New Delhi [India] : 'Kisan Putra' Vice President Dhankhar said the Bharat Ratna honour for former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh was a moment of pride and joy for India's farmers.
Dhankar, who hails from a farming family himself, recalled the immense contribution of farmer leader and former Prime Minister in furthering the cause of farmers in the country.
"You see, check on any parameter today. He is a symbol of honesty and has been a universally accepted leader of the farmer community, dedicated to the cause of the farmers. Be it the Agriculture Minister of Uttar Pradesh, be it the Chief Minister, be it the Prime Minister of the country, be it the Home Minister. He left a mark, the love he had for the farmers and his complete concentration of thoughts in the matter of clear communication in the political field was his big identity. He bravely fought the phase of the Emergency with his principles, he never gave in. His honesty in his work, his dedication towards the poor farmers, this is his identity. No one could come near Chaudhary Saheb," the Vice President recalled.
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 civilian honour later this year.
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.
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.
The Vice President recalled the sense of joy and pride he felt when he was informed of the award, a sense that he conveyed to the upper house of Parliament where he is Chairman.
"I come from a farmer family and am Vice President now, when I was informed of this award I immediately informed the Rajya Sabha of this and all the members welcomed this announcement. There was no bigger honour for me, a person who never dreamt of being on this post, to have made this announcement" the Vice President said.