Socialist OBC Karpoori Thakur awarded Bharat Ratna
In a significant move, the late Chief Minister of Bihar, Karpoori Thakur, was posthumously conferred with the nation’s highest honor, the Bharat Ratna, by President Droupadi Murmu. The prestigious award, presented 35 years after Thakur’s demise on February 17, 1988, is a official recognition of his impactful leadership.
Karpoori Thakur, often hailed as Jan Nayak (People’s Hero), had a brief tenure as the Chief Minister of Bihar, serving from December 1970 to June 1971 and later from December 1977 to April 1979. Karpoori’s legacy, marked by his commitment to public service, has endured through the years, earning him widespread acclaim in the state.
The decision to confer the Bharat Ratna on Thakur aligns with a longstanding demand from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his Janata Dal United. Kumar, a key political figure in Bihar, has maintained a important role in the state’s political landscape, and this recognition is seen as a gesture to foster goodwill ahead of the upcoming general election.
With Bihar holding 40 parliamentary seats, its political dynamics play a crucial role on the national stage. The relationship between Nitish Kumar and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been characterized by periodic fluctuations, and this move is perceived as an effort to strengthen ties and secure support in the state.
Nitish Kumar, expressing his views on the occasion, remarked that conferring the “highest honor to late Karpoori Thakur ji on his 100th birth anniversary will create positive sentiments among the Dalits, deprived, and neglected sections.” Thakur’s association with the Other Backward Castes adds a socio-political dimension to the recognition, hinting a strategic move by the BJP to garner support from this historically loyal section of Nitish Kumar’s voter base.
The backdrop of this development includes Nitish Kumar’s political maneuvering over the years. Having been an ally for decades, Kumar has shifted between alliances with and separations from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). His strategic decisions have, at times, left the BJP navigating complex political landscapes in Bihar.
The BJP’s isolation after Kumar’s recent realignment with other political entities in Bihar is evident. Thakur’s posthumous recognition could be perceived as an attempt to bridge gaps and strengthen the BJP’s position in the state.
As the political chessboard in Bihar continues to evolve, the Bharat Ratna bestowed upon Karpoori Thakur adds a layer of historical and political significance to the unfolding narrative. It not only commemorates a leader of consequence but also reflects the intricate interplay of politics and strategy in the context of Bihar’s dynamic political landscape.