Karpoori Thakur, former Bihar Chief Minister, to receive posthumous Bharat Ratna
Honoring a Freedom Fighter and People’s Leader

The former Chief Minister of Bihar, Karpoori Thakur, will be posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, as announced by the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Karpoori Thakur, a great freedom fighter, educator, politician, and former Chief Minister of Bihar, will be honored with the Bharat Ratna due to his popularity. He was often referred to as “Jan Nayak” (People’s Leader) because of his popularity. The announcement was made on the eve of his birth centenary at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Karpoori Thakur served as the Deputy Chief Minister and later became the Chief Minister of Bihar twice, holding firm to his principles throughout his political career. He became a true hero due to his contributions. He actively participated in the Quit India Movement and spent 26 months in jail. He served as the Chief Minister of Bihar from December 22, 1970, to June 2, 1971, and then from June 24, 1977, to April 21, 1979. Individuals with a socialist ideology like Karpoori Thakur are rarely seen today.

Thakur was born on January 24, 1924, in Samastipur district of Bihar, to a Nai family. His father, Gokul Thakur, was a farmer. He received his early education in the village and later obtained a bachelor’s degree from Patna University. Karpoori Thakur actively participated in national movements from his student life.

He first became a member of the Legislative Assembly in 1952 and played an active role in the socialist party. After his release from jail in 1942, following his participation in the Quit India Movement, he actively engaged in politics. In 1952, Karpoori Thakur was elected as a member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly for the first time from Tajpur constituency on the ticket of the Socialist Party. After that, he was consecutively elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly four times. In 1967, he was appointed as the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, and in 1970, he became the Chief Minister. During his tenure as Chief Minister, he implemented several welfare schemes for the poor and Dalits and abolished the regressive Malguzari tax on non-profitable land for the first time in Bihar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was delighted that the great ‘Jan Nayak’ will be conferred with the prestigious award, and that too at a time when we are celebrating his birth centenary.

Manish Tiwari

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