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Bharat Ratna Conferred Upon Karpoori Thakur: A Pioneer of Social Justice

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared on Tuesday, January 23, that the prestigious Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, has been conferred upon the eminent socialist leader and former Chief Minister of Bihar, Karpoori Thakur. Celebrating this decision, PM Modi expressed his delight at honoring the beacon of social justice during the commemoration of his birth centenary. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also welcomed the move, emphasizing the fulfillment of a long-standing demand for conferring the Bharat Ratna on Karpoori Thakur.

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Hailing from a humble village in Bihar’s Samastipur district, Karpoori Thakur played a crucial role in India’s struggle for independence, participating in the Quit India Movement against the British in 1942. His political journey commenced in 1952 when he became a legislator for the first time, marking the beginning of a remarkable electoral career that spanned over three decades until 1985. Fondly known as ‘Jan Nayak’ (People’s Leader), Thakur served as Bihar’s Chief Minister twice, in 1970 with the Samyukta Socialist Party and in 1977 with the Janata Party.

Former Bihar CM Karpoori Thakur to be conferred Bharat Ratna posthumously |  India News -

Source: The Indian Express

During his tenure as Chief Minister, Thakur implemented policies aimed at fostering linguistic and educational development. Noteworthy initiatives included the promotion of the Hindi language, the waiver of school fees, and the strengthening of the Panchayati Raj system. Perhaps his most impactful contribution was the introduction of a progressive reservation system, allocating a 12 percent quota to members of Other Backward Classes (OBC), 8 percent each for Economically Backward Classes within the OBCs and upper castes, and 3 percent for women. This move aimed at empowering marginalized sections of society, highlighting Thakur’s commitment to social justice.

Former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur to be conferred Bharat Ratna  posthumously -

Source: India Today

The Janata Dal United (JD(U)), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have all staked claims over Thakur’s political heritage. Criticism has emerged from the RJD camp, accusing the BJP of opportunism and conveniently honoring Thakur ahead of elections. RJD leader Mrityunjay Tiwari stated that the BJP, which had previously criticized Thakur during his lifetime, is now remembering and awarding him the Bharat Ratna for electoral gains.


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