Senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar on Tuesday proposed that socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia and former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur be considered for Bharat Ratna for their contribution to the country.
Conferring the highest civilian award of the country on them would increase the prestige of the award, Kumar said on a social networking site. "This will happen only when this award is given to those who have really done great work involving sacrifice and hard work for the country," he said.
Pitching in favour of Lohia, the former Bihar Chief Minister said Lohia prepared the ground for the role of opposition in Parliament when the country was in the nascent stage of democracy. "Whatever Ram Manohar Lohia did in the socio-political field is invaluable. He changed the thousand-year old social structure by the power of democracy and by democratisation of the society he changed the direction of politics in the country," said Kumar. "The concept of non-alignment in India's foreign policy was Lohia's contribution. He opposed the capturing of Tibet by China, started agitation against Nepal's Ranashahi and went to jail for the Liberation of Goa," added Kumar.
Lauding Karpoori Thakur's role, Kumar said it was Thakur who had implemented the socio-political awareness brought in the country by Lohia. "Thakur gave place to the marginalised people and communities in the administrative system, strengthened the political stream to fight social ills and inspired the future leaders to the fact that the aim of social equality could be achieved with the help of politics," Kumar said.