Bharat Ratna 2024, India’s highest civilian award, stands as a symbol of exceptional service and contribution to the nation. Every year, the announcement of its recipients sparks national conversation, reflecting on the individuals who have shaped the country’s journey.
Let’s delve into the accomplishments of these esteemed individuals and understand the diverse avenues through which they served India.
A Year of Recognition: Unveiling the Bharat Ratna 2024 Recipients
2024 has been an extraordinary year, witnessing the highest number of awards bestowed in a single year, making the list even more significant.
Honoring Political Legacy:
Chaudhary Charan Singh:
This former Prime Minister and leader of the farmers’ movement championed the cause of agriculture and rural development. His policies focused on improving the lives of farmers and securing their livelihoods. His inclusion acknowledges the vital role agriculture plays in India’s economy and society.
- Prime Minister of India (1979-1980)
- Leader of the farmers’ movement
- Championed the cause of agriculture and rural development
- Implemented policies to improve the lives of farmers
- Acknowledged for his contribution to agricultural development
PV Narasimha Rao:
As India’s ninth Prime Minister, Rao steered the nation through a challenging economic period, implementing crucial reforms like liberalization and globalization. His leadership during the 1991 crisis is considered instrumental in preventing economic collapse. He also played a role in strengthening India’s foreign policy.
- Ninth Prime Minister of India (1991-1996)
- Implemented crucial economic reforms during 1991 crisis
- Oversaw liberalization and globalization of the Indian economy
- Strengthened India’s foreign policy
- Credited with preventing economic collapse
Lal Krishna Advani:
A veteran leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Advani served as Deputy Prime Minister of India and held crucial portfolios like Home Affairs. His contribution lies in consolidating the BJP as a national force and shaping its ideological discourse. However, his decisions remain controversial, particularly the demolition of the Babri Masjid, sparking heated debate about his inclusion on the list.
- Deputy Prime Minister of India (1998-2004)
- Home Minister of India (1998-2004)
- Instrumental in building the BJP as a national force
- Contributed to shaping the BJP’s ideological discourse
- Controversial figure due to role in Babri Masjid demolition
Bharat Ratna 2024: Recognizing Expertise
Dr. MS Swaminathan:
Often referred to as the “Father of the Green Revolution” in India, Dr. Swaminathan’s contributions to agriculture are unparalleled. His research and advocacy led to the adoption of high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice, significantly improving food security in India. His legacy extends beyond technology, emphasizing sustainable farming practices and equitable development.
- “Father of the Green Revolution” in India
- Developed high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice
- Significantly improved food security in India
- Advocated for sustainable farming practices and equitable development
- Lifelong dedication to improving agricultural productivity
Posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, Thakur was a socialist leader and former Chief Minister of Bihar. He dedicated his life to uplifting marginalized communities, focusing on land reforms, education, and social justice for the underprivileged. His inclusion highlights the significance of grass-roots leaders and their impact on specific regions and communities.
- Former Chief Minister of Bihar (1975-1979)
- Socialist leader and champion of marginalized communities
- Focused on land reforms, education, and social justice
- Dedicated his life to uplifting the underprivileged
- Posthumously awarded for his contributions to social justice
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A Diverse Landscape of Achievement:
The 2024 list reflects a broader trend of recognizing achievements beyond traditional political leadership. It acknowledges the critical role played by individuals in diverse fields like agriculture, science, and social service. This shift underscores the evolving definition of national service in an increasingly complex society.
It is a matter of immense joy that the Government of India is conferring the Bharat Ratna on Dr. MS Swaminathan Ji, in recognition of his monumental contributions to our nation in agriculture and farmers’ welfare. He played a pivotal role in helping India achieve self-reliance in… pic.twitter.com/OyxFxPeQjZ— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 9, 2024
However, the selection process and criteria remain opaque, leading to debates about the fairness and inclusivity of the awards. Concerns about political biases and the potential for overlooking deserving individuals from lesser-known fields persist.