9 Feb 2024

Is Bharat Ratna becoming a political tool for BJP? Why awards announced just ahead of Lok Sabha elections have raised eyebrows?

Taking an unprecedented decision in the election year, the Central Government on Friday announced the award of Bharat Ratna to Late Chaudhary Charan Singh, Late PV Narasimha Rao and Agricultural Scientist Dr VS Swaminathan. Earlier, Late Karpuri Thakur and Lal Krishna Advani were awarded the country’s highest civilian honour. Probably, this is the first time that five personalities will be given Bharat Ratna in the same year. 

The contribution of the personalities who have been given Bharat Ratna is certainly remarkable, but due to the timing of the announcement of giving Bharat Ratna, some people may raise questions on it. Dr. MS Swaminathan is an agricultural scientist who has made an incomparable contribution to the agricultural revolution of the country. In the context of modern agriculture, he is considered the greatest scientist of his time. Hardly anyone would have any objection to giving him Bharat Ratna. 

There should not be any objection to giving Bharat Ratna to other four personalities. After Pranab Mukherjee, Dr. PV Narasimha Rao is the second Congress leader to be awarded Bharat Ratna by the Narendra Modi government. Among the celebrities who have received Bharat Ratna after 2014, Nanaji Deshmukh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani are the only ones who have been associated with BJP or its ideological family. Otherwise all the remaining personalities have no connection with BJP or Sangh Parivar. 

Nitish returned to NDA after Bharat Ratna award to Karpoori Thakur

However, it is also true that Janata Dal United leader Nitish Kumar joined the NDA alliance within 3 days of Bharat Ratna award to Jannayak Karpoori Thakur. Nitish had been demanding Bharat Ratna for his political guru Karpoori Thakur for a long time. With this decision, BJP targeted the OBC vote bank on one hand. 

On the other hand, the saffron party took lead over INDIA Alliance even before the Lok Sabha elections. Political observers believe the pressure created by giving Bharat Ratna to Karpoori Thakur played a big role in Nitish Kumar returning to NDA alliance dealing a big blow to Opposition parties.

Charan Singh's grandson Jayant Chaudhary to form alliance with BJP in UP

Now after award of Bharat Ratna to former PM Chaudhary Charan Singh, his grandson Jayant Chaudhary is going to form an alliance with BJP in Uttar Pradesh. Jayant Chaudhary, on Friday confirmed an alliance with the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha election.

RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary says, "It is a big day and an emotional moment for me. I want to thank the President, government and PM Modi because this was part of his vision. Three awards have been given. The sentiments of the people are connected with this decision..."

Earlier, Jayant Chaudhary, took to social media platform X to welcome Bharat Ratna to his grandfather Chaudhary Charan Singh.

"Dil jeet liya (won hearts)," Jayant Chaudhary's post on the microblogging site, read.

The award for Chaudhary Charan Singh came at a time when his grandson and chief of the RLD Jayant was holding talks with the BJP for an alliance for the Lok Sabha election.

Talks were underway between BJP and RLD for the past couple of days.

After the announcement, a deal for RLD to join NDA is likely to be sealed. Senior RLD officials in UP confirmed that now there should be no doubt about the new alliance in West UP between RLD and BJP.

Chaudhary Charan Singh has a huge contribution in removing the Zamindari system from Uttar Pradesh. While being the Revenue Minister and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, he took many big steps in the context of agricultural reforms, the impact of which is still visible today.

Bid to appease farmers and Jats 

Many people also believe that an attempt is being made to resolve political equations by giving Bharat Ratna to Chaudhary Charan Singh. Farmers and Jats are angry with the government since the farmers' movement. In such a situation, an attempt has been made to pacify them by giving Bharat Ratna to Chaudhary Charan Singh. In fact, Chaudhary Charan Singh is the only leader of Western Uttar Pradesh with whom people have emotional attachment even today. In such a situation, by giving Bharat Ratna to Chaudhary Saheb, the PM has attempted to form new equations of the politics of Jats and farmers.

Bharat Ratna to Narasimha Rao

Bharat Ratna given to PV Narasimha Rao will also be linked to the politics of increasing the base of BJP in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. However, it is also true that great personalities neither belong to any caste nor are they related to any party or language. Therefore, there is no point in controversies or doing politics regarding the honor of great men. But the way the highest honour has been used for political gains raises eyebrows.

PV Narasimha Rao can be given credit for liberalization of the economy. After becoming the Prime Minister in 1991, PV Narasimha Rao took a very unexpected decision and made Dr. Manmohan Singh, the former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, the Finance Minister in his government. This was a historic decision, which completely changed India's economic policy. 

Allegation can also be leveled against previous Cong govts

As far as politicization of Bharat Ratna awards is concerned, this allegation can also be leveled against the previous Congress governments. Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi were given Bharat Ratna when they were holding the post of Prime Minister. 

Similarly, film actor and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu MG Ramachandran was given Bharat Ratna just before the Tamil Nadu elections. There has always been politics in the matter of Bharat Ratna. This is also natural because most of the people who have received Bharat Ratna were serving the country through politics. 

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