99th birth anniversary of Karpuri Thakur, former chief minister of Bihar is being celebrated today.
Known as Jan Nayak, Karpuri Thakur was born in lower caste (Nai or thakur) in Samastipur district of Bihar. He was widely respected for his honesty, simple living, humility and mild respectful mannerism and remembered as the champion of the poor for introducing reservation for backward classes on government jobs in Bihar 1978. He faced extreme casteist backlash and ridicule for having done so.
Karpoori Thakur’s reservation policy in the 1970s, heralded a new beginning in Indian politics that shaped and changed the social dynamic and politics of Bihar and India forever. Leaders like Laloo Yadav, Nitish Kumar etc could well be said to be successor of his legacy.
There is s demand for conferring him Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award to recognise his contributions to the society.