3 Bharat Ratnas Announced: Charan Singh, Narasimha Rao, MS Swaminathan
Photos: Charansingh.org, @narendramodi, mssrf.org
NEW DELHI (IANS) – Former Prime Ministers Chaudhary Charan Singh and P.V. Narasimha Rao, and legendary agricultural scientist Dr M.S. Swaminathan will be honored with the Bharat Ratna, announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 9.
Usually, three Bharat Ratna awards are given in a year. However, this year, Modi has made it five. Earlier, veteran BJP leader LK Advani and former Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur were also named.
Modi wrote: Narasimha Rao Garu’s tenure as Prime Minister was marked by significant measures that opened India to global markets, fostering a new era of economic development. Furthermore, his contributions to India’s foreign policy, language and education sectors underscore his multifaceted legacy as a leader who not only steered India through critical transformations but also enriched its cultural and intellectual heritage.
The family expressed their delight with his daughter and Telangana legislator Surabhi Vani Devi observing that this will further enhance the award’s value. “We are delighted that the first Telugu Prime Minister born on the soil of Telangana has been conferred with Bharat Ratna,” she told media persons.
Chaudhary Charan Singh
Modi wrote on social media in Hindi, “This honor is dedicated to his incomparable contribution to the country. He had dedicated his entire life to the rights of farmers and their welfare. Be it the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh or the Home Minister of the country and even as an MLA, he always gave impetus to nation-building. He also stood firmly against the Emergency. His dedication to our farmer brothers and sisters and his commitment to democracy during the Emergency is inspiring to the entire nation.”
Dr. MS Swaminathan
The Posthumous Bharat Ratna for Swaminathan, is a tribute to his lifelong dedication to agricultural science, farmers’ welfare in the country, to the welfare of the poorest in society and the most vulnerable, said his daughter, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, herself a former Deputy Director General at the WHO, emphasized that his motivation was never recognition but the tangible impact of his work. “I’m sure that he would have also been happy if the news had come during his lifetime. But he was never somebody who worked for awards or who waited for recognition. A lot of awards and recognition came to him but he was motivated more by the results of what he did on the ground and the people’s love and affection. Bharat Ratna is the highest honor that you can give. And he has been recognized for his lifetime of contributions, of course, to agriculture. But more important to farmers’ welfare in the country and also to the welfare of the poorest in society and the most vulnerable. So it is a matter of pride and satisfaction that his whole life’s work has been recognized by the government of India and by the prime minister,” she said.
Modi noted on Swaminathan: He played a pivotal role in helping India achieve self-reliance in agriculture during challenging times and made outstanding efforts towards modernizing Indian agriculture.