On the eve of his birth anniversary, the late former Bihar Chief Minister, Karpoori Thakur, was posthumously honored with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award.
Revered as the “Jan Nayak” or people’s hero of Bihar politics, Thakur’s impactful leadership left an indelible mark on the state’s socio-political landscape.
I bow to Jan Nayak Karpoori Thakur Ji on his birth centenary. On this special occasion, our Government has had the honour of conferring the Bharat Ratna on him. I’ve penned a few thoughts on his unparalleled impact on our society and polity. https://t.co/DrO4HuejVe
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 24, 2024
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to Karpoori Thakur, acknowledging his relentless pursuit of social justice that positively impacted millions of lives. Let’s delve into five key facts shedding light on the life and contributions of this stalwart:
- Birth and Origins: Karpoori Thakur was born on January 24, 1924, in a village in Samistupur district, later renamed ‘Karpuri Gram’ in his honor. Hailing from the Nai samaj (barber society), Thakur’s roots shaped his commitment to social causes.
- Freedom Struggle Participation: Driven by a fervor for India’s independence, Thakur abandoned his college education to join the freedom struggle. His active involvement in the Quit India Movement led to his arrest between 1942 and 1945.
- Political Journey and Ideological Influences: Elected to the Bihar assembly in 1952, Thakur remained a steadfast political figure until his demise. Inspired by leaders like Ram Manohar Lohia and closely associated with Jayaprakash Narayan, he championed the socialist movement in post-Independent India.
- Non-Congress Chief Ministership: Breaking new ground, Karpoori Thakur became Bihar’s first non-Congress Chief Minister. His terms, from December 1970 to June 1971 and later from June 1977 to April 1979, are notable for implementing the Mungeri Lal Commission’s recommendations, introducing quotas for backward classes.
- Prohibition Advocate: Karpoori Thakur left an enduring legacy by enforcing total alcohol prohibition in Bihar in 1970. His unwavering commitment to the marginalized sections and social justice defines his impactful journey in Bihar politics.
The posthumous conferment of the Bharat Ratna on Karpoori Thakur stands as a testament to his enduring influence and commitment to transformative empowerment.