PV Narasimha Rao, Charan Singh, and MS Swaminathan to receive Bharat Ratna

Former Indian prime ministers PV Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh as well as agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan would be honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced today.

Bharat Ratna awardees
Left to right: Charan Singh, Narasimha Rao, MS Swaminathan. Photo courtesy: X/ @MVenkaiahNaidu

The government had earlier this year announced the Bharat Ratna for Ram Janmabhoomi movement leader LK Advani and socialist change-maker Karpoori Thakur.

With today’s announcement, Modi posted on X: “Narasimha Rao steered India through critical transformations and also enriched its cultural and intellectual heritage.” Rao’s visionary leadership, Modi said, was instrumental in making India economically advanced and laid a solid foundation for its prosperity and growth.

“Bharat Ratna to Charan Singh [is] dedicated to his incomparable contribution to [the] country,” the prime minister said. “Be it [as] the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh or the Home Minister of the country and even as an MLA, he always gave impetus to nation building. He also stood firm against the Emergency. His dedication to our farmer brothers and sisters and his commitment to democracy during the Emergency is inspiring to the entire nation.”

“Swaminathan made monumental contributions to [the] country in agriculture and farmers’ welfare,” Modi said. He played a pivotal role in helping India achieve self-reliance in agriculture and made outstanding efforts in modernising it, the prime minister said.