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How former Bihar CM Karpoori Thakur, now awarded Bharat Ratna, is still relevant

He was sometimes called Jan Nayak. And now, one may even name him Bharat Ratna. On Tuesday (23 January), former chief minister of Bihar Karpoori Thakur was awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously, two days earlier than his one hundredth delivery anniversary.

Shortly after the Rashtrapati Bhavan made the announcement of conferring upon Thakur India’s highest civilian honour, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the choice, saying he was “delighted”.

“I am delighted that the Government of India has decided to confer the Bharat Ratna on the beacon of social justice, the great Jan Nayak Karpoori Thakur Ji and that too at a time when we are marking his birth centenary. This prestigious recognition is a testament to his enduring efforts as a champion for the marginalised and a stalwart of equality and empowerment,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar known as the Bharat Ratna to Thakur a proper determination. This may create a optimistic vibe amongst Dalits, disadvantaged and uncared for sections of society. We’ve been demanding this for a very long time,” Kumar mentioned.”

As we hail this honour for the two-time chief minister, let’s take a better have a look at who was Karpoori Thakur and his legacy.

Life and profession of Karpoori Thakur

Karpoori Thakur was born in a village generally known as Pitaunjhia, now known as Karpoori Gram within the Samastipur district of Bihar. He was a freedom fighter and had been imprisoned for his participation within the Stop India Motion in opposition to the British in 1942.

Thakur was born into the small Nai (barber) neighborhood that’s listed as an Extraordinarily Backward Class (EBC) among the many Different Backward Lessons (OBCs) within the state.

In 1952, he made his electoral debut when he turned a legislator — and continued to be one till 1988 when he died. The one exception to this was in 1977 when he turned an MP and when he misplaced an Meeting election in 1984, amid the sympathy wave for Congress after Indira Gandhi’s assassination.

His profession in politics noticed him being schooling minister of Bihar from 5 March 1967 to twenty-eight January 1968. Following this, Thakur, who was additionally popularly known as Jan Nayak, turned the chief minister in December 1970 with the Samyukta Socialist Celebration, however his authorities fell after six months. Nonetheless, in June 1977 he returned to the chief minister’s chair solely to lose it in about two years.

How former Bihar CM Karpoori Thakur now awarded Bharat Ratna is still relevant
Karpoori Thakur (standing) taking oath as an opposition chief of Bihar on 1 April 1985. Picture Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

It’s mentioned that Thakur lived a easy life. In actual fact, in response to an Indian Categorical report when he first turned an MLA in 1952, he was chosen for an official delegation to Austria. Nonetheless, he didn’t personal a coat and therefore, borrowed a torn one from his pal. When Josip Tito, the president of Yugoslavia, seen the torn coat, he gifted Thakur a brand new one.

It’s also reported that whereas Thakur was alive, he didn’t enable his sons to affix politics, as he was anti-dynasty. It was solely after his demise in 1988 that his son, Ram Nath Thakur was given a ticket, first by Lalu Prasad, after which by Nitish Kumar.

At the moment, Ram Nath is a Rajya Sabha MP of the Janata Dal (United).

Thakur’s insurance policies and legacy

Regardless of being in energy for brief intervals, Thakur enacted and applied insurance policies with lasting results. It’s his insurance policies and considering that led to the rise of backward politics in Bihar. His work laid the inspiration for the empowerment of backward lessons, which later influenced the formation of regional events just like the Janata Dal (United) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

In 1970, Thakur enforced whole prohibition of alcohol in Bihar. In actual fact, Nitish Kumar, who considers Thakur as his mentor additionally strengthened prohibition within the state in 2015.

Thakur additionally performed a pivotal position within the battle in opposition to social discrimination and inequality, offering illustration and alternatives to the poor, oppressed, exploited, and disadvantaged sections of the nation.

Thakur eliminated English as a obligatory topic for the matriculation examinations. He was additionally accountable for establishing a number of colleges and faculties in Bihar, in an try to make schooling accessible to all, particularly the marginalised and backward.

How former Bihar CM Karpoori Thakur now awarded Bharat Ratna is still relevant
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar considers Karpoori Thakur as one in all his mentors and influences in politics. He has additionally applied schemes that bear the hallmarks of Thakur’s socialist politics. File picture/PTI

Maybe one in all his most essential determination was that of implementing a reservation system that continues to impression Bihar in addition to the nation. In June 1970, the Bihar authorities appointed the Mungeri Lal Fee, which in its report of February 1976 named 128 “backward” communities, 94 of which had been recognized as “most backward”.

Thakur’s Janata Celebration authorities applied the suggestions of the Fee after he devised the method of offering 26 per cent reservation, of which OBCs obtained a 12 per cent share, the economically backward lessons among the many OBCs obtained eight per cent, girls obtained three per cent, and the poor from the “upper castes” obtained three per cent.

As former deputy chief minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi advised Indian Categorical, “Reservation for OBCs with a separate provision for EBC reservation was Karpoori Thakur’s masterstroke and his lasting legacy.”

How former Bihar CM Karpoori Thakur now awarded Bharat Ratna is still relevant
The Division of Posts had issued a postal stamp commemorating Thakur. Picture Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Thakur additionally was instrumental in strengthening the Panchayati Raj system by holding common elections.

His insurance policies, considering impressed and influences the leaders of Bihar right now, particularly Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav. In actual fact, a couple of schemes rolled out by now Chief Minister Nitish Kumar additionally replicate Thakur’s politics — be it the waiving of charges for college ladies till their post-graduation or offering a 50 per cent reservation to girls in panchayats.

As PM Modi wrote in a touching tribute to Thakur for News18, “As a person belonging to the backward classes myself, I have much to thank Jan Nayak Karpoori Thakur Ji for. Unfortunately, we lost Karpoori Ji at a relatively young age of 64. We lost him when we needed him the most. Yet, he lives on in the hearts and minds of crores of people due to his work. He was a true Jan Nayak!”

With inputs from businesses



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