Politics over Bharat Ratna: Demand for highest civilian honour to Savarkar, Bal Thackeray grows
The Centre this year picked five stalwarts for the Bharat Ratna - the highest civilian award of the country. LK Advani, Kapoori Thakur, V Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh, S Swaminathan were chosen for the coveted award.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Friday demanded Bharat Ratna for Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray, hours after country’s highest civilian award was bestowed on former prime ministers PV Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh as well as Green Revolution pioneer S Swaminathan. He applauded the Centre's choice to bestow the Bharat Ratna upon the three icons, adding that Bal Thackeray ought to receive the accolade as well.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray took to X to demand the prestigious award to the Shiv Sena founder who "kindle the pride of all Hindus". He wrote: "A prominent cartoonist of this country and a unique leader who kindled the pride of all Hindus across the country deserves this honour. It will be a moment of jubilation for me, and others like me who have inherited Balasaheb’s thoughts."
"The Modi government, self-proclaimed as Hindutva, has once again overlooked the iconic figure Balasaheb Thackeray. First, two, and now three, five leaders have been honoured with the Bharat Ratna in a single month. Noteworthy is the absence of recognition for Veer Savarkar and Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray," Raut said in the post in Marathi.
The coveted honor was given this year to five individuals by the Modi government: LK Advani, Kapoori Thakur, V Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh, and S Swaminathan. This is the most the award has been given in a single year. The distinguished award was granted to four individuals in 1999.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party had in 2014 too pushed for Bharat Ratna for Bal Thackeray describing him a man of his great stature. ”He worked tirelessly to bring together people from various walks of life. He was the voice of the poor and ensured that poor people were given justice,” veteran Sena leader Manohar Joshi had said.