Karpoori Thakur : Bharat Ratna Award posthumously

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Karpoori Thakur : Bharat Ratna Award posthumously.  Karpoori Thakur is also known as a Jananayak. He has been the Chief Minister of Bihar from December 1970 to June 1971 from the Socialist Party Bharatiya Kranti Dal and then again from the Janata Party from June 1977 to April 1979.  His birth anniversary was to be celebrated on 24 January 2024. just a day before that the Government of India announced to give him Bharat Ratna posthumously.  This is a historic announcement.  He will be awarded Bharat Ratna on 26 January 2024.



Karpoori Thakur: An Introduction

Karpoori Thakur is known as a great leader of Bihar.  If Loknayak is called Jaiprakash Narayan, then the name of Jannayak has been given to Karpuri Thakur. Let us tell you that Pitaunjhiya (present day Karpuri village) of Bihar was his village.  He moved forward with nationalist thinking.  He also took part in the Quit India Movement.  For India’s independence, he remained in jail for 26 months. After India’s independence, he worked as a teacher in a village school and then for the first time in 1952, he reached Bihar Assembly from Tajpur Assembly.  Then he was the candidate of Socialist Party.  He was also sent to jail several times and finally became the Deputy Chief Minister and then the first non-Congress Socialist Chief Minister of Bihar.  He is considered a public leader.  Modi government has announced to give Bharat Ratna to Karpoori Thakur on 23.01.24.  Honorable Modiji has tweeted on himself on  X. Let us tell you that the entire political legacy of Karpoori Thakur is always remembered in the politics of Bihar.


Karpoori Thakur: birth and youth period

Karpoori Thakur was born on 24 January 1924 in Pitonjhia village (now called Karpoori village) in Samastipur district of Bihar.  His father’s name was Shri Gokul Thakur and mother’s name was Mrs. Ramdulari Devi.  The family business was farming.  His life span was from 24 January 1924 to 17 February 1988.  At the time of his graduation, the Quit India Movement was at its peak in India.  He left his graduation studies and joined the Quit India Movement.  He went to jail several times and spent 26 months in jail before fully joining politics.  Mahatma Gandhiji and Satyanarayan Sinha are considered to have a special influence on him.  Gradually Karpoori Thakur started participating in political programs.  He started being given responsibilities and due to this, he was elected to the Bihar Legislative Assembly on behalf of the Socialist Party in 1952.


Which caste does Karpoori Thakur come from?

Karpoori Thakur comes from the barber or Nai community of Bihar.  That is why Karpoori Thakur is called the messiah of the backward people and the voice of the backward people.  He put forward the voice of the poor, Dalits and the deprived.  when he was in power, he worked to strengthen the poor, the exploited and the Dalits.  For this reason he is also called Jannayak.


Karpoori Thakur: Political Biography

During graduation, Karpoori Thakur joined the All India Student Federation and later he left the college and became fully involved in the Quit India Movement.  After independence, he started teaching in the village itself.

Karpoori  Thakur was first nominated or elected to the Bihar Legislative Assembly from the Socialist Party in 1952.  Karpoori Thakur has been the second Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar.  He has been Deputy Chief Minister once and Chief Minister twice.  For the first time, Karpoori Thakur was the Deputy Chief Minister from 5 March 1967 to 31 January 1968, at that time Mahamaya Prasad Singh was the Chief Minister.  At this time he also had the post of Education Minister.  During his tenure as Education Minister, he removed English as a compulsory subject from the matriculation examination.  He believed that the poor but promising young students of Bihar lose their talent due to their weakness in English and they fail.  Because of this they are not able to engage in nation building.  It was his foresight that he took Hindi forward and opened new dimensions of education even for students who did not know English.

Karpoori Thakur became the Chief Minister of Bihar in 1970 and then remained the Chief Minister of Bihar from 22 December 1970 to 2 June 1971 on behalf of the non-Congress Socialist Party.  Then the movement of Jayaprakash Narayan and Lohia against Emergency started.  In the 1970s, when Indira Gandhi had imposed emergency, it was the time when Jayaprakash Narayan and Lohia stood up against the emergency in the entire country.  The public was behind him.  Karpoori Thakur was also among the leading leaders who were opposing the Emergency.  In 1970, he went on a hunger strike for 28 days.  This was a hunger strike in support of Telco labour.

In 1977, Karpoori Thakur was again elected Chief Minister of Bihar.  His tenure was from 24 June 1977 to 21 April 1979.  He then took over the post of Chief Minister after Jagannath Mishra.  During this tenure, he was removed in the middle of his tenure and Ramsundar Das was made the Chief Minister.  His tenure at that time was the tenure of Janata Party.  His main work at this time is known for his work on the Mungerilal Commission Report.  He had got the reservation passed then and it was his foresight that even during his tenure, he had talked about 3% reservation for women and 3% reservation for the upper caste poor class also.  Although those things were not accepted then, but it was his foresight that today our leaders are implementing that formula or that idea.  Karpoori Thakur has been an activist of parties like Socialist Party, Bharatiya Kranti Dal, Janata Party and Lok Dal.

Karpoori Thakur is known for his fighting thoughts and as a down to earth leader.  Today, when some states are taking concrete steps like liquor ban, Karpoori Thakur was the first Chief Minister who implemented liquor ban during his tenure.  He was a leader ahead of his time.  He was, in the true sense, a true leader of the poor, the weak, the destitute, the Dalits and the exploited class.  When Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan wanted that all the leaders should resign from their posts after the post-Emergency movement, then Karpoori Thakur had set an example by resigning from his post.  He died in 1988.  They said goodbye to us forever.  The Government of India issued a postage stamp in his name in 1991.  Jannayak train also runs in his name which travels from Darbhanga to Amritsar.  Today we need such leaders to come out from every street, every locality, every city and give a new strength to our country.

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