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OpinionsBharat Ratna Karpoori Thakur worked for social justice till his last breath

Bharat Ratna Karpoori Thakur worked for social justice till his last breath


Former Bihar Chief Minister was a symbol of simplicity and dedication to poor

By Harihar Swarup

Last week was the birth centenary of Jan Nayak Karpoori Thakur whose relentless pursuit of social justice created a positive impact on the lives of crores of people. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Bharat Ratna award to him coinciding with his birth centenary. Modi said he never had the opportunity to meet Karpooriji but he heard a lot about him from Kailash Pati Mishra who worked closely with him. He belonged to one of the most backward sections of the society, Nai Samaj. Overcoming numerous obstacles, he achieved a lot and worked for social betterment.

Jan Nayak Karpoori Thakur's life revolved around the twin pillars of simplicity and social justice. Till his last breath, his simple lifestyle and humble nature resonated deeply with the common people. There are numerous anecdotes that highlight his simplicity. Those who worked him recall how he preferred to spend his own money for any personal preferred matter, including his daughter's wedding. During his tenure as chief minister of Bihar, a decision was taken to build a colony for political leaders but he himself did not take any land or money for the same. When he passed away in 1988, several leaders went to his village to pay tributes. When they saw the condition of his house, they were moved to tears— how can someone so towering have a house so simple!

Another anecdote of his simplicity dates back to 1977 when he just took over as a chief minister of Bihar. The Janata government was in power in Delhi and Patna. That time Janata leaders, gathered in Patna to mark Loknayak Jayaprakesh's Narayan birthday. Among the galaxy of top leaders walked in chief minister Karpuri Thakur, with a torn kurta. In his own style Chandra Shekhar asked people to donate some money so that Karpoori purchases a new Kurta. But Karpoori was Karpoori –he accepted the money but he donated it to CM Relief Fund.

Social justice was most dear to Jan Nayak Karpoori Thakur. His political journey was marked by monumental efforts to create a society where resources were distributed fairly, where everyone, regardless of their social standing, had access to opportunities. He wanted to address the systemic equalities that plagued Indian society.

Such was the commitment to his ideas that despite living in an era where the Congress party was omnipresent, he took a distinctly anti-Congress line because he was convinced very early on that the Congress has deviated from its founding principles.

His electoral career began in the early 1950s and since then he became a force to reckon with in the legislative chamber, powerfully voicing the struggle of the working class, labourers, small farmers and youngsters. was the subject very close to his heart. Throughout his political career, he worked to improve educational facilities for the poor. He was a proponent of education in local languages so that people from small town and villages can climb the ladder and attain success. As CM, he took many decisions for the welfare to senior citizens as well.

(IPA Service)





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