling. All I can do is suggest you to go here, here and here.

However, there is one thing that encapsulates what all the above links have to say


Which basically is a Marsh

Between two Hills

And to traverse it,

The train has to travel at a height, which is as tall as

In other words,

Dr Sreedharan and his team, built a goddamn Qutub Minar, over a marsh, between two hills, just so that, a train could chug over it.

Need I say more?

You will see this wonder of Modern India immediately after Ratnagiri on the Konkan Railway. In the 15 kilometer stretch between Ratnagiri and Nivasar, there are 3 tunnels and 5 viaducts. The third viaduct is the Panval Nadi viaduct, immediately after the first tunnel. The exact sequence will be —->  Big Tunnel, Massive Gorge, Big tunnel again.

Dr Sreedharan though, never had the chance to taste his success. In December 1997, one year before the Konkan Railway was thrown open to traffic, he was shunted to New Delhi to head a new organization. It was created to find a viable solution to the traffic woes of the aam aadmi in the national capital.

This organization was called the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation.

Of all the railway systems in the world, building a metro is the most difficult in the world. Most difficult, becomes impossible, when you have to build that damn thing under and over a megapolis.

Impossible reaches ‘You must be kidding me’ levels, when that megapolis in question is Delhi and the country in question is India.

There are more people in this pic than there are in Canada.

Delhi Metro was not India’s first metro. Calcutta has that honor. But Calcutta’s ‘I built my own metro’ story, was one sorry tale

Sample this

1. It took 22 years to build the Calcutta Metro, A metro whose total length was 16.75 kms. In other words, Calcutta Metro construction dudes managed a grand average of, .76 kms a year.

2. The Calcutta metro suffered from debilitating shortages in almost everything. Shortages of funds, shortages in labour and shortages in everything else. The only they had in plenty was those damn shortages.

3. And it was harried by the parent, the Indian Railways, every step of the way.

If the Calcutta metro was any indicator, the 168 Kms long Delhi Metro would have been beset with shortages, harassed by the Railways and would have been completed in A.D 2083.

If ever there was a movie made about Dr Sreedharan’s job, it would have looked something like this

But this was Dr E Sreedharan.

When he started off, he put in place some things that were never before done in the history of Indian mega construction projects


1. His appointed himself as the judge, jury and the executioner as far as the Delhi Metro was concerned. No external influences were tolerated. And he took no prisoners. There have been stories were, people walked in with the traditional M.P recommendation letter, walked out of his office, with the paper in two different hands.

2.  After giving himself the power, he changed the tendering process, upside down. In a country, where opening a single tender on an average, took six to nine months, Dr Sreedharan got the job done in 19 days. YES, 19 Days.

3.  When confronted with the standard Government ‘I am short of money’ rigamarole, Dr Sreedharan did what any sensible government servant would do. He simply cut out the Government from the funding.

He single-handedly went and got a loan of USD 5 Billion sanctioned from the Japanese Bank of International Co-operation to fund the Metro. Now, 60 percent of the necessary finance secured, Government shut up and stumped up the remaining cash.

4. He then hired top International consultants from an assortment of countries, to cover for the lack of local talent, to supervise and execute the project.

For the first time in the History of India, the entire Delhi Bureaucratic circle was completely circumvented. That too, by one 74 year old dude from Kerala.

As a result

Phase one of the 5 billion dollar metro, was completed three years before schedule, entirely within the initially stipulated budget. And there was not even a single shard of corruption.

In India, that is the closest we can get to walking on water.

If someone had in 1998, said that such a thing would happen in India, He would have been given a priority ticket to Agra/Alibaug/Kilpauk or the nearest mental asylum.

Today, the Delhi Metro is complete and for the first time, Dilliwalas are enjoying the benefits of a full fledged suburban rail system that has a punctuality factor of 99.999 percent. All thanks to this man

Next time, any Dilli boy/girl tries to mock you or anyone with the moniker Madrasi, just mention the words, Metro-Sreedharan-Madrasi in the same sentence. The other side will shut up.

The successful execution of the Delhi Metro, made Dr Sreedharan the Tom Cruise of the Metro Rail universe. Every Indian city worth its salt, now wanted its own metro and Dr Sreedharan as its consultant.

One such city was Hyderabad. And the company executing that metro was a company called, MAYTAS INFRASTRUCTURE.

You know where this is going.

In September 2008, Dr Sreedharan, after observing as a consultant, sent the following report to the Planning Commission, Government of India

Making available 296 acres of prime land to the BOT [build, operate and transfer] developer for commercial exploitation was like selling the family silver. I fear a big political scandal some time later, as it is apparent the BOT operator has a hidden agenda which appears to be to extend the metro network to a large tract of his private land holdings so as to reap a windfall profit of four to five times the land price.

Planning commission, that plans little and develops less, as usual did not pay heed to this report. In fact they chastised Dr Sreedharan, for not backing up his allegation with necessary proof.

This is what happened, three months later

Remember how the scandal started? It started by Satyam Computers, arbitrarily taking over Maytas infrastructure, a company that was neither in IT, nor was a competitor. In fact the only link between Satyam and Matras was that it owned by Ramalinga Raju’s sons.

And sensing that Maytas was in big trouble, he ‘bought’ the company to save it.

And Dr Sreedharan, predicted that the company was in trouble, three months before the world knew it.

So let me just encapsulate, if that can be done, on what Dr Sreedharan has done for the country

1. He restored India’s longest sea bridge which was completely destroyed, in 46 days.

2. He designed India’s first Metro.

3. Supervised the building of India’s first indigenous Merchant vessel.

4. Executed India’s most difficult project since Independence.

5. Gave Delhi wallahs, something called the Metro.

6. Predicted India’s biggest corporate fraud, three months before it happened.

I don’t know how the Bharat Ratna nomination thing works. But I believe you stand a chance if you have done something good for the country. Now tell me, what has Dr Sreedharan not done for the country?

I mean when you can consider a guy who sells a computer anti-virus on prime-time television for India’s highest civilian award, Why is there not a whisper about a guy who has ensured 400,000 people on the western coast of India saw a train for the first time?

Or, was responsible for a sharp drop in road-rage killings in Delhi?

Come to think of it though, I really don’t want Dr Sreedharan to get the Bharat Ratna. I mean, he will then join a club that is populated by people like Bismillah Khan, Lata Mangeshkar, Bhimsen Joshi etc. No disrespect to them, but they were at best, paid performers who had negligible impact on the population of India. (Lata Mangeshkar in fact has had a negative impact. A flyover which will bring respite to thousands, if not lakhs, of Mumbaikars is not being constructed solely due to her ‘privacy’ concerns)

Dr Sreedharan should not be given the Bharat Ratna. Because the Bharat Ratna does not deserve a man like Dr Sreedharan.

335 thoughts on “Dr Elattuvalapil Sreedharan…..The Bharat Ratna no one talks about

  1. Awesome write-up.
    How do you get so much of research done for your articles? Its really commendable.
    I didn’t know anything else except him building the Delhi Metro.
    Thanks a lot for the article and keep it up.

    • I keep reading your articles for “insights” and “resources” however I do not agree you
      trivializing legends from the field of art and music. Lata Ji just had an opinion on ” flyover” and too
      an extent anyone who visualize a flyover shadowing his/her home might have nightmares.

      You never know what they did in there field and many people look them as there role model.
      Defiling them is not “acceptable”. Kudos to Shredharan but people like him do not need
      trophies and claps. They rely on karma. Lets not shake that.

      • Hope you did not mentioned S### A$$ Khan…he would have attacked you…LOL

      • I stay in an area called Sion in mumbai, and a flyover goes rt outside my balcony. No one asked me whether my privacy was invaded or compromised.

        And last checked, the constitution says I am as equal as Lata Mangeshkar for the govt of India..

        Or is it?

      • If people belive in Privacy, then I suppose a Metro airport requires more safety as terrorist can do anything to the Parked aircrafts (Look back at Colombo event during LLTE times), but still the government took a stand to build a flyover ( like a viewing gallery with no security) next to the Chennai Airport, I appreciate that Lataji is a living legend in the field of music but then she cannot stop a countries progress in the name of privacy, is she not moving out in the open and giving numerous stage shows. Think think and think

    • yes same…awesome research work done
      i also did not know anything else but Metro Project

    • i really not aware of this valuable info please give us more info which is authentic . i’ll spread among as much people i can

    • Never in the course of Indian history has one man done so much for so many!!
      A brilliant and motivating write up.
      Work done by Dr Sreedharan should be part of school curriculum to motivate youngsters to realise what a middle class man can achieve with a vision and dedication.

    • Hi…this is the first time i am reading your blog and trust me it was truly an eye opener.

      In general after going through all the comments – i think some people failed to understand what you mean. Yes art, music, sports is very essential for a country’s growth. I read below someone say – just like how Lataji etc were paid, Dr. Sreedharan was a govt servant and paid. Please guys, give me a break – if he actually worked like the normal government officer, can you imagine??

      End of the day, are these people (artists, sports people etc) sacrificing or going through the innumerable hurdles which people like Dr. Sreedharan have to tackle and handle and still accomplish? Well, i am not talking about the politics that the sports people or the artists go through in their field and the professional jealosy…this is too meger to talk about…like Ashaji really did not come up as much as her own sister!!! no assumptions or inhibitions meant, but we never know…

      Yes they are truly great – Lathaji, sachin …..etc, but ultimately they are pursuing a vocation – hats off that they have inspired millions and cheered and raised the spirits – we need another award for this category, definitely not the Bharat Ratna, if it has to go by its true meaning.

      Cheers for the blogger and hats off to Dr. Sreedharan.

    • Someone needed to tell this story. I had the honor of meeting the man once at the DMRC office. Wanted to invite him as a chief guest for our college function. Politely refused and told me the only college function he went to was when they had needed to buy land from the college for building a metro track!

    • the facts mentioned about DR. Sreedharan was commendable,He is just not good but he is best.He deserves Bharat Ratna,In my opinion He along with Dr.Vergese Kurien deserves a Bharat ratna.I think we should raise a campaign for that.

    • Hello,Iam impressed the way the details have been put together and published.
      I would like to add afew experiences of mine with Dr.Shreedharan.
      Right after his elevation to Chief administrative Officer.central Railway, He came to Mumbai took over the construction otganisation which was in the process of extending the harbour branch lines from mankhurd to Vashi and Belapur and with his special skills constructed the 2.15Kms Vashi(Thane) creek bridge and the suburban services were extended up to Vashi first and then to Belapur.Hr was also responsible for extending the Harbour line services beyond Bandra ie up to Andheri with the construction Raoli and Bandra Flyovers From here He became General Manager Western Railway and them Member engineering in Railway board.He served there till his superannuation and was assigned the job of constructing Konkan Railway in july 1990 ,After all formalities of getting office, men and materials we inaugurated the KRCL work on 15 th October.
      There is much to write on his ways of working but I shall restrict to salient points which have given us the success in completing the gigantic 760Kms of Railway line with Tunnels (already mentioned by the auther as 84Kms)1994 bridges viaducts,steep cuttings, by over coming the hurdles of Finances,Politicians interferences,Transport lobbies(specilly of Goa)There are 6 tunnels which are longer than 2Kms and the longest is 6.5Kms.The Goa had toughest of all tunneling with flowing sand where it was neccessary to support every 4 to 6 inches by steel supports and concrete else it would collapse the very next day.Every saturday he would visit the critical site and guide the site engineers to overcome the hurdles.All land losers were suitably compensated by cash,employment etc so every one was eager to support the cause .Modern Track welding machines were imported and deployed for making 1Km panel rails for smooth running with speed potential of 160KMPH.Tunnel Boring Machines ,Mucking Loading machines (10 each) were importedfor achieving tunnel depths upto 3 to 4 Mtrs. blast in one stroke with two to three cycles in 24 hrs.All the aspects of successful completion were monitored at micro level by Dr shreedharan like contractors problems,staffaminities,machines upkeep,coordination with all concerned in TIME which was essence of his success mantra.He is still working now for his home state of Kerala’s Kochi Metro.

    • Really awesome write up. I think very few people will be knowing these facts.Honnor should be given at the Government level.

    • Definately he derved Bharath Ratna Award………….

  2. Great write up.. I had heard a lot about him…but this was a comprehensive summary of his achievements…

  3. I revere this guy having known his achievements about Konkan Railway & Delhi Metro.. What he has done is unimaginable..Simply Outstanding especially in a place like India… you missed mentioning Mumbai Metro Sir..

    I wish there were many more E Sreedharan in India.. and I wish I had been one more E Sreedharan of India… Sadly we the people of India leave everything to someone else to do our duty…Time to have a health check what IIT’s and IIM’s Grads studying on public money are doing good for India…

    • I am not sure about IITs but IIM students pay from their own pockets to study ! There’s no subsidy unless you are from the financially weaker section. And even that scholarship is given by the Institute and not Govt. Please check facts before preaching.

      • The land grants..funds for setting up..establishment costs…Even the IIM’s have their share of public money. Not as much as IIT’s but they are not completely independent.

      • But they mostly always chose to seve abraod or choose to work fro MNcs

      • You read what you wanted to read buddy. Forget the tax money, My comment was more about the contribution of IITians and IIMians – the brightest and the bestest minds in the country. I have no right to tell them what to do with their lives but I wonder (also lament) would we be the same India, if these people had been working for India’s development rather than their own.

        The original intent of starting IITs and IIMs was that they would fulfill the needs of Independent India, to create the foundation of New India which would usher millions of people out of poverty, create jobs and infrastructure, provide leadership to the struggling India. It is “a responsibility and not a privilege” for those students to take care of India. However they choose the comfortable path to head to US and work for their corporations. And they have all the right to do that as individuals but my question is what if Dr. Sreedharan, a smart capable person, chose to head to US instead of working for his hinterland. Every entity – country or corporation needs the BEST RESOURCES to stand out.

        I understand that today Indians are known to be world class engineers and scientists because what this guys did in US and other countries and it definitely helps us but what about the country know as INDIA.

  4. Seshu: Well researched and written as always.

  5. Thank you very much or this well written, eye-opening article.

    And Sreedharan Sir, what to say? India, with all its diversity and fights, and corruption, still mercifully has such unsung heroes. If not where would we be is a mind-boggling question.

    We can only pray to God to give them a peaceful and graceful old age.

  6. Dear Krishna
    Extremely informative and well written article. Your capacity to go to very minute details is highly commendable. Dr. Shreedhar he get / not get Bharat Rathna your article it self is a great tribute to him. The awards are given on behalf of the country men andI feel according to all of us he is Bharat Rathna irrespective of the Government confer the same to him.Well done.

  7. Very cool article. Keep up the good work. And thanks for introducing me to a real life hero.

  8. A very well researched article about a well deserved person.

  9. Very well written and thanks for informing us about Sreedharan-Metro-Madrasi. This should be taught as a success story in all the government departments. And on the media, let us not have any hope 😦

  10. I have met E Shreedharan a couple of times (one of which was to receive an award from him in college). He’s a miracle worker and someone who is truly very humble. Despite such stupendous achievements, he is ever so respectful and concerned about everyone around him (can cite numerous small instances where I saw this first hand). His work-ethic is unparalleled.

    But I disagree with you on one point. Lets not discredit Bharat Ratna awardees altogether. Admittedly there have been some blunders (VV Giri, MGR, K.Kamraj) but overall it’s a list of rather rather illustrious people (JRD Tata, APJ Abdul Kalam, Nelson Mandela, Sardar Patel etc)

    • I am not discrediting the Bharat Ratna awardees, But I do believe that the Bharat Ratna being fair is a relic of the past. Today it has become another political tool. Elections in a particular state, want to appease a certain community, just give the Ratna to a person from that state/community, sod his/her merit. In fact the credit worthiness of the award has plummeted to its lowest, when the govt is contemplating giving the award to an anti virus salesman.

      I don’t want Dr Sreedharan to get this Bharat Ratna.

      • Brilliant article. And i couldn’t agree more on the last statement in the post. Being an engineer, I often wonder what life will be like if people of science just stop working one day, since scientists/engineers never get the kind of publicity that people who make a sex tape get, for example 😛

        however, while i completely agree about the unnecessary fuss that is being created for the “you know what”, its not the “anti visur- salesman’s” fault is it? It’s not like he is doing it as a publicity stunt. And while he has has NO impact on the lives of millions, he is probably the ONE person who (pretty much) unites the country \ref{the biggest achievement is india still being india}. 🙂 (Again, that does not mean he should get the bharat ratna, im just saying its his followers that are to be blamed here)

      • Who is this anti-virus salesman you refer to?

    • Among the Barat ratna blunders, you have included K Kamaraj. Kamaraj is the only CM of tamilnadu till date who is uncorrupted and clean. he did implement many social schemes as well (Mid day scheme was his brainchild). I feel he deserves the aware. Others you have mentioned…yeah..they are blunders….

    • Dear Utsav

      About your last point, I guess the blogger was only pointing out at artists such as Bismillah Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, Lata Mangeshkar, M.S.Subbalakshmi etc who received the award for their contributions in art. Agreed that they are all legends in their respective fields. But their field, whilst entertained and emoted people, did not feed them or improve the economy. So I think the blogger is right in saying what he said. I would add Dr. M.S.Swaminathan as well along with Dr.Sreedharan in the list of deserving Bharat Ratna’s.

      • That Mr.Sreedharan was not awarded bharat ratna or padma vibhusan is not a surprise.If we look at the padma awards and the Bharat ratna awards recently, we will find that they are all a shame. People who deserve are not awarded, and persons with political, geogrpahical and bollywood influence only are considereded. If this trend continues, item girls will get padma vibhushan awar

    • @ Utsav Mitra- any idea who K.Kamaraj was ? He quit his chief minister post and gave it another person and proposed kamaraj plan to Nehru and started to work for congress party. Thats why he was chosen as AICC president. When he died he was in the same rented house. He didnt have a single asset inspite being a CM for 11 years and All india congress president ( king maker who made LBS and Indira as PM ). He was a visionary who started 12000 schools in rural TN in 1950’s . Its only bcoz of him the 3% literacy rate of TN is now close to 85% over the years. He never allowed his own mother to stay with in CM guest house- thats only for CM and not for his relatives- that was his view. He was known for his integrity. I agree with the other blunders but kamaraj

      • When you hv the time, please google Kamaraj Plan. It is even used in the corporate circles today. And when he died, he had Rs 1500 in his bank. And two sets of clothes. He is one of the examples of where Bharat Ratna is justified.

        • I do not have much knowledge about Kamraj, frankly. But reading his achievements over here, I am getting an idea that he is more fot for a Tmali Ratna and not a Bharat Ratna. I am sure every state in India can name one or two persons/ CMs/ politicians who were clean and had done lot of things for the state. Did they all get Bharat Ratna?

          I am from West Bengal, and there Dr B C Roy had done lots of thing for the state (apart from being an outstanding physician whose treatments are almost folklores now). He did not get a Bharat Ratna!!!

          Understand this is a question just to understand, not to criticize anyone.

    • Please do not include K.Kamaraj in the blunders’ list…

    • Ex-TN CM K Kamaraj receiving the Bharat Ratna is a blunder?can u give reasons for your statement?

    • Why Not to Kamaraj? Lemme not divert the topic. Dude read about his life & comment.

    • How is giving Bharth Ratna to MGR or Kamraj a blunder?

    • MGR and Kamaraj are not blunders man,

    • Hello ,,Mr kamaraj ,,Do you know who he is ,,and what he has done ,,sure u have the right to give an opinion but calling kamaraj’s bharat ratna a blunder is in itself a blunder ,,think n research before u say somethin ,,

    • Probably you do not know about Kamraj. Though uneducated (having sacrificed his life at very young age for the independence movement) he was humble and died almost poor though he was from not so poor family and occupied top positions in party as was CM also. He was the person who was instrumental in introducing noon meal for poor children which was the reason why TN climbed in the literacy ladder. Putting him along with VV Giri (who was at best Mrs Gandhi’s loyal…) is really a shame!

    • Mr.Utsav Mitra
      Please read about K.Kamaraj as a person, what he has done in Tamilnadu as a Chief Minister, the dignity, the integrity and the honesty he brought to the role before commenting on his eligibility for Bharat Ratna. K.Kamaraj was a legend in his own sweet way. Please do correct your view.

    • Utsav Mitra – Reading through your post, when you said “Lets not discredit Bharat Ratna awardees altogether”, I didn’t agree with you. But when you listed the deserving ones, I agree with you. I didn’t even know that some of these folks received Bharat Ratna. But somehow media and govt are very much celebrating folks, who haven’t done much. And Bharat Ratna has been going to them only these days !

      The article is truly amazing. Very well written, thoroughly intelligent. Sridharan’s achievements are really wonderful and he deserves a national honor.

    • Hi Utsav, Kindly remove Mr Kamaraj from your list. He is so far the greatest CM of Tamilnadu and he has made so much impact to the common man especially for those below the poverty line. Kindly learn about him and you will appreciate who he is.

    • How dare that you said about Kamaraj ? Without him, TN would have been like next to one of your BIMARU states !!

    • You seem to have inadequate knowledge about K Kamraj. He is a bull worker in the political environment and relentlessly fought for providing education to the masses. He himself coming from under privileged back ground, did not leave any stone unturned to make education a birthright for every one when he was the CM of Tamil nadu. Till now, it’s hard to draw any head of state parallel to him in administration and working for the poor and the deprived.MGR is a bad choice, I agree. But Kamraj is a fantastic choice.

  11. Awe’frikkin’some.

  12. Awe-Fkin-Some! Really! Kudos!

  13. Loved it! Thank you so much, these vetti thoughts made my day! 🙂

  14. My salutations to Dr.Shreedharan. Thank you for introducing us to a real life super man . Wish India had one DR. shreedharan in every department . A selfless man who just goes about his duty without any expectation is nothing but a god in our country . Such people are above Bharat Ratna or any other awards . As for the media not giving him due credit, well, the less spoken about them the better .

  15. Brilliant research.

    An even more impressive and outstanding personality. *bows*

    He did not (and probably will not) get a Bharat Ratna precisely because he implemented all the above extremely efficiently and ruthlessly (and thereby pissing off all ‘important’ people).

    Hats off. Touch feet. Awesome.

  16. Was Sreedharan in charge of constructing the Calcutta Metro ? If so, shouldn’t the blame for the faulty implementation in that case also fall at his feet ? Not to take anything away from the great man, but he is a little too friendly with the media for my taste (NDTV actually telecast an hour long programme on him, when he retired).Now, politicians, entertainers and sports persons have to be in the public eye as part of their job, but government servants to do it only out of a desire for fame

    About the Bharat Ratna, a musician’s worthiness is judged by his/her contributions to music..(and if Lata Mangeshkar is paid..isn’t Dr. Sreedharan paid a salary too ?) I’m in no way way denying that Dr. Sreedharan probably merits a Bharat Ratna, but your running down the 3 stalwarts of Indian music just exposes your ignorance..

  17. Great work.

    kaipullai for president! 🙂

  18. I had enjoyed reading your earlier articles on Kingfisher and the unsung heroes of medieval India, thinking that they had opened my eyes. And then I read this,

    Come to think of it though, I really don’t want Dr Sreedharan to get the Bharat Ratna. I mean, he will then join a club that is populated by people like Bismillah Khan, Lata Mangeshkar, Bhimsen Joshi etc. No disrespect to them, but they were at best, paid performers who had negligible impact on the population of India. (Lata Mangeshkar in fact has had a negative impact. A flyover which will bring respite to thousands, if not lakhs, of Mumbaikars is not being constructed solely due to her ‘privacy’ concerns).

    1. The Pedder Road flyover has been opposed by many influential residents of that area, the most powerful of them being businessman-politician families such as the Deoras/Lodhas. Lata Mangeshkar is just one of the residents and like member residents of any locality tend to stick together against outside threats, she too is sticking with the group. It is naive to suggest that her privacy is the sole reason behind the flyover not getting made.

    But the way you write it in your post, as if it were the accepted and natural truth, makes me question if the rest of the so-called supporting facts in the rest of the post or other posts too have taken similar liberties and flexibility, both in selection and interpretation.

    2. I agree that Sreedharan deserves the Bharat Ratna. But you did not have to trivialise some of the best musical genuises of our times to make a case for him. It is quite clear that you are not a connoisseur of music or couldn’t care to bother finding out what exactly Bismillah Khan achieved in his lifetime to not merely be another wedding function player and why that is extraordinary.

    Let’s just say that great achievement in engineering does not automatically trivialise that in the arts, medicine, social contribution, etc.

    To put it in your own style, try not to betray the abundance of that which has been pointed out in the green portion of the below linked graph within you.

    Until now I used to think that this was an eye-opener blog I could learn counterintuitive stuff from. But looks like it’s just entertainment, just like the guy you often have the fortune of coming across during train journeys who gets the entire compartment charged with his seemingly interesting views on the world but is at the end of the day talking a whole lot of crap.

    I will still keep reading this blog because you are funny, and I could do with a laugh. Cheers.

  19. I got goosebumps reading this article. I’ve been to Rameshwaram through the famous Pamban bridge and have been amazed by it. Never knew it’s history till now. He is much higher than any Bharat Ratnas

  20. I have been following your blog and read all of your posts. This one somehow is lacking. Nothing I didn’t know, expcept the Maytas bit. I learnt a lot from your other posts.

    And completely off the mark with the Bharat Ratna comments. It still is India’s highest civilian award, immaterial of how it’s been used. No matter who gets it, and has got it, the Lions on the award protect it from the blemishes the awardees might have had.

    And on that note, lifting a nation’s hearts and minds in whatever way isn’t important? Isn’t that a contribution to India and our society? Yes, those who have have made much more money than the unsung heroes of India but so what?? When has money ever been a leveler?? I’m appaled you think money and fame are measures of success.

    I notice you haven’t mentioned MS or CS, in your post. MS Subalaxmi and C Subramaniam. Is this because they are from the South? Does MS deserve it more than Lataji because she sang Maitreyi Bhajate at the UN?? Oh and btw, Gautham is spelt with an ‘h’!

    I love trains and there’s a romance about them, a charm. A charm I miss, even. But they also signify, machinery, struggle, something monotonous and not much pleasure or joy. Lataji’s rendition of a bhajan or a song. Like Pt. Joshi. Or Anti -Virus Salesman’s pull off Caddick into the stands, a sweep off Shane Warne to midwicket. I could go on. Are pleasure and joy not important in today’s coaching-class-world?? Do we not need the Amygdala in our brains?? Is what the frontal lobe tells us more important??

    And might I quote now. A quote about, what else, but trains:
    “On a train from Shimla to Delhi, there was a halt in one of the stations. The train stopped by for few minutes as usual. This undeserving anti-virus salesman was nearing century, batting on 98. The passengers, railway officials, everyone on the train waited for this undeserving anti-virus salesman to complete the century. This Genius can stop time in India!!”

    • Is your last sentence a little hyped and clichéd ? The point the blogger is making here is simple – We are not seeing what we must see, we are seeing only what we like to see, which is absolutely wrong.

    • You are deifying what is happening in India, and we are criticizing exactly that. If sachin stops time, who does it benefit, certainly not thousands of others who have somewhere to go, something to do with their lives rather than sit and applaud someone’s centuries. A sreedharan would impact millions of Indians and enthuse them to work hard, of what use is Sachin’s hundred but to himself? This is in no way meant to offend Sachin, Lataji or any of the artists. I am a music connoisseur and musician myself and tremendously enjoy listening to these artists. They have committed themselves to exceling in whatever field they have chosen. Let’s emulate that instead of just being by-standers to other’s success.

      • Don’t say that Sachin was not offended in this article. I have learnt a lot from this article and its a great tribute to Dr. Sreedharan except where there is a blame for choosing musicians etc. for Bharat Ratna. You are talking about commitment from musicians, what about commitment from Sachin. Can you even think of the pressure he carries each time he is out there? You are simply not treating everybody equally here …. just to make your point.

        • Don’t want to get melodramatic and all, but Hasn’t Sachin already got the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the highest award meant for a sportsman? He is already at the peak of his field.

          But the field for Bharat Ratna, belongs to people who work for the country. And I am sorry to say, not one of Sachin’s hundred hundreds has made India a better place to live in. Argue against it, but that is a fact.

          Also, staying with Sachin, what example are you setting to the future generations, if you honour a guy, who has not shied away from misusing his fame and influence to garner favours for himself?

          We really need to start distinguishing our real heroes from make believe ones.

  21. Thank you for this post because it highlights the achievements of the great Sreedharan in a detailed manner. A few years ago I was looking for details like these and could never find them.

    Would you mind putting this on wikipedia as well. Or at least provide a link to this article on his wiki page.

    Thanks for such a post again

  22. Excellent !!! Lets keep spreading this news !!!

  23. Well written article. I agree with the points you made except for those on Lata Mangeshkar and other music talents. Every person contributes their own way to a nation’s progress. Your article falters in a making a case for Dr. Sreedharan by chastising others.

    Dr. Sreedharan has done our nation proud time and again and there should be no reason not to award Bharat Ratna to him, if most people think so, as I’m not a big fan of the concept of awards.

  24. He is the white knight of India. A hero that our country needs but does not deserve!

  25. Simply great , i knew about him but not this well .

  26. Pingback: ashwinnaik.com » Metro-Sreedharan-Madrasi! What a man

  27. instead of bharat ratna
    a new award


    should be started





  29. I don’t know if Bharat Ratna deserves E Sreedharan, but E Sreedharan definitely deserves such a funtastic write-up!

  30. If you keep writing this way you are not far away.
    Great work man.

    • Far away from what?

      • Far away from the award you have been talking in your article.
        A few days ago read your article “How Kingfisher flew high on the money of taxpayers” It was an eye opener how the hard earned money fuels the jets of corporates.

        • Dude, Award and me?? You must be kidding 🙂 There are much better people at this, than me.

        • I didn’t like the end of this article where you mentioned the names of a few big personalities.We need not judge who didn’t deserved it and to some extent i agree with Gautham.Try to keep yourself away from anything that maligns your writing.
          Touch sky…

        • No writer should stay away from mentioning his personal take on an issue. If he feels the musicians are less deserving than nation builders then so be it – Trying to make it politically correct will make the entire exercise futile.

          I am of the view that Sreedharan the great builder be kept away from the Bharat Ratna and be awarded a people’s award – Folks in our country doing their damn job would be the greatest award a sincere man like him can expect.

  31. basic amenties comes first and arts sports entertainment should come next… surely putting all these in one BHrat Ratna group is bad.. another exellent example is Sir M Vishweshraihya…… by building one dam in Karnataka he brought electricuty.. and food to so many people…

  32. excellent post…credit to dr.sreedharan has been long overdue….i would like to point out a correction regarding his life in his hometown pattambi,palakkad.his family were really well off and he was carried by a guy every time he stepped out to school or wherever during his childhood (yep,not kidding the custom is a ghost of kerala past) .

  33. Awesome ! But why aren’t the images displayed ??? I’ve read many articles here and none of them contained the proper images. I’ve tried reloading the page many times, JavaScript and Flash are also turned on but the images still aren’t displayed.

  34. Great Research!!!
    Bharat Ratna is not the parameter for an individual to be judged weather he has done a commendable job or not!!!
    It’s highly insignificant for people of high stature as Mr. Sreedharan Who has affected the life of an average Indian. Today our prime ministers are recipients of Bharat Ratna (for god knows why) , so it hardly makes sense for people like sreedharan to be recommended for it. And let me point out where half the nation is mad about 11 people running after a single ball and one man who is undoubtedly unflinching flawless guy in his arena but has done our nation no good. How could we expect rational thinking from such a bunch of naive individuals.
    Instead of recommending and starting a debate for the highest individual owner for a good Samaritan who has done his job in the best possible way, we should take cue from this man ans try to instill in ourselves his qualities, his beliefs, the ideals he stood by,
    That would be the truest sense of owner for Mr. Shreedharan.

    • I agree with your comments in that we are more obsessed with some body scoring a century in a game played by a minority of countries in the world than some of greatest heroes who achieved extrordinary feats for the betterment of India and Indians. Some times I wonder that the word “third world” applies to India perfectly because merit in proper context is not recognized in every aspect of our daily life.
      India can never be a Super Power since it is populated by mejority of backward people who tolerate wrong doing in every walk of life, be it traffic descipline or being unable to respect merit, nor respect for fellow Indians and no tolerance for alternate points of views or comments.

  35. It is amazing how much coverage Kalmadi gets and how little Mr. Sreedharan gets. This way we will end up knowing all the bad guys and no good guys. We should also talk about good guys. Keep it up. Lets also keep talking about good guys once in a while, even if it is not deliciously scandalous.

  36. brilliant stuff bro… well researched and a lot of cheek…wish more people knew how many more sreedharan’s arent in the limelight

  37. Very good article. Hope it catches some eyeballs. Sreedharan deserves to be honoured for the kind of impact he’s created

  38. The write up was like a movie to me ..but indeedTruly insightful…. Indeed Mr. Sreedharan is a hero and I believe many would dream to learn from him …..

  39. Great post! Thanks for amalgamating all this info into one concise post.

    I only have two concerns which are but minor issues (and mostly irrelevant to the topic, were they not mentioned in the post).

    1. There are many Dilli-wala’s who consider anyone south of Mumbai to be a Madrasi. Mostly they have a limited outlook, and overall not particularly interesting or cosmopolitan people (I grew up in Delhi). At the same time, I have met South Indians who don’t know the difference b/w Gujarat and Rajasthan, that Orissa is a distinctly different state from Bengal, or that Maithili is one of the national languages of India and spoken mainly in Bihar. There is ignorance on both sides, but arguments of this nature hold no place in such a wonderful blog.

    2. I am a great fan of Ustad Bismillah Khan and Pt. Bhimsen Joshi. Heck, I listen to and can identify certain ragas because of Bhimsen Joshi. To call them paid performers would be like calling Sreedharan an exceptionable employee who deserved a promotion, like a good mechanic who can fix my car w/o shortchanging me. I feel they have selflessly contributed to preserving an art form. I need not go into details, but Sreedharan deserving a Bharat Ratna does not belittle their achievements in any form. I am not sure of Rajiv Gandhi being awarded one though.

    • The dilliwala reference is just harmless humor man..Please don’t take it as my opinion on the people of that great city. Some of my best and most intelligent friends are dilliwalas.

      2. I just believe that, any artist, however good he is, does not deserve an award like Bharat Ratna. Give him a Padma Bhushan, Vibhushan tops, but not a Ratna. That is for people who made a real impact in the lives of ordinary people in India.Where guys like Dr Sreedharan/M.S Swaminathan/Baba Amte come in.

      An to be honest, an ordinary man cares a fig about Lata Mangeshkar/Bhimsen Joshi. Nor have they done things that will make a real difference in the lives of the people. No disrespect, but that is the truth.

      • Lata Mangeskar and Bhimsen Joshi haven’t made a difference to our lives?? Is smiling at their renditions not a difference to the rigamarole of our everyday lives?? Does a backfoot punch have no joy??

        Agreed a full tummy is essential. CS was honoured for his role in the Green Revolution and rightly so. But it’s not fair to belittle the arts or the pleasure it gives. It’s important for arts to be recognised to keep evolving as a society.

        • Lata and Mr.Joshi might have made a difference to hindi speaking and people of maharashra. Not the entire india. We should change our belief that bollywood and Hindistani music are the music of india since there are other more mdelodious and complex music systems in India. Just because they have sung in Hindi, that does not mean that they should be awarded Bharat Ratna. Sridharan is an exceptional case for Bharat Ratna for the contributions he has made to change the life of people.

      • Great article, although here are some points which I thought were biased:

        1. ‘The greatest achievement of India….’: It really seems to be the greatest achievement when we consider people like you, who judge the achievements based on where are person comes from, ‘Kerela’, ‘Madras’, dilliwalas and so on

        2. I do remember seeing news articles, in most of the online newspapers, where they mentioned that the metro man retired. I guess thats how you found it in the first place ? I would not expect a headline about a person who retires from a job, he excelled in his work and that’s been duly acknowledged.

        3. I bet more people would have heard songs by Lata Mangeshkar than would have travelled on the bridges constructed by Sreedharan. I would not be so judgmental as to consider some form of work/caste/class/region to be superior of other. Also you need to be an intellectual (nothing to do with your degree) to understand the importance of arts.

  40. Sir,
    I see that you have great regard for my work. But please do not speak ill of the Bharat Ratna. It is a symbol of our country’s pride.

    E Sreedharan

  41. Brilliant article.. I have become your fan after reading this article and the one on KFA.. your research is meticulous.. wonder what your sources are.. i’m digresssing.. Dr.Sreedharan’s work is unparalled i believe.. thanks to information junkies like you, he will be in public memory whether or not he gets the bharat ratna (which doesn’t deserve him, like you say).. one final question.. are you a journo?

  42. One such cyclone, hit the coastal town of Rameshwaram on 22nd of December, 1964. And it was a deadly one.

    Not so long ago, south of Rameshwaram, there used be a bustling town called Dhanushkodi. It had its own post office, customs office and even a Railway Station. My bet is most of you wouldn’t have heard about it. Why?

    Because on that fateful night, the Indian Ocean swallowed the entire town. More than 2000 Indians were killed. The ocean even ensured that, a passenger train which was beginning its last journey of the day at 11.15 P.M, made its last journey ever. If you still can’t imagine the ferocity of this cyclone, let me help you

    Dr Sreedharan finished the job in ..FORTY SIX 1962 DAYS…

    I’m a bit confused.. 1962 or 1964?

  43. Hey Sesh! Spent the past few hours reading a lot of your articles. I really admire your writing and the fact that you’ve spent so much time researching everything – any fact I google and it is quite precisely quoted in your text. Kudos!

  44. I am glad that I found this – and it would not be a hyperbole to say that I am totally stunned.
    Needless to say , I am going to follow your stories as of this second.

    Wish you well.

  45. You are scaring me. My opinions are now starting to totally depend on these blog posts of yours! Instead of trawling through the bbc/cnn/ndtv/rediff(don’t laugh)/washingtonpost/nytimes/aljazeera/hindu websites as I used to do, I now depend on you to give me the hot political titbit of the week.

    PS: You should syndicate your blog.

  46. Great write up! And amazed at the amount of research you have clearly put in!

  47. Thank you for this article. Blessed are the people who even praise such persons.

  48. The article is great in highlighting the achievements of Dr.Sreedharan and his contibution to Nation building. At the same time, typical of Indian mindset, it tries to bring out the contrast by belittitling the achievements to an extent of some other legends in their own right. Dr.Sreedharan ,however impactful his acheivements are, for a typical Indian middle class fabric,when he works for a Govt .machinery ,we always assume his work to be taken for granted.

    We alwyas revere a Sportsperson or an Artist or someone from the the Literary field in a different light.There is an Aura. A Lata Mangeshkar or an Yesudas (though not a Bharat Ratna) ,their songs sooth many Indians.Be it Siachen,Afghanistan ,Somalia Peace keeping or remote bylanes of India, it has its own usp.

    Sachin ,is the Toast of the nation.Its difficult to imagine an individual who cast his spell on a 3 yr old to 100 year ,spanning 2 decades,cutting across creeds,caste,class,educational system & even nations.

    You could have avoided reference to these great legends and this article would have been much better. It would have really the highlighted Dr.Sreedharan & Now this article sounds ,unfortunately, the same as myriad number of articles on pros and cons of Bharat Ratna.

    Dr.Sreedharan for sure deserves a Bharat Ratna or even if he doesn’t India will remember him !!

  49. Awesome ,am fortunate to have also been one of the foot soldiers so to say ,when we supplied critical track components to both the konkan and Delhi metro

    Experienced his no nonsense way of doing things

  50. Excellent Write up… To be very honest, I didnt know neither did I ever hear about this great person called Dr. Sreedharan… The facts which has been so beautifully brought out in your write up is really an eye opener to me and I believe the thousands or lakhs of people like me… Thank you for sharing this wonderful story…

  51. proud to be a civil engineer!

  52. One of the best articles I have read…I appreciate the way you have taken the efforts to collect the pictures and come up with such a fabulous article..i think u too deserve a ‘hats off’ for showing to the world about Dr.Sreedharan…respect.

  53. Wow fantastic commentary. Excellent writing, snaps and level headed thinking.


  54. I appreciate every bits & pieces of the article, great work ! I like the way u presented, this is better than ur previous one on Mallya.

    My point here is – He definitely wud not have thought of highest civilian award when he is doing all that mission impossible he jus did it with shear dedication & passion.

    For such a man with honest & dignity even In rest of his life if he is not honoured It may not mean to him.

    Try to be modest when you put across your message. It will bring accolades to u as a writer.

    Great work kailpulla … Keep going

  55. The article is so heart-touching. This is how India is distinct from the rest of the world. Here individuals outgrow the system and the Government. I salute to Dr.Sredharan. Forget the medal and the controversy around it, he is already the real Bharat Ratna.

  56. There are people who Bharat calls ratna…and there are people who make Bharat.. a Ratna…Screw the first..grow the latter…

    Needless to say, brilliantly written and well researched.

  57. Brilliant write up. The last sentence I think, sums it all up. I think he shouldn’t be given the Bharat Ratna for that simple reason…

  58. You rock!!!
    That is all.

  59. even today, there are many engineers and bureaucrats doing commendable jobs for the citizens, even after taking minimal pay as compared to their MNC counterparts..

  60. Bharat ratna should be given to an individual who has impact on the Indian public in bettering their standard of living, unfortunately sachins, latas, all are only entertainers, paid for their work…if sachin had played cricket without taking any money, only what is required for survival..then probably he could have been considered…at least as a free entertainer….India will never develop..it will remain as it is or rather go to dogs as the future nears…

  61. Thank you for a great article. It would be interesting to know how Dr.Sreedharan manages these things. I wonder how 3 idiots reached IIM/Management schools, or how Lalu Prasad Yadav reached management schools. I dont hear Dr.Sreedharan’s methods being discussed there!

  62. Great article and lot of information…. Thank you for the effort for preparing this… and you said right, Bharath Ratna doesn’t desereve Sreedharan..

    Hoping to see the Kochi Metro running with 99.9999 % accruacy..

  63. OMG !! You are an inspiration !! A gr8 one !! Cheers

    TheKaipullai: Dude…If the link is relevant or adds value to the post, I will add it. Otherwise, no. Please understand.

  64. Good Blog….
    But could have avoided un necessory remarks.
    Media does report about Sreedharan’s exit. I have read several reports in various papers and all reports were good.
    Also dont understand y you have to downplay something to highlight ES. True, Sachin did struck at 99 but come on boss, ITS 99 CENTURIES. A record which no one may be able to break in our lifetime!
    You can allege that govt changed norms to give Bharat Ratna to Sachin, but fact is that they didnt nominate Sachin atleast for this year.
    Boss, Bharat ratna is given for excellence not just for social work. And the musicians did deserve it, dont make ES another GODMAN

    • So you mean to say Dr Sreedharan is not excellent..

      No offence, but I will take Dr E Sreedharan, any day over SRT and his 99 centuries. And If god asks me to choose between another Tendulkar and another Sreedharan, you know who I will pick. However beautiful his straight drive it may be, it will not drive away hunger from India or make it an economic power.

      Things that Dr Sreedharan did, does both these things and many more. And that is what you should consider when you give awards like the Bharat Ratna.

      And there is a difference between a report and a tribute. Dr Sreedharan retiring, his successor, yadda yadda yadda is a report.

      This is a tribute. And please post any other tribute to Sreedharan that you may find by any Mainstream media website.

      • I don’t see your point in repetitive disliking for Sachin. Why can’t India have both and celebrate both? Why should ONLY Sreedharan be appreciated? I fully agree Sreedharan should be celebrated as much as we celbrate Sachin, but you can’t blame others’ accomplishments not worthy of Bharat Ratna. That angle of article makes it less worthy.

        • I am saying is, we have celebrated him enough by giving the Khel Ratna. He has already got the recognition that he deserves. And I firmly believe he does not deserve the Ratna.

          And you still haven’t answered my question. How has Sachin’s performance on the cricket field, made India a better country?

        • Would you say that cricket/music has brought nothing to this country? Forget about generalities, I can cite myself as one example. Sachin was a major inspiration in my life and his grit and commitment in 2004 Aus series has changed my life. You can’t just measure these things. You are talking about making India a better country. What better way to inspire people of India and show how to commit yourself to the task at hand and be a role model. But this article is getting convoluted by these unnecessary discussions. I would stop and just say hats off to Dr. Sreedharan!

        • Your points only serve to prove what I was saying..We Indians need to distinguish our real heroes from make-believe ones

        • Sachin like Sreedhiran is a master in his own field. it does not make sense to say that sports persons or movie stars does not contribute to national growth. No country can grow only on rails and structures. You need art, cinemas, sports etc. This makes a society complete. Millions of men , women and children stay glued to TV or cinemas watching Sachin or Shah Rukh in the same way as millions use facilities created by technocrats like Sreediharan.

          What is required is that country appreciate all such people instead of picking up only from one or two fields. Sreediharan deserves a national award for his selfless contribution towards improving the infrastructure and life of common person.

          A recent example is the death of two young ladies who were working as nurses in a renowned hospital in Calcutta. They died trying to save the lives of the hospital patients. Their commitment to duty and service is remarkable. No VIPs from the affected states even attended the cremation. As a nation we lack the commitment to duty and service, perhaps that would explain why we cannot honor people who serve unconditionally.

  65. Great Write up…A huge credit to Dr. E. Sreedharan for making things which make India proud. A great humble and modest great.

    But some suggestions and corrections….

    Dr. E Sreedharan was definitely a great man. But these projects were not only result of his dedication but ..it definitely includes scores of people contributed directly and indirectly.

    Panvel Via duct is not made by Dr. E. Sreedharan as written above in the article. It is designed and executed by L&T. What I am trying to say, things happen when people collaborate…and Dr. Sreedharan managed that collaboration successful.

  66. Really a nice article. You have researched alot to get all these details. I didnot have this much info about E. Sreedharan the great man who is from my place untill u gave it here. Really a nice article and above all really an eye opener for all those who are only interested in publicizing Aishawrya Rai’s delivery and Sachin’s 100th ton. We are all living in imaginary world of silver screen, where we believe that the things that films show are the only big things. Untill we come out of that world and live in real world we can’t compete with other contries.

    Great Thanks to E.Sreedharan and to you for letting us know about this great man. Sometimes people’s love and honor will over come any awards that corrupted politician’s give…

  67. According to Dr Sreedharan’s page on wikipedia, he was also in charge of the Calcutta metro – the one you have criticized heartily. I’ll agree with you if you say that the delay was not caused in any way by Sreedharan, but the strong criticism of Calcutta metro doesn’t quite help his reputation here, given the overall point you are trying to make.

    • He designed it…He was in charge of Investigation and Design. He had nothing to do with its construction.Hence, I believe that fiasco doesn’t tarnish his reputation in any which way.

  68. I always loved ES but after reading ur article I have started worshipping him.Indian need many more like him in every sphere of life. BUT…… well u know.

    Kudos to d writer,style of writing is fresh and engaging. keep up d good work!!!!


  69. Wonderful article ,Keep writing!

  70. Shesha – As usual its brillant ! Details of this article already discussed over the phone last week- so no specific comments on that.

    Really sick to see few people think that watching cricket, listening music makes a real difference to their lives ( what if there was no honest officials like sreedharan over all these years- these guys would still be happy in underdeveloped condition like africa with pathetic traffic, no proper roads, no electrification etc etc and still enjoy those so called music and sports ?? ). I am totally surprised to see how few people not able to differentiate what makes “real difference to life of people ” and entertainment . Junks !

    Again i am repeating my words – Hope you understand your strength and do what comes naturally to you and not follow any social order and become another corporate slave ! . You are a talented writer- i would suggest you to give serious thought about careers like investigative journalism, fiction writing etc

  71. A eye opener for me!! I am ashamed with myself, that being a keralite, i did not have this much of information about Mr.Sreedharan! I have been a silent supporter for Sachin for Bharat rtna! I change my stand now, if anyone gets barat ratna, it should be Dr.Sreedharan first, then rest may follow!!!

  72. Just spell bounded…He is the real hero and believe me after reading your article he has become my role model more than he was in the past…
    You are just brilliant , I love your way of penning down your thoughts…Shed more light on us through your articles…:)

  73. If it wasnt for this Article I wouldnt have know Mr Sreedharan for his achievements for a long long time. I think its the medias fault that the credit to this fine achiever for what he has done for Indians is not justified even a little bit. For what you have mentioned in the last even the Bharat Ratna wouldnt justify his achievements.

  74. I really liked the way you told the story.
    What is commendable is the time and effort you took to bring it to people’s attention.
    You have some talent in writing, I normally do not read such long articles but this one compelled me to read on. Why don’t you try your hand at writing for some paper, have a larger audience and create a bigger impact.

  75. Absolutely Brilliant !!! Especially liked the ending….Yes the Bharat Ratna does not Deserve the Great man….

  76. The level of your research is just amazing.
    Truly the He-man did an amazing job.
    Had some issues with the rivalry between north Indian and south Indian theory now i have one more proof to back my theory.
    The same is true with Dennis Ritchie. He and Steve Jobs died in the same month. But not even the mention of the man who made it all work.

  77. KS

    Take a Bow

    Ur writing skills backed with the research is amazing

    Keep it up

  78. I am speechless with awe n respect!!
    God Bless You Dr Sreedharan!

  79. Sports & arts is last when it comes to priorities in a nation of a billion people,so much so that country halts for days when little master bats.No wonder Indian has no medals to show in Olympics or any multi even sports.Now don’t start pointing to cricket and the teams defeats.
    Fortunately, the improvished African nations with hardly any infrastructure like Kenya ,so to say ,or Ethiopia,ulterly malnourishned,comes up with a Haile Gebrselassie,who gives ,even for a moment,a feeling which uplifts a Nation.
    Lets not penalize Tendulkar for his brilliance & bracket him as a mere entertainer.The pleasure and joy he gives to millions is unmatched.The same with artists be it Yesudas or Lata Mangeshkar.They may not have done to your life ,for millions over last 2 decades in the case of Sachin,he has given some joy & for Yesudas ,he still continues to do so after many decades.
    Dr.Devi Shetty of Narayan Hridayala is a Doctor. Whether if he ever will be considered for such honour,debatable,as he seems to be unfortunately carrying out his profession.hmmm! Ask Pakistan .They would surely would bestow him their highest civilian award.

    Dr.Sreedharan is a gem and among the list of visionaries and honest officials who done well for the nation.

    Lets appreciate all such people irrespective of the fields they excel in instead of weighing them down for no fault of theirs ,which really shouldn’t have been especially with the article which shifts the focus from the man.

  80. Dear Writer,

    Your write up sure will enable, hundreds and thousands of young minds ,to identify a role model in
    a century where there is acute scarcity of role models.

    It therefore can be compared to a drizzle on a hot madras summer day. By publizing on the www you have made the world identify the three important qualities for guaranteed success.

    SIMPLICITY,SINCERITY AND HONESTY.(values taught in average Indian households)

    The short ,yet comprehensive, tribute to this great man will put murmurs, about the relevance of the above mentioned qualities in the current century, to rest.

    you have not only introduced him as a role model for the Indian youth but an icon for everyone across agegroups and across countries to emulate.

    He ,in my opinion , is VISHWA RATHNA.



  81. Great article. Catchy style.

    Not all folks from Delhi equate South India with Madras, though. It doesn’t always have to be North vs South India, man.

  82. Awesome. What a man!
    Thank you for telling us as it is!

  83. Nicely researched article with all the ingredients to sell it and make people write (back) about it (even though in some negative tone). Everyone (I have read each of the comments) is right here (since everyone has freedom of speech). And I would like to take this opportunity to concisely point out what everyone has pointed out here and add a little more.

    1. Dr. E Sreedharan is a great man with a mountain of dedication, intellect and perseverance to have accomplished all that we know now – So, instead of making him a demi-God let’s celebrate that a Human being with right mix of qualities can achieve what he has and try to emulate him (not entire life) but the right qualities.

    2. To praise one for good things is okay, but trying to pull other(s) down to praise another is not necessary and even wrong (unless it is purely meant to incite other’s to follow your article, even-if it’s in a negative tone). I said pulling others down is wrong, because your logic of pulling others down is based on the fact others are not God people made them to be and they are simply human beings with talent – And going by the same logic praising Dr. Sreedharan to the extent where he becomes God (for public) is wrong. So what ultimately would happen is someone with int,erest in some other field which a critical mass of people follows can influence public opinion with facts, figures and pictures about a great talent in that field to make that talent a demi-God.

    a) Who knows Dr. Sreedharan himself is Lata or Tendulkar fan, and you might hurt him in a article that is meant to praise him.
    b) I read one comment (apparently from Dr. Sreedharan himself) requesting people from belittling Bharat Ratna.

    3. This is my personal opinion that this article was born out of the angst that Bharat Ratna losing it’s value (due to political apathy and interests), angst that a person like Dr. Sreedharan who made great tangible contributions to Indian Society is not recognized appropriately by media and public in general, angst that public memory in India is highly short-lived and solves no tangible purpose, etc. etc.

    I sincerely believe the article would have been highly positive if it wouldn’t have been born out of angst of different natures and instead born out of a question on what tangible and intangible qualities made Dr. Sreedharan what he is today. But it’s not the blogger’s fault as he has put in a nicely researched article with lot of positives to take home about a man who really has made India a better place to live and also added a bit of negatives without which the article would be read by only a few.

  84. Great article!!!!An eye opener!!!!!

  85. I agree, Dr Sreedharan should not be given the Bharat Ratna. Because the Bharat Ratna does not deserve a man like Dr Sreedharan.

    Why not request the mercurial gentleman to have a look at the Aviation Industry in Air India, maybe we’ll have something reliable.

    We can’t afford to waste such incomaparable talent to go sit idle while others are raping the economy / system.

  86. One word – EXCELLENT.

  87. One of the best articles read in recent times. I have known most of the details of this great stature and was a great recepeint of his works. Kudos to this man. As rightly said, Bharat Ratna doesnt deserve this man, just like Mahatma Gandhi .

  88. during the delhi metro construction, there were lots of accidents claiming many a laborours life. the project was said to cursed as well. And once Dr Sreedharan stepped down assuming the moral reponsibility of Accident. But the CM of delhi Sheila Dishkit didn’t accept his resignation and was asked to continue till metro is out for public. A simple man with meticulous standards. A man of sheer will power and deteremination. I got these facts from newspaper @2008 , thgt of sharing… way to go really apprreciable , vibrant write up. to be honest could have left out kamraj’s reference. He was in a league of his own, untainted and simple politician with high moral values

  89. Reblogged this on Flame Of Orodruin and commented:
    This refreshed the memory of my dad telling me about this superman’s feat when the Konkan Railways line was built.

  90. Great Write up for a Great Man.

  91. kudos nice read….flyovers do destroy the beauty of any place..we should look for underground transportation..

  92. Hey Sesh !

    Awesome work 🙂 Keep it up!

  93. Good writing Rahchand, well researched and hats off to your work.We ‘d read about Dr.E.Sreedharan’s good work on all the metros and the Konkan railways,but the work on Pamban bridge is unbelievable/awe inspiring, especially if you’ve travelled to rameshwaram .Overall great piece of writing and can’t disagree with most of what you’ve written, Dr.Sreedharan is already a Bharath Ratna whether the government agrees to confer or not !

  94. Thanks for the write up dude. At least his glory shines through these blogs

  95. I think Dr. Sreedharan should be the next President of India! No Bharat Ratan; this award has no recognition…all the “Gaanay bajaanay, bhaands/actors get it, no big deal. After APJ Kalam, this marathi Bai and her stupid hiubby ain’t no good and now she is requesting for an extension!!!. We need heroes like Dr. Sreedharan for a better civic society…and sense and his preseidency could bring a positive change in the way we live in India! As a matter of fact, its the South Indians who have made our country proud, whether in the field of IT, outsourcing, technology or even hospitality. North Indians were foodies and they will die being foodies only!! I love South India…right from discipline to roads to neat and clean railways; these states and most importantly the people – have it in them because they Value and nurture what they have unlike us North Indians who lack basic common sense. Simple living & high thinking – the essence of our Incredible India which starts and ends in the South!

  96. Really an interesting article-enlightened after reading this article-How many when given an opportunity can work like Dr.Sridharan-atleast in my next birth,I should do some thing..that is my desire..

  97. what an achievement-I am not even fit enough to give this appreciation-even that is required..Godwilling in my next birth I need to achieve something like Dr.Sridharan..

  98. Three Salutes to the Great Indian, Great human being. May God give him all good health to do more Great things for India & Indians. He is a living Legend. Kudos to him.

  99. I am from Kerala, I am thirty years old and I read news papers almost everyday, But till now what I know about Dr. E Sreedharan was that, he built a metro in Delhi. I am really thrilled to know about him and utterly sad if I didn’t have read this here , either I will never hear these or I may hear it as a eulogy if he happened die before me. Thanks a lot my friend….

  100. Very informative article about an outstanding engineer who made a magnificent contribution to the nation.

  101. IT IS A MATTER OF TIME FOR METROMAN – NO -THE INFRAMAN OF INDIA TO GET BHARATH RATHNA, in India one has to vanish to get accolades

  102. Hey please do share on social networking sites……

  103. Well written and I agree with all that’s been jotted down here. But I’d like to point out a few things.

    Dr.Sreedharan was spared the trouble of innovation because of the mere fact , all he had to do was copy the best models there were adopted in other countries and try implementing them in India ! All his achievements you’ve mentioned were just firsts for India but multiple nations had achieved that before !

    Besides, regarding British having dumped the Konkan Railway plans, they didn’t do it, not because they couldn’t do it but since they didn’t want to waste their money it. Remember, the Railways, British built were for their economic benefits , not for saving time of Indians !

    If there is one reason why Dr.Sreedharan should be given Bharath Ratna, it’s for proving that models of the Western World and East Asian can be successfully copied in India , not for innovations because all that’s he’s done , China, Japan and South Korea (even Britain and France constructed the Chunnel, a far more innovative venture) have been doing for ages , right from 1960s !

    Not sure if any other country would confer their highest honours on someone who just had to look at other nations for innovations !

    M S Swaminathan is much more deserving of a Bharath Ratna than E.Sreedharan IMHO ! Saving lives of millions is a far more important achievement !

    • Its very easy to sit in front of a computer and say it is copied and it is worthless. If u had managed at least a small project singlehandedly, I am sure u didn’t have made such a comment..

    • So if everything according to you was easy and was already done in the west, why did

      1. Calcutta Metro take so long?
      2. Why is the LA still in testing stage, 26 years after it was conceived?

      So many examples to show you how western copies do not work in India. And when a guy brings western levels of efficiencies to Indian shores, he could not have done it without innovation.

      Also why do you think the Konkan railway would not have been economically beneficial to the Britishers?

      Not sure if any other country would confer their highest honours on someone who just had to look at other nations for innovations!

      By this statement of yours, then no one in India deserves a Bharat Ratna except politicians. As they are the only ones not copying from the west. JRD Tata also does not deserve his Ratna, nor does Babasaheb Ambedkar. Just realize the hollowness of your statement.

    • Please! MS Swaminathan sold out all our native variety of rice to the US, imported hibrids, and now we have to struggle to “buy” our own rice back!
      His Agricultural Revolution, was what infused all our soil with pesticides and we now have non-nutritious and unhealthy food grains and obesity in 73% of middle class indian school kids!

      We all know that to get anything to work in our Indian red Tape and system in itself deserves a Bharat rathna? Even something as simple as waiting at a red light while everyone is honking at you urging you not to follow rules takes so much of strength and energy in this nation. It is not that people haven’t stopped at red lights in other parts of the world. It is just much tougher to do so here!

      It is not a prize for innovation, it is a prize for achievement.

  104. Very nice article. Felt so proud and inspired by Dr. Sreedharan. He deserves the highest honour of our country. My best wishes to Sreedharan Sir for his prosperous retired life and hope he gets what he deserves as a successful Govt servant, and ultimately cherishes to be the Man which every Indian feels proud of.

    KS: Thanks for introducing such a great Man to so many people by a beautiful write up in which I specially liked the placing of appropriate images to make the reading more easy and to have a greater impact. Appreciate your effort!!!

    Only one thing being, all the way you tried to make people get inspired by this great personality, and also tried to engage them using interesting quotes, but some of which are not worthy to be in this page, like that of dilliwalas-madrasi comment, AV salesman and some music legends. I am sure majority of people who read this article would have felt bad by those comments. Till that point whatever positiveness filled the readers mind might have got lessened with such small ignorant comments at the end. Hope you understand.

    • I think you are making too big a deal out of the dilli-south Indian statement. It was intended to be a joke. Don’t give it too much importance.

      As for the anti-virus salesman and Lata Mangeshkar, well it is my personal opinion that they should not and shouldn’t have got the Bharat Ratna. I just penned it down. It is only to a degree that one can remain politically correct you know 🙂

      • I can understand what your intentions were while putting them down.
        Respect your opinions.
        Since your blog is now such a famous one and I wish it hits more screens day by day… it’s just my suggestion for your future write ups so that your intention and purpose of the article is met, at the same time it should not score negative with some small things like these. Yeah I agree that, what ever it is, we can never be politically correct when we have to speak our mind. 🙂
        It was not at all my intention to make any big deal of your points… since you gave freedom to comment and give our feedback, it was just what came to my mind that I can give though I might not be a qualified person to do that.

        Thanks for the great articles again, especially the Indian history were so well written.

  105. It is really a good research. Recommendations are there for one who wants to complete his 100th century for his personal world record. We are seeing how miserably he has been failing. He does not utter any word for his exit neither others do. Dr Sreedharan will be an apt person for Bharat Ratna Award. People should unanimously voice his name for the said award.

  106. Great article!!

    There is no doubt about the brilliance of the man. But in atleast one project (Delhi Metro), there was political/administrative support.For instance, land acquisition for Delhi Metro was done under emergency clauses(ironically the same clauses that are causing tribal/farmer unrest) which greatly speeded up the construction. Dr. Sreeedharan and his team were exempt from CVC investigation/guidelines (it allowed him to select the best and the most appropriate tech for the metro, no need for tenders).The japanese loan was sanctioned with due efforts of the indian govt. Currently DMIC is having trouble attracting finance and the Indian govt. is going overdrive to find investors for the project. The (Metro) loan was sanctioned at a very low interest rate, allowing the metro to become a profitable venture. Even when the ‘pillar collapse’ controversy emerged, there was political support for him. His resignation letter was not accepted.
    It is clear that when civil servants are given extraordinary powers, combined with political will and commitment on the part of the bureaucracy, miracles can happen (Polio eradication?). This is not to take any credit away from Dr. Sreedharan. Delhi Metro would not have been what it is today without him.

  107. I cursed myself for not knowing about this blog. Today chanced upon this because of a tweet by Kalyan Varma on the Kingfisher scam article here, and I am here for the last 2 hours. Your research is very appreciated. Thank God you are online and not in any of those paid news papers/magazines!

    And your line that Bharat Ratna does not deserve ES is what calmed me down. Truly said!

  108. and here’s one more trivia…
    T.N Sheshan, the famous Election Commissioner, who made every Indian atleast hear the word ‘Election Commision’ for the first time, was a classmate of E.M.Sreedharan at school. They were 2 competing friends…. 🙂

  109. Awesome article, and I didn’t know till now that he was the one who was behind the super efficient re-building of the Pamban bridge! Thank you fro the info. Have shared this article on FB. Well worth it.

    However, as true as it is that many not so deserving people get these prestige awards and devalue them in the process, to say that musical geniuses do not contribute to the well being of the society is terribly wrong!

    Without art, music and sports, the rest of our well being would be compromised. There would be more terror in this world, and less happiness. More people would be turning violent or unproductive without the creative and recreational adrenalin rush that these bring. The secret behind getting a child who never concentrates or “scores” academically, to up his/her grades and retention power, is to make sure that he/she plays more outdoors, and has at least half an hour a day of creative outlet! I am not kidding!

    The next time you are feeling unproductive and frustrated, or find anger clouding your reason, sit down and listen to some good, straight-from-the-heart music, or immerse yourself in a Van Gogh painting, or go and kick a ball, or even sing or do some clay modelling yourself… You’ll find your concentration, productivity and efficiency will be far better than ever before when you return to your work! It is a HUGE contribution to the nation and it’s progress.

    So let’s not devalue another person’s work in order to see how fantastic Dr.Shreedharan’s achievements are. You don’t need to. They speak for themselves on their own!

  110. Totally awesome..sharing

  111. I feel Bharata Ratna award is for people who give lot of “Ratnas” to our so called Ruling Class (“Idotic Rulers” born to sell India).

  112. Great piece. E. Sreedharan is an inspiration indeed. He is actually one of the few such people who are well recognized in the media. If I recall right – E. Sreedharan has been conferred the Padma Vibhushan in 2008.

  113. Extremely well researched and written. I didn’t know of this man’s contributions besides the Delhi Metro.

    • I would like to add that the Bharat Ratna should be given to people who’ve made the most impact on India, and have put India on the map in their fields. It is India’s highest civilian honor, and I think we shouldn’t slight the achievements of people in the entertainment business. Their contributions to our wellbeing aren’t as obvious as those of people like Dr. Sreedharan. It is an award for excellence, and should be kept that way.

      Saying that people pay more attention to a test match loss than recognize a man’s contribution is no different from me shirking studies to watch TV. We listen to hearts more than heads. If you gave 100 people this article, and say Dr. Sreedharan deserves a Bharat Ratna, I doubt a significant percentage would disagree.

  114. You are making me see the country I lived in for 26 years in a new light. Thank you.

  115. I rarely comment on blogs but after reading this one, I could not resist. In India, the real-life heroes are seldom showcased or recognized. We got to change this attitude and blog posts are these are a great effort.

  116. I was so moved by your blog that I created this petition for awarding the Bharat Ratna to this great man. Please have a look and sign, everyone!! And spread the word. Thank you!

  117. I am rarely reply these blogs.
    In this case I thought this is serious subject .
    I also strongly recommend for Mr. E.Shreedharan who is a deserving person for BHARAT RATNA
    for his achievements through out years.

  118. Another great article! Brilliantly written.
    Once again, I feel your temperament’s a bit off. Try not to compare objectively. You have a great talent which in a few ways surpasses academic/journalistic endeavours, in that it’s powerful and heartfelt. You put the pulse to words. And we do feel it.
    But I did point out once (although I’m nobody) that you must be neutral in your tone.
    And I love Konkan Railways! I consider them a Marvel of (now not so) Modern Engineering!
    In my words..

    \m/ Dr. E. Sreedharan \m/

  119. Excellent write-up Krishna…You must have done a lot of research to produce this…hope to read more blogs like this in the future….All the Best…

  120. I’ve always been an E.Sreedharan fan but your research managed to make this article an absolute eye opener for me. Words can’t really be elaborate enough to speak about your intelligence, Krish. You don’t even need a ‘keep-it-up’, you’ve always had it in you. Thank you for causing the the much needed awareness. Society is blessed to have people like you!

  121. Excellent article. I really wish that Dr. Sreedharan gets Bharat Ratna. At the same time, I have no problems in seeing great personalities in different fields such as science, engineering, economics, music, sports, sociology, politics etc also getting Bharat Ratna since they are all Ratnas of Indian society. Personally, I believe that the sportsperson who wins gold in his field consistently at a global level deserves Bharat Ratna more than a great cricketer until cricket also becomes a truely global game. Give him the “Best Ever Cricketer of India ” award. That’s just my opinion.

  122. Nice writeup. Hats off to Mr. E Shreedharan. He is deserving person for BHARAT RATNA award.

  123. So, the bottom line is, Ram Guha can shove it, unsung heroes like Sreedharan truly belongs to makers of modern India.

  124. Today I came to know about a Great person. I don’t know about him much, except for Delhi Metro. Yes you are right Bharat ratna doesn’t deserve this METRO MAN of INDIA.

  125. Bharat ratnas are now days given to only the people from whom there could be polictical mileage to the ruling party. Dr E Sreedharan definitely deserved the highest award. I feel the real persons who are changing the lives of the people are not given worthy credit. Though such people do the work without expecting awards, what could be gained giving to award to them is that the most of youth will see them as role models. Abdul kalam and Anna hazare are inspiring some of the youth.

  126. Bharat Ratna is decided by committee headed by politicians. So no chance for Dr.Shredharan.
    In Nehrus’s time Dr. Vishveshvarya got the award. In Vajpayee time, Lata mangeshkar got it.
    But, then they were more of statesman than politicians.

  127. Read it…enjoyed it..shared it…

  128. An excellent blog, I have come across recently. There appears to be no exaggeration anywhere in the blog. Dr.Sreedharan’s works are worth to be emulated. Whether he gets Bharath Ratna or not but he himself has demonstrated to be so . I can only wish May his tribe increase.!

  129. Dude.. you should seriously take up directing & creating at least small 10 minute short-films [since we all already know mainstream full-time cinema is a Sun-TV-Maran-Nidhi black-money converting exercise in intellectual stupidity]. I’ve recently (couple months back) seen “Food Inc” & “Waiting for Superman” – and those were wonderfully envisioned & created – and reading this piece (like all of the other articles I’ve read here) instantly flooded me with the same emotions of watching those docu-s.
    I can’t begin to imagine (let alone describe in words) the effect of your writing. If you ever publish a book, do let me know.
    NOTE: “All I can do is suggest you to go here, here and here” – the 3rd here seems to not “link” anywhere. You may want to oil-up the HTML a bit?
    God Bless the good doctor – and God Bless you for blogging.

  130. Has Dr Sredharan got the Arrears he was fighting the GOI for the last 8 Yrs?
    Can someone update the desired info


  132. Dear Great work We are with you to support…

  133. Fantastic description of a man who always chose to remain low profile and do his job with a cool head. It is national shame that such persons are not acknowledged. In a country obsessed with movies and cricket, this is predictable. However, let us keep this message going on and on. Hats off to KS for compiling this. Probably years later, this could find way into CBSE text books.

  134. Great work done……We all indians should vote for him

  135. India must not only salute to him but get inspired by his practice and faith in a country which infested by corrupt politicians. These good unknown people who toil without limelight to just fulfill their dreams. Their dreams are so empowered that it shapes up like a dream for everyone. The stats of Konkan Railway was amazing. Let us behold these great men & find many more such people who are still toiling behind without any recognition. A true eg of “Ask not what your country can do for yo,u ask what you can do for your country”.

  136. dude KS,
    This article was amazing..I am thinking of becoming a fan of your articles…. 😀

    Great write….

    E. Shreedharan is now actually being requested by every possible State govt. from his own Home State Kerala, Kochin Metro Rail to Rajasthan Metro Rail Project who has only one condition : NO INTERFERENCE FROM GOVT.

    That’s a man every Indian should aspire to…..

  137. Hey, great blog you have here. Would love to read more about Indian history….just the way you write makes me wanna read history all over again…the real one, not what we have in schools!

  138. Highly deserving personality to be honoured with the highest civilian award of the Land “Bharatratna”. Hope the concerned authorities would give this simplest man value for his contribution to the Nation as a whole. Viswanathan

  139. Seshu thala … over range article.. just now started reading your blog.. got hooked .. keep em coming 😀

  140. Mr. Sreedharan has to be honoured with “Bharat Ratna”.

    The research done by the author is really praiseworthy.

  141. Why oh why did they not get Dr. Sreedharan for Mumbai Metro?
    BTW, govt is least bothered about common man’s privacy. They have built foot over bridges all over the suburbs that pass within 3 feet of a second floor window. Only people who use the bridges are the perverts who want to peep into people’s homes. Imagine keeping windows shut and curtains drawn all day and night for the rest of your life. Its true. Visit any suburb on Central or Western line near the station.

  142. My salutations to this Bhumiputra who is a chiranjeevi in the technological field

  143. Thank you so much sir for letting us know about Sreedharan Sir is. I just knew he did a great job for konkan and Delhi Meto, never knew him to this extent.

    Great Man, seriously. And people will come to know about him slowly.

  144. great article… I wonder if we will have people with such qualities and skill do exist today

  145. well done…..may such creed multiply

  146. Excellent article. Really enjoyed reading it. I always wish that we had more people like him, MS Swaminathan, Abdul Kalam, Dr Verghese Kurien, JRD Tata and many more like them, who have made huge positive contributions to our country.
    IMHO most of these people are above awards…they are karmayogis who are able to rise above such recognition, or even the lack of it.
    Also, while you are entitled to your opinion about the past Bharat Ratna awardees, and about SRT, you may want to think about some of the qualities/strengths/values that these individuals had/have, which if even 10% of our population imbibes, would make our country a more humane one. I have a feeling that if you look at these people you will find that there is a lot of overlap …it is just that the context in which it was/is applied is different.

  147. Chanced upon your blog via FB reco..have been here for the past 4 hours going through all your article and have become a fan – a huge one already .Am sending the link to all my like minded friends. Please continue to do what you do..Congrats.

  148. Thank you for taking the time and energy required to write this article. Not just write it, but to do so in a way that no reader drops off a few paras down the start. A lot of people are socially conscious and do take the time to bring about awareness. But to mix in charisma and engaging writing is what makes them successful at it…

  149. I am just happy that in a country with a billion population (or more) at least one took the time to research on the common man Dr. E.Sreedharan’s achievement . I guess this article itself is an achievement as it had come from a “common man”.

  150. you forgot to mention, he was consulted for building Karachi metro…

  151. though i agree with drawing a line between social good and ‘mere’ entertainment and also our opinion on suitability of Bharat Ratna, the world would be a dull place without the arts, music and other pursuits. There is no need to belittle the amount of joy they have contributed to innumerable lives. The pain that you feel that Mr.ES would be unsung is unjustified as you can see from the response to your article. Whether this appreciation needs an endorsement from the government? I think not. If your article intills the same kind of committment in some of us, then I am sure he (ES) would feel rewarded enough. Is this thought process escapist? May be!

    In addition to fast travel and lessening of travails, a person needs the vicarious pleasure and sense of achievement of excelling at world platform. SRT probably delivered this as a part of ‘Indian’ cricket team. Again, whether it requires a government endorsement? I certainly think not.

    I also agree that many wrong people may have been awarded with Bharat Ratna for various reasons, but we should also celebrate the right people who have been recognised and strive to see to that more and more right people get nominated. But right people don’t care much about it anyways:)

  152. Great article about a remarkable man. Wonderful writing, Sesha. I’m bookmarking your blog and looking forward to reading more of your postings.

    I also enjoy reading the comments. Whilst they (like me) disagree with a few things you have said, they do not deny the quality and passion behind this post; and any criticism is not doused in vitriol, abuse and personal attack. Kudos to all comment writers for making such online interaction just what it should be.

  153. Hey, After reading this article i really got disappointed as well as happy (inspired). Disappointed because today, from morning i have wasted all my time just peeping into somebody else life by the help of great (arse hole) Facebook… Go to hell Facebook…..
    Now am happy and completely clear in my mind that wat to do in life after all india is not that bad place to be. We can definately build it to great heights. God bless Mr. Sreedharan and also bless me to work atleast 20% like this man.
    Also thank Kaipullai.. Its very gud article.

  154. How about E. Sreedharan for President of India ?

    If all concerned citizens talk about it on the various media available it might even be possible.

    Anybody better than the current President.

  155. Just fantastic!! What a great article and kudos to the author for doing the research. A big question that comes to mind is what were Sri Sreedharan’s methods for doing what he did. I am sure there are lots of very good lessons that can be inspiration for many others. I hope he or someone else writes his biography..

  156. Excellent Article,,,worth your time!!!

  157. Great piece of writing.. I have gone through many blogs, but this particular article made me to comment for the first time… You have perfectly researched before writing this article. Dr Sreedaran has an impeccable record in his tenure at office which could not be challenged by anyone in the society and he deserves Indian’s Highest civilian honor. If u grant me the permission, I would like to put this article in my blog with appropriate citation.. I just loved it so much 🙂

  158. great article.
    But u didn’t need to disrespect Sachin Tendulkar for this by calling him an actor. Also, u may need to check the description of Bharat Ratna before questioning the govt’s decision to give the award to Bismillah Khan, Lata Mangeshkar, Bhimsen Joshi etc. Well, see it for urself
    “Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian honour (File referring to external site opens in a new window) , given for exceptional service towards advancement of Art, Literature and Science, and in recognition of Public Service of the highest order. ”
    Public service is one criteria but not the only one. Probably, Dr Sreedaran should get this award and he still can, but do not disrespect other legends just to praise one.

  159. Sir Billion salutes to you!!.
    You are real “Bharat Ratna”
    You will always remain a great motivation and inspiration for all right-thinking and patriotic Indians.

  160. you must have spent lot of time in research for writing this article..your effort is highly commendable….i know for sure that to get a national award in India requires lobbying and recommendation at highest level which a man of integrity like sreedharan will never attempt…he has out grown Bharat Ratna award

  161. Great piece and well researched.i have lived in Delhi and Janakpuri/ Saket. I know what a transformation Sreedharan has brougth to Chandni Chowk. Great people are forgotten easily. The pamban bridge is a marvel of technology.Bangalore metro is trundling because Sreedharan has left!

  162. This is the first time I have read your article and I know what I have been missing all this while. I have admired the Metro Man but did not know the extent of his contributions. Thank you.
    Whether he gets the Bharat Ratna or not is actually a very trivial detail. Honestly, I think he should not because then, as you put it, he will figure in the not so enviable list. Another reason why I think he should not get the Ratna is because this sends a wrong signal. He is a professional who did wat was required to be done and did it mst efficiently. If I was the one overseeing him I would recommend a huge bonus- say a million US dollars. That just might be the “just” reward for what he has done. It will also send a message to all those who believe that it’s possible.
    PS: If a Bharat Ratna fr Sachin then why not Rajnikant? Or Helen? After all, they too ave entertained people just like Sachin does.

  163. Dear author,

    I seriously suggest you hook up with Rajiv Malhotra (http://infinityfoundation.com/people.shtml). His Infinity Foundation is working on producing 20 volumes on “Indian civilisation’s contributions to science and technology” along the lines of Joseph Needham’s thirty volumes on Chinese civilisation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Needham). The foundation is looking to fund people who can do research into specific areas. Your passion and your willingness and ability to research topics suggest that you are an excellent candidate for this kind of work.

    Keep writing!

  164. Words fail me in expressing my gratitude and admiration for the great man. All I can say and do is bow my head respectfully and pray that God bless our dear India with many more such great souls.

  165. Pingback: FWD: Why Dr E Sreedharan should not get the Bharat Ratna « Thoughts from a libertarian

  166. Brilliant article, well researched.

    In fact, I did some googling long back about Dr. Sreedharan when he took over Delhi Metro and came to know about his achievements very briefly but not to this detail. Don’t know if this is again not worth for many to list out his achievements but this actually makes an average Indian proud and motivated to keep trying changing our systems, fight back against the odds. At the same time, it also forces us to introspect and hang our heads in shame that we have a toothless, spineless and shameless system who would not honour their real soldiers but give away awards to their whims and fancies. I didn’t hear and wouldn’t hear any lobby or group batting for Sr Sreedharan for any award the way they were lobbying for Sachin on completing his 100th 100. No offence to Sachin but looking at Dr Sreedharan’s achievements, Sachin’s achievements look like a small shrub under a large banyan tree. Moreover, not belittling any one’s achievements, how have they brought any change to the lives of millions of us the way Dr Sreedharan has brought?

    Any thoughts?

  167. The entire write up was enlightening. The final line takes the prize…..The Bharat Ratna does not deserve Dr. Sreedharan! Wow……

  168. Cricketers, politicians and Bollywood (Tolly/Kolly/Molly/Dolly wood etc.) deserve Bharat Ratnas…..because Ratnas are useful piece of carbon. True achievers like Dr. Sreedharan are priceless and should not be belittled with any silly awards. In a country where shrines are built for starlets, where is room for the extraordinarily ordinary men/women like Dr. Sreedharan etc.?

  169. Have you contacted Sreedharan and told this!!!!??? He will be very happy… Thanks for sharing this info…. 🙂 I wanted to post this comment way before…. But its not too late….

  170. Fantastic. Though seems to be better suited for oral delivery due to the writing style. Nonethless, very captivating and of course, hats off to Dr. Sreedharan.

  171. Pingback: Weekend Links:May 19, 2012 | Alpha Ideas

  172. It is an insult to Sreedharan that such a small title like Bharath Ratna is conferred on him for his accomplishments deserve much better and higher reward.

  173. Interesting article. Nice!

    Your story confuses the facts a little – Sreedharan was also the head of the “sorry” Kolkata metro. So the man made a good use of this previous and perhaps the only time he did not receive outstanding success. It might be due to several factors – like political will etc. etc.

    Just pointing out a fact.


  174. How true yet unfortunate! It is good samaritans like you who bring the hidden truth to the fore. For a man so selfless, Dr. Sreedharan has to be conferred an honor even above Bharat Ratna, lest we may discount his brilliant achievements!

  175. Pingback: Elattuvalapil Sreedharan: A Man Too Good For Mass Recognition | The Mind-Body Politic

  176. I would like to see Dr Varghese Kurian, Dr M S Swaminathan, Dr Vikram Sarabhai, Dr. H J Baba receiving Bharat Ratan

  177. My commentings is that:
    I was just surprised that the konkan railway website, as far as I looked through, had no mention of this great genius. I had earlier read about him when a bridge fell in delhi during construction.

  178. Once I met E.Sreedharan’s son in Muscat many years ago. But he never mentioned that(Son of E.Sreedharan) to me in the entire meeting or conversations that lasted about 2-3 hours at a dinner party. I came to know later on only.

  179. A superb write up.There are many unsung Heroes among us .

  180. But he has been awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2008, so saying his achievements are not recognized is a REEEEAAAL stretch……whether he qualifies for Bharat Ratna is a different question altogether. The title phrase “….no one talks about” is deliberately misleading.

  181. The same E.Sreedharan is telling Kerala government that Kochi Metro has to be given to DMRC otherwise he wouldn’t cooperate. He’s also demanding that there shouldn’t be global tenders for it. Isn’t it nepotism/favoritism?

    Meanwhile he and DMRC has taken up Kozhikode Monorail even though he had ridiculed that monorail is best suited for amusement parks.

    In 2006 he shot down the proposal of Metro in Trivandrum saying that undulating terrain is ill suited for a Metro. When consulted for Trivandrum Monorail, he’s said that Metro is suitable for Trivandrum. AFAIK the terrain of Trivandrum hasn’t changed in last 6 years.

    I feel there is no need for deification of E.Sreedharan, who is a great project manager who delivered the goods when given unlimited powers.

    p.s: This blog entry talks about E Sreedharan as well as DMRC a little bit.

  182. Pingback: Quora

  183. While I admire Sreedharan ( I knew of him as the Delhi Metro man, did not know he was also responsible for Konkan Railway and Pamban bridge), and what he has done is phenomenal and deserves every kudos from the public, it does not even come close to what someone like Norman Borlaug accomplished. Perhaps we can give credit to a person like Verghese Kurien of the Milk revolution for something similar to Borlaug. More aptly someone like C Subramaniam, the food minister in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet, or MS Swaminathan, the agricultural scientist, who enabled Borlaug’s green revolution to work is a good comparison.

    Whatever Sreedharan did was special mainly because it was done in India with its innumerable blocks and that too by a bureaucrat. His contribution is organizational and logistical, but he had both Indian and foreign role models to follow, most of the engineering skill was already invented (I am sure there were several Indian ingenious innovations, by engineers, bankers, bureaucrats, politicians and low-level workers who never get credit).

    Much messier projects of far greater engineering complexity were accomplished in other countries – the Trans Siberian railway, the recent Beijing Tibet line, the introduction of container shipping, the Manhattan project, Sputnik & Apollo, Germany and Japan’s post war miracles, the English chunnel, America’s skyscrapers, the Panama and Suez canals, Isadore Kingdom Brunel’s bridge and ship building – you get the gist.

    Indian history from 1857 to 1947 is merely presented as the Sepoy Mutiny and the Congress party’s struggle against the British, with 2 world wars thrown in. This is entirely a political and legislative / administrative approach to history and is horseshit, as any engineer should know, if not the general public. The British built the Indian Railways entirely with imported material (rails, engines, carriages, wheels) brought by ships and docked into the modern harbours which also the British built. Only the labour was mostly Indian, and the wooden sleepers. They had to clear forests, quell tribes, and the logistical nightmare of several kingdoms and local idiots must have been severe. And they built the macadamized road network that India has, they built the electrical and metal working infrastructure, they built colleges so that they could teach, in a foreign language, ideas, technologies and techniques that were only invented one or two decades earlier!! They electrified India, built its postal system, and last but not least built an enormous number of bridges across rivers and ravines and tunneled through hills and rocks. A large number of educated Indians (including most of our ancestors) were in deep awe and unabashed gratitude to the wonders that the Englishmen brought practically every day (these were the marvels of engineering and science, no doubt, several of whose progenitors were German, French, Swedish, American, Russian etc. – but they could have kept us as backward as the Naxalite districts of today, please remember). It took brainwashing on a Gandhian scale and the destructive power of Hitler & the specter of Stalinist Communism to make the British leave Not Gandhi’s hunger strikes and khadi, as most of us would like to believe.

    Was Sreedharan’s work in any way comparable to what the British did before him (in India alone) or the other feats I have mentioned?



    • The britishers did the things you mentioned not for indians but for themselves.. they built bridges, tunnels and roads so that they could travel to each part of india easily. so that cotton from interior places can reach the ports like mumbai, kolkotta, and chennai from there could go to england.. even with modern technology, britishers or anyone cannot build a structure like tanjore temple.. we have countries like japan, singapore, china etc.. which were not ruled by britishers were now super powers.. the only advantage we got because of britishers is that now we are fluent in english which is an international language..

    • I am probably very late to this – but isn’t the fact that you are comparing one man’s work to the work of the ‘British’ already a mark of how phenomenal his contribution has been?

    • very true & wise comment…i watch Extreme Engineering shows, I understand the gist & also understand about the English contribution.. bt this Civil servant here is a true & passionate engineer, who loved his job obviously & had a great desire to accomplish things & went about and did it. This is undeniably a guy for young Indian engineers to look up to, be aware of..& a bit of spot light on his feats will do only good..Some of the better ones might take up Public work, May be its d general public who r nt aware & every Mech/Civil engineers are aware of the guy (or may be they only know of his US/European counterparts.)

  184. Amazing Article on Dr. Sreedharan!! A big salute to him for the wonderful achievements and the infrastructure he has given to India.
    Indeed, this article will create more awareness about him!!

  185. i salute Dr.Sreedharan. fantastically written by you kaipulla.. 🙂

  186. Outstanding. There was hardly anything known about Sri Sreedharan. Your blog has been an eye opener. Thank you. – Ramesh

  187. yesudas deserve Bharataratna.

  188. why latamangeskar got Bharata ratna?, she don’t deserve that.

  189. if there is a best blogger award, it shouldnt be given to you and you know the reason!!

    hats offf!!

  190. Thank you for this write up, it’s good to recall the accomplishment of Dr S. for he is an example for all of us. One thing I would say, is that he has been blessed with an even greater award that the BS… I mean the BR award, that of serving Mother India in the True sense of the word. I personally would feel blessed to be able to contribute so much to this great nation.

  191. Thank you for this write up, it’s good to recall the accomplishment of Dr S. for he is an example for all of us. One thing I would say, is that he has been blessed with an even greater award that the BS… I mean the BR award, that of serving Mother India in the True sense of the word. I personally would feel blessed to be able to contribute so much to this great nation.

  192. The best part of the blog was ” If Delhi Metro had benchmarked Calcutta Metro which finished work at the rate of 0.76 km per year, Delhi Metro would have been completed in the year 2083.””” Amazing stuff…Am not able to control my laughter…Do you know that in WEST BENGAL there was a clerk in PF Office who settled 7 YES …JUST SEVEN CLAIMS OF RETIRED GOVT SERVANTS IN HIS ENTIRE EFFIN CAREER….Now put that in context against what Dr.Sreedharan has achieved, one will understand and appreciate.
    Hats of Dr Sreedharan and TO YOU for bringing some more facts apart from the Konkan Railway and the DMRC to me. I was not aware of the Dhanushkodi and Rameswaram bridge incident. I am sure even the f….in govt would have forgotten those achievements.

  193. Only thing I did not like in this article was displeasure over awarding Bharat Ratna to some musicians (who are incidently from North India). The comment “who had negligible impact on the population of India.” is hilarious and I doubt if gyri and sulci are prsent on this authors brain. He avoids mentioning the name of M S, who probably (according to him) is ONLY musician deserving Bharata Ratna.

  194. Hope u had written the article without defiling other legends and there by belittling urself n ur write up …

  195. Pingback: What are some noteworthy contribution in administration and development by Indian bureaucrats, politician and police force in recent time… | In The Eye Of The Sky

  196. #RESPECT!
    Together with an incredible insight into things, you also possess a great sense of-for lack of a better phrase-‘music of language’. Elegant and top notch!

  197. I don’t understand why this much noise about this man there many more civil servants in this country who are quietly doing their job even more efficiently.

    So you mean to say we are in a country where one should be awarded Bharat Ratna for one simple reason that He got paid and did his job

    I pitiable writing and I don’t understand your vested interest.


    • Dear Sir,

      No I don’t  mean to say one should be awarded Bharat Ratna for one simple reason that He got paid and did his job but for the selfless commitment to the country and differentiating them from the ordinary citizens. I think we may also institute some infamous awards for people who do not do their job, stop others from doing their job, bribe or force to bribe and the kind.   

      People of infamous category should be debarred from contesting elections or holding any public post. And those already holding such posts, public must have to call them back or negative voting. 


      Ashok Kohli


  198. superb…this man deserves all the kudos

  199. Excellent work…
    Keep up the good work….

  200. I would like to term him as a real idol for peoples in the field of project development.

  201. Pingback: Metro Man: Dr Elattuvalapil Sreedharan..The Bharat Ratna no one talks about : Waves of Udupi

  202. We are a bunch of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your site provided us with valuable information to work on.
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  203. I respect this person Dr.Shreedhran. Even though every fact was known to me still it was awesome to read it.
    Liked line planning commission only plans 😛

  204. May I simply just say what a relief to find someone that really knows what they’re discussing on the internet.
    You actually know how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More and more people really need to look at this and understand this side of your story.

    It’s surprising you are not more popular because
    you surely possess the gift.

  205. Sir, what a brilliant article….Dr. Sreedharan really deserves to be honored with Bharath Ratna…Now he is in charge of the ambitious Kochi metro initiative by Kerala government and he ias asked to complete the same with in 1000 days…..

  206. I knew about his Konkan rail and Deelhi Metro and later ones and that He was INVITED to Pakistan as a consultant and HE REFUSED to go……NEVER knew that it all started from DHAUSHKODI…though in my childhood have traveeled and marvelled that BRIDGE !!!!…and I AM A NORTH INDIAN too !!!!! from Delhi…Thanks SRIDHARAN for being what u ARE !!!!! U deserve a Bharat Ratna and a NOBLE if There is ONE…U RULE in Hearts of People…EVERYONE recognises the SUPERHUMAN efforts put in…..People like us do have antics for Madrasis BUT we RECOGNISE the TALENT too !!!!! 3 CHEERS !!!!!

  207. Dear KS,

    Excellent article. So, googled Bharat Ratna this is what I got , and it goes on like ” Bharat Ratna is the Republic of India’s highest civilian award, for performance of highest order in any field of human endeavour “. Now can somebody tell me what human endeavour has Sachin done ? So before some body comes and stab me, please also google human endeavour.

    No disrespect to Sachin and I am a big.fan ,but the in-appropriation of giving the awards makes go bonkers and I wonder why are Indian people so emotional and hence stereo-typically justified. Peace

  208. Dear KS,

    Excellent article. So, googled Bharat Ratna this is what I got , and it goes on like ” Bharat Ratna is the Republic of India’s highest civilian award, for performance of highest order in any field of human endeavour “. Now can somebody tell me what human endeavour has Sachin done ? So before some body comes and stab me, please also google human endeavour.

    No disrespect to Sachin and I am a big.fan, but the in-appropriation of giving the awards makes go bonkers and I wonder why are Indian people so emotional and hence stereo-typically justified.


  209. Really nice article. I liked the information as well as style of writing with all the dry humour. Keep up the good work!

  210. Amazing article.Thanks for making world aware of this great man.!

  211. A great write-up. You have succeeded in covering all subjects concerning Mr. Sreedharan. FYI. He is presently at the helm of affairs of Kochi Metro Rail project. I wish him all the very best in his new mission.

  212. Amazing article.Need mentors like Sreedharan for young India. In a country like India where there are 1 billion people…. one or two bharath ratna’s is not important nor arguing who should get it matters…..as long as true stories of immaculate and passionate people keeps inspiring the youth to go and achieve the impossible.

  213. One can appreciate the tremendous work of Dr. Sreedharan but why try to denigrate others? Just because you do not like the musicians? How can you say that these people have not touched the lives of the millions of Indians and gave them great pleasure? Coming to your anti -virus Sales man, yes, I agree that the award to him is too premature. But did he ask for it? It is those millions of fans who were clamouring for it and most of them are Indian citizens. So, how giving a Bharat ratna to a person so loved by millions of Indians needs condemnation?

  214. Pingback: Dr Elattuvalapil Sreedharan…..The Bharat Ratna no one talks about | Random Thoughts

  215. Excellent. Just excellent. And even more Excellent.
    And just mentioning-
    The day this great legend died, the next day this was not the news on the opening page of TOI.
    It was a silly Sonia Gandhi’s and that Priyanka’s funny picture..(where one is playing with the other’s cheek)
    I am happy atleast there are people like him.
    I salute.

  216. Simply superb…I consider you my greatest blogger.

    This should be ready by every kid, to understand why India is ‘still’ developing.

  217. There are so many ratnas in bharat who were ignored and completely forgotten simply for political gains:(:(

  218. Incredible write up this. The name is vaguely familiar to me in connection with the Konkan railway project. I knew that Konkan railway was a phenomenal masterpiece but did not realize one man played such a big part in it. His other achievements are superhuman as well, but I haven’t heard about them. Unfortunately, Bharat Ratna award is usually based on hype, politics, mass appeal and popularity and not based on merit. There is a nobel laureate ( the only fourth Indian ever to be awarded Nobel for Science) Dr.Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, who isn’t being considered for Bharat Ratna. Our country does not value real merit.

  219. Some facts:
    Mr. Nerhu & Mrs. G self-anointed themselves with that ratna stuff in 1971
    Mr. beta G got that at the same time of Sardar Patel
    Be rest assured Soina G and pappu G will also receive it sooner than later

    That ratna stuff or whateva is being discussed is not even worth a discussion man! what a waste of time…yikes! E Sreedharan has done something really great, hope he his not demeaned by this award, seeing Sachin get it was painful enough!

    p.s. that ratna was withdrawn for Subhash Bose (a PIL saved his name from being tarnished), and yeah please bomb all the IITs and IIMs, replace those with Amity & Lovely universities!

  220. E.Sreedharan, DR.M.Balamuralikrishna, Viswanathan Anand: all of them deserve Bharath Rathna.

  221. dear sir
    An excellent article. Kudos to that Great Man who has done much to our country.Living example for simplicity makes history by getting the Highest Award in India

  222. Pingback: I Bought An Expensive Car… I’m Finally Successful! | Ritoban Chakrabarti

  223. Dr Sreedharan should not be given the Bharat Ratna. Because the Bharat Ratna does not deserve a man like Dr Sreedharan.

    you summed it up.

    Next time, before I use the word Mallu, for a malayalee, I’ll remember E Sreedharan.

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  225. The most renowned Technoscientist the country has ever produced is the Hon’ble E Sreedharan. Though this miracle worker deserved the Bharat Ratna long back even for completing the Pamban Bridge before time. Now I think he is beyond any award. But still I will pray for him to be awarded with Bharat Ratna for his unique contribution to our Country. He is even ready to complete the High Speed Rail project in India if it entrusted to him. And I think the present Government which is pro-development must consider him for the top post for this long pending project which youth of this country also wants to have high speed rail network throughout India before it is too late. Even I had earlier also commented for this renowned technoscientist for the prestigious Bharat Ratna award when the French Government can give the prestigious award of their country to this Metro Man.

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  229. What a bloody brilliant write-up on a superhero. Awesome stuff. Wow! And of course, the Metro Man is a living legend.

  230. There is a small plaque in “Chawry Bazar” station on the Delhi Metro. I suggest every body reads it. Yes!!! Bharat Ratna does not deserve E.Sreedharan. How well said.

  231. Dr Sridharan is a civil engineer by training and a brilliant manager. I am not sure that he is a ship designer by training. So the statement that he “designed, built and commissioned India’s first indigenously built Merchant vessel, the Rani Padmini, in 1981” needs to be verified.

    Also, you should avoid the temptation to pull down other people just to make the person of your article look good. It detracts from an otherwise wonderful writeup and leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

  232. I had known of Mr. Sreedharan only as a Metro man. This article has been an eye opener. It is amazing to to read about a man who has done so much. It is a shameful that we don’t recognize or highlight his acts. `Thank you for writing about him.

  233. Dude seriously, where do you research your stuff from..You are awesome..I just saw your blog by chance and now am hooked…but where are the most recent posts? I’ve been reading posts from 2011-2012.
    N hats off..carry on the good work!

  234. I’d like Dr. E. Sreedharan to be the next President of India.

  235. Brilliant write-up. Dr. E Sreedharan is one of the most remarkable officers India has ever had. He puts the best corporates and their efficiencies to shame. A devout karma-yogi, Dr. E is a huge inspiration. I wish more people knew about the achievements and contributions (to India) of this great man.

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  238. I just clicked on a link my friend send me but can’t stop reading your blog now!!
    It tears my eyes to see that sensibility hasn’t gone extinct in the day and age.
    Loved your work and genuinely appreciate your efforts.
    Please don’t stop blogging.

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