New Delhi: The Prime Minister announced on his social media platform that the government will confer the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, to three eminent personalities who have made remarkable contributions to the nation. They are former Prime Ministers PV Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh, and renowned agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan. The award will be given posthumously to the two former Prime Ministers.
This announcement comes just a few days after the government declared that senior BJP leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani and socialist leader Karpuri Thakur will also receive the Bharat Ratna. With this, the Modi government has bestowed the Bharat Ratna to 10 people in its ten-year tenure.
Chaudhary Charan Singh: A champion of farmers’ rights
Prime Minister Modi praised Chaudhary Charan Singh, who served as the Prime Minister of India from July 1979 to January 1980, for his unparalleled dedication to the cause of farmers and rural development. He said that Chaudhary Charan Singh devoted his entire life to the welfare and empowerment of the farmers, who form the backbone of the country. He said, ‘He held various positions of responsibility, such as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the Home Minister of India, and a Member of Parliament and Legislative Assembly, and always worked for nation building. He also resisted the Emergency and upheld the values of democracy and freedom. His commitment to our farmer brothers and sisters and his courage during the Emergency will inspire generations to come.’
PV Narasimha Rao: A visionary leader and a scholar
Prime Minister Modi also expressed his happiness to announce that PV Narasimha Rao, who served as the Prime Minister of India from June 1991 to May 1996, will be honored with the Bharat Ratna. He said that Narasimha Rao was a distinguished scholar and politician, who served India in various capacities, such as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, a Union Minister, and a Member of Parliament and Legislative Assembly for many years. He said, ‘His visionary leadership paved the way for India’s economic transformation, as he initiated several reforms that opened India to the global markets and ushered in a new era of growth and development. He also made significant contributions to India’s foreign policy, language and education, which reflect his multifaceted legacy as a leader. He not only guided India through crucial changes but also enriched its cultural and intellectual heritage.’
MS Swaminathan: A pioneer of the agricultural revolution
Prime Minister Modi also announced that MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the ‘Father of the Green Revolution’ in India, will be awarded the Bharat Ratna for his outstanding contribution to agriculture and farmers’ welfare. He said that Swaminathan played a key role in helping India achieve self-reliance in food production in challenging times and made remarkable efforts to modernize Indian agriculture. He said, ‘His visionary leadership not only transformed India’s agriculture but also ensured the food security and prosperity of the nation. He was someone I knew closely and I always valued his insights.