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Hero of the People: Bihar's Karpuri Thakur Honored with Bharat Ratna

On the 100th birth anniversary of Karpuri Thakur, a towering figure in Bihar's politics and a champion of social justice, India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, has been bestowed upon him. President Draupadi Murmu announced the honour a day before the festivities began, a fitting tribute to Jannayak Thakur's enduring legacy.
Social Justice Champion   Honoring the Legacy of Karpuri Thakur with Bharat Ratna  Karpuri Thakur Bharat Ratna     President Draupadi Murmu Announces Bharat Ratna for Karpuri Thakur

Thakur, a firebrand socialist leader and freedom fighter, carved his name in history as the first non-Congress CM of Bihar, serving two terms (1970-71 and 1977-79). He was also Deputy CM before ascending to the top post. But his legacy transcends titles; it's etched in the hearts of the downtrodden whom he tirelessly defended.

Democracy and social justice

A true embodiment of democracy and social justice, Thakur fought for the marginalized and toiled for their upliftment. He wasn't just a politician; he was a living embodiment of the Constitution's spirit. This Bharat Ratna recognizes not just his contributions but also serves as a beacon for future generations.

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Born in 1924 to a humble farmer family, Thakur's revolutionary spirit burned bright from a young age. He quit college to join the Indian freedom struggle, even enduring imprisonment by the British for his participation in the Quit India Movement. After independence, his path led him from village schoolteacher to the political arena, inspired by socialist giant Ram Manohar Lohia and guided by the ideals of Jayaprakash Narayan.

Thakur's impact

Thakur's impact is indelible. His government implemented the Mangeri Lal Commission's recommendations for 26% reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in 1978, paving the way for the Mandal Commission and shaping OBC political empowerment in Bihar. He led the state to impose a statewide liquor ban in 1970, a bold move still admired today.

Beyond policy, Thakur nurtured political giants like Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav, leaving a lasting mark on Bihar's political landscape. As we celebrate his birth centenary, the Bharat Ratna is a fitting recognition of Jannayak Thakur's extraordinary life and his unwavering commitment to justice and equality.

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Published date : 27 Jan 2024 10:48AM

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