Prez confers Bharat Ratna on Swaminathan, others

President Droupadi Murmu conferred the prestigious Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor, on Saturday, at a ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Former prime ministers P V Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh, agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan, and two-time former Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur were honored posthumously.

The awards were received by the kin of the recipients. P V Prabhakar Rao, the son of former prime minister Rao, accepted the award on behalf of his father, while Jayant Chaudhary, Singh’s grandson and chief of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), received the honor from President Murmu. Swaminathan’s daughter Nitya Rao and Thakur’s son Ram Nath Thakur also received the awards.

The ceremony was attended by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and other dignitaries.

President Murmu confers Bharat Ratna Award to Former Chief Minister of Bihar, Karpoori Thakur, posthumously

President Droupadi Murmu conferred Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour, to former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur, posthumously at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi.

P V Narasimha Rao, often hailed as the Chanakya of Indian politics, served as prime minister from 1991 to 1996. He is credited with initiating far-reaching economic reforms and guiding India through the turbulent early 1990s. Chaudhary Charan Singh, a prominent Jat leader from western Uttar Pradesh, served as prime minister from July 28, 1979, to January 14, 1980. Known for his commitment to social justice, he played a pivotal role in implementing land reforms in Uttar Pradesh.

Agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan, who passed away in 2023, is renowned for his contributions to India’s self-sufficiency in food production. His pioneering work in introducing high-yielding crop varieties transformed agriculture in the country. Karpoori Thakur, fondly called ‘jannayak’ or people’s leader, served as Bihar chief minister and championed the cause of the marginalized sections of society.

The conferment of the Bharat Ratna on these illustrious personalities recognizes their outstanding contributions to the nation and their lasting impact on Indian society and governance.

The government had announced five Bharat Ratna awards this year, including one to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart and former deputy prime minister L K Advani.

William Murphy

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