Former Bihar CM Karpoori Thakur Conferred Bharat Ratna Posthumously

New Delhi: Former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur is set to receive a posthumous Bharat Ratna, as announced by the President’s office on the eve of his birth anniversary. Recognizing Thakur as a ‘beacon of social justice,’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised his commitment to uplifting the downtrodden and visionary leadership.

PM Modi expressed delight over the decision to confer the Bharat Ratna on Karpoori Thakur during his birth centenary. The Prime Minister highlighted Thakur’s enduring efforts as a champion for the marginalized and a stalwart advocate for equality and empowerment. Modi emphasized that the award honours Thakur’s remarkable contributions and serves as an inspiration to continue his mission for a more just and equitable society.

Karpoori Thakur, a prominent figure in North India’s political landscape, championed social justice and the rights of backward classes. Born into humble beginnings in the Nai community, his journey from Pitaunjhia village to the Chief Minister’s office showcased resilience and dedication to public service.

During his tenure as Bihar’s Chief Minister in the 1970s, Thakur made groundbreaking contributions, particularly for the deprived sections of society. Influenced by nationalistic ideas and the ‘Lohia’ school of thought, he implemented the “Karpoori Thakur Formula” for reservation, ensuring equitable representation for backward classes. This move, introducing 26% reservation in Bihar, set the stage for the later Mandal Commission recommendations in the 1990s, transforming the political landscape.

Thakur’s impact extended beyond reservations. As an education minister, he abolished compulsory English at the matriculation level, recognizing it as a barrier for many students. Thakur established schools and colleges, especially in backward areas, and made education up to Class 8 free, significantly reducing dropout rates.

His legacy includes major land reforms that redistributed land from Zamindars to landless Dalits, earning him the title “Jannayak” or People’s Hero. Despite facing resistance, Thakur’s policies laid the groundwork for future leaders to advocate for social justice.

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