ANI Photo | “Pain that people felt due to delay in awarding them now wiped out” says VP Dhankhar on Bharat Ratna awards says VP Dhankhar on Bharat Ratna awards

Coming out in praise of the BJP-NDA government at the Centre over its decision to confer the Bharat Ratna on five towering stalwarts and national icons, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday said the weight and prestige of India’s highest civilian honour have grown manifold.
Late former Prime Ministers Chaudhary Charan Singh and Narasimha Rao, BJP stalwart and former deputy PM LK Advani, the harbinger of India’s Green Revolution, MS Swaminathan, and late two-time Bihar Chief Minister and a champion of social justice, Dr Karpoori Thakur, will be conferred with the country’s highest prize later this year.
In an interview with ANI, when asked if there has been a delay in giving these towering leaders and personalities the country’s highest prize, Vice President Dhankhar said the pain felt by the delay in awarding them has now been wiped out.
“There was an opportunity, they (earlier governments) should have given the award. With this step of the government – due to which the government and Prime Minister should be thanked – the honour of Bharat Ratna has been enhanced. The weightage of Bharat Ratna has been enhanced. When Padma awards were given earlier, how was it perceived? When Padma awards are given today, people say in one voice, “Sahi Mila”…When such a personality (Chaudhary Charan Singh) has been awarded the Bharat Ratna with such delay, it hurts a little. But that pain has subsided today. Today, Chaudhary Sahab received Bharat Ratna and you can imagine that crores of farmers, villagers will have a sound sleep” the Vice President said.
“No one should have any doubt about whether these five leading stalwarts should be honoured with the country’s highest prize. Look at these four gems, proud sons of the soil. All four of them–Chaudhary Charan Singh, MS Swaminathan, Dr. Karpoori Thakur, and PV Narasimha Rao–could have received this honour much earlier. Be that as it may, the decision by the government today has further enhanced the profile and prestige of this award,” the Vice President Dhankhar added.
Vice President Dhankhar said Chaudhary Charan Singh, a mass leader who devoted his life to striving for farmers’ interests and welfare, never lost touch with originality and kept his moral standards and principles paramount.
“The inspiration I got from Choudhary Saheb came largely from a key aspect of his life–that he never lost touch with originality and kept his morality and principles supreme. No one could even think of being dishonest with him. Throughout his life, he remained steadfastly opposed to the culture of recommendation,” the Vice President said.
“When a leader, who did such great work, was a lifelong stickler for principles and left an enviable legacy of visionary leadership and public service, gets his due so late, there is bound to be an outpouring of pain that had been suppressed all this time. However, the pain will have lost a measure of its effect now. He will get the Bharat Ratna and crores of farmers across the country can sleep peacefully now,” he added.
The Vice President added that Chaudhary Charan Singh used to call farmers the “backbone of the Indian economy” and his dream about farmers’ welfare is finally being fulfilled today.
“He always used to say this about farmers: that they are the backbone of the economy. Today, I am pleased to see that the children of farmers have jobs and are doing well in life. The landscape of villages has changed. In a way, Chaudhary Saheb’s dream is being realised today,” he said.
Expressing joy on Chaudhary Charan Singh being chosen for the Bharat Ratna, the Vice President said it will bring joy to crores of farmers in the country.
“It is very important that the nation give one of our tallest leaders and proudest sons his due. We are fortunate to be living at a time when the country is in the Amrit Kaal. And, to bestow the country’s top honours on deserving people at this time makes it all the more special,” Dhankhar said

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