Bharat Ratna to Karpoori Thakur an honour for poor, backward classes: Amit Shah

NEW DELHI, Jan 24 : Highlighting the Modi government’s strong push for the development of the OBCs, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said the decision to confer the Bharat Ratna on former Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur is an honour to crores of poor people belonging to the backward and Dalit communities.

The government on Tuesday announced the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, for the two-time Bihar chief minister who was considered the fountainhead of OBC politics in Bihar.

Addressing the birth centenary celebration of Karpoori Thakur, affectionately called the Jan Nayak, Shah underlined that 27 ministers in the Modi government are from the Other Backward Classes communities and the prime minister has been a strong supporter of the development of OBCs.

The home minister said the Modi government has accorded constitutional status to the OBC Commission, revised the OBC list, given rights to the states to prepare their own OBC list, provided reservation to the OBC in IITs and IIMs, as well as in allotment of petrol pumps and gas agencies.

“Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji ended the wait of 500 years on 22nd January by consecrating the Ram temple, and the very next day, on 23rd January, he accomplished a good deed for the poor by deciding to give the Bharat Ratna to Karpoori Thakurji,” Shah said, referring to the consecration of new Ram Lalla idol at the Ayodhya temple on Monday.

He said many people came to power but no one even thought of bestowing Thakur with the Bharat Ratna.

They made the demand but when they themselves came to power they forgot about it, he said.

It took Narendra Modi, son of a tea-seller and a leader from a poor family like Karpoori Thakur, to become the prime minister to honour him with the Bharat Ratna, Shah said.

He said Karpoori Thakur’s personality reflects the good qualities of Mahatma Gandhi, B R Ambedkar and Ram Manohar Lohia. With the decision to confer the Bharat Ratna on Karpoori Thakur, Modi has instilled hope in millions of poor youth that anything is possible, Shah said.

“Modi correctly interpreted the thoughts of Karpoori Thakur. In the past, those close to one family were honoured. Modi has honoured the Jan Nayaks (people’s leaders),” he said.

By announcing the Bharat Ratna for Thakur, the prime minister, who himself comes from the backward communities, has given honour and justice to the crores of poor, scores of youths who sincerely and selflessly work for society and those who have been practising politics of probity, the home minister said.

He said the Modi government has been sincerely working for the uplift of the poor and the backward classes.

Modi has done a lot of welfare work for women, the economically backwards and other backward classesm Shah said.

He said that Karpoori Thakur had started giving reservation to OBCs, women and economically backward upper caste in Bihar in 1978.

Today, Prime Minister Modi has done the work of respecting OBCs, given 33 percent reservation to women and also to economically backward classes.

Shah said many governments came but no one even thought of awarding the country’s highest honour to Karpoori Thakur.

Today, on the occasion of his 100th birth anniversary, Prime Minister Modi, who grew up in a poor and backward class family like Thakur, has given the Bharat Ratna to him, Shah said.

Modi has honoured the basic mantra of justice and equal rights for all of the Constitution by giving the Bharat Ratna to Karpoori Thakur, he said.

By honouring Karpoori Thakur, Modi has, in a way, honoured 70 crore poor, the youths who are pursuing politics with simplicity, authenticity, principles of equality, integrity, morality and self-esteem, he said.

Thakur worked for the promotion of Hindi in administration and academics, and now the Modi government has been promoting local languages under the New Education Policy, the home minister said, adding Hindi got a new life and acceptance after Thakur made the use of Hindi mandatory in all government work.

He said that Thakur, like a selfless Karmayogi, propounded the highest values of life through his work and propagated the principle of equality and brought sensitivity towards the poor.

Looking at the last 10 years of the Modi government, it becomes clear the Prime Minister has worked to implement the principles of Karpoori Thakur, Shah said.

Over the last 10 years, Shah said, the modi government has given electricity connections to three crore people, free LPG connection to 10 crore people, piped water to 14 crore people and free food grains to 80 crore people.

He also said that 60 crore people have been given free healthcare facilities and 13 crore toilets have been made by the Modi government. All these reflect Modi’s resolve to work for the poor and downtrodden, the home minister said.

He said Modi has pledged that every poor person in the country will get a pucca house by 2027. (PTI)