Ever since the Modi government was sworn in there has been talk of the government conferring the Bharat Ratna on a host of personalities linked with the freedom struggle. Topping the list early on was Pt Madan Mohan Malviya, founder of Benaras Hindu University, whose grandson, J Girdhar Malviya, was one of the proposers of Narendra Modi's candidature from Varanasi in the Lok Sabha elections.
Another name that was spoken about since then has been that of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, whose death is still shrouded in mystery and there has been controversy linked to whether he should be awarded the country's topmost honour "posthumously".
On Sunday, there were reports that the government has placed an order for five Bharat Ratna medallions with the RBI mint. That has led to further speculation. A new list of five names is now doing the rounds.
Topping this new list is the name of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who now spends his days in a wheelchair unable to speak after a stroke in 2009. The other four names being spoken about are those of Subhash Chandra Bose, Madan Mohan Malaviya, Kanshi Ram and Dhyan Chand.
Soon after Modi became prime minister, Malaviya's Varanasi-based relatives had thanked Modi for considering conferring the Bharat Ratna on him. Pictures of the family members celebrating the "decision" were published in some regional dailies. Round the same time, Bose's relatives in Kolkata were also speaking in the same vein.
Now, if reports are to be believed, Modi will announce their names along with that of Vajpayee, Bahujan Samaj Party founder Kanshi Ram and hockey wizard Dhyan Chand in his Independence Day speech, his first from the ramparts of the Red Fort.