Indian Man Waits 68 Years for Academic Award

April 17, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. supposed (adj.) [suh-pohzd, -poh-zid] – expected to happen
Example: I am supposed to be at a meeting today, but I am too sick to be there.

2. mention (v.) [men-shuhn] – to briefly talk or write about something
Example: The winner mentioned the name of his parents in his speech. 

3. dummy (n.) [duhm-ee] – a copy or representation of something, often lacking some features of the original
Example: Food dummies are displayed so customers can imagine what the real food looks like.

4. partition (v.) [pahr-tish-uhn, per-] – to divide or to separate
Example: The kingdom was partitioned into north and south.

5. extremist (n.) [ik-stree-mist]  – a person who supports a belief with extreme loyalty
ExampleExtremists believe that changing the government will improve the country.

Read the text below.

An Indian man was finally given a gold medal for academic performance six decades after winning the award.

Dinanath Malhotra, who owns a publishing company in Delhi, was supposed to receive a gold medal for being top of his Master of Arts in Punjab University in Lahore back in 1944.

At the award ceremony, he received a dummy medal, because the original gold medal was to be imported from England. But the gold medal never arrived.

Then, in 1947, the Indian subcontinent was partitioned, making the city of Lahore part of Pakistan and separate from India. Malhotra left Lahore to live in India, and eventually forgot about his award.

Years later, at a meeting with the Indian Publishers Union, he casually mentioned the award to a senior official of the Human Resources Development Ministry. The official later spoke to Punjab University's vice-chancellor, who agreed that the medal should be awarded to Malhotra in Lahore.

In November 2008, Malhotra was supposed to travel to Lahore. Yet his receiving the medal was delayed again. Extremists had attacked the city of Mumbai, forcing Malhotra to cancel his trip.

Now 90, Malhotra finally received the award at the Pakistani High Commission in Delhi, after 68 years of waiting. Malhotra feels sad that he missed the chance to visit Lahore. He had admired the people and the way of life there during his youth.

However, Malhotra believes getting the medal is a great honor, not only for him but for the academic groups in India and Pakistan.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

     How important are academic awards?
     Do you think Malhotra’s academic award still matters 68 years after he won it? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

     The separation of Pakistan from India affected many lives. In what other ways do you think people can be affected when countries are partitioned?
     Malhotra says he regrets missing the opportunity to visit Lahore, the city of his youth. Why do you think some people get attached to the places of their youth?


April 17, 2012