One of the biggest tragedies of our polity has been that barring a few leaders like Karpoori Ji, the call for social justice was restricted to being a political slogan, but inspired by his vision we implemented it as an effective governance model: Modi
NEW DELHI: Today is the birth centenary of Jan Nayak Karpoori Thakur Ji, whose relentless pursuit of social justice created a positive impact on the lives of crores of people. I never had the opportunity to meet Karpoori Ji but I heard a lot about him from Kailashpati Mishra Ji, who worked closely with him. He belonged to one of the most backward sections of society, the Nai Samaj. Overcoming numerous obstacles, he achieved a lot and worked for societal betterment.
Jan Nayak Karpoori Thakur Ji’s life revolved around the twin pillars of simplicity and social justice. Till his last breath, his simple lifestyle and humble nature resonated deeply with the common people. There are numerous anecdotes that highlight his simplicity. Those who worked with him recall how he preferred to spend his own money on any personal matter including his daughter’s wedding. During his tenure as Chief Minister of Bihar, a decision was taken to build a colony for political leaders but he himself did not take any land or money for this. When he passed away in 1988, several leaders went to his village to pay tributes. When they saw the condition of his house, they were moved to tears — how could someone so towering have a house so simple!
Another anecdote of his simplicity dates back to 1977 when he had just taken over as the CM of Bihar. The Janata Government was in power in Delhi and Patna. At that time, Janata leaders had gathered in Patna to mark Loknayak JP’s birthday. Among the galaxy of top leaders walked in Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur Ji, with a torn kurta. In his own style, Chandrashekhar Ji asked people to donate some money so that Karpoori Ji could purchase a new kurta. But, Karpoori Ji was Karpoori Ji — he accepted the money but donated it to the CM Relief Fund.
Social justice was most dear to Jan Nayak Karpoori Thakur Ji. His political journey was marked by monumental efforts to create a society where resources were distributed fairly, and everyone, regardless of their social standing, had access to opportunities. He wanted to address the systemic inequalities that plagued Indian society.