Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on February 3rd that veteran BJP leader LK Advani will be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour. PM Modi spoke to the 96-year-old leader over the phone to personally convey the news to him. 

In a series of tweets, PM Modi said that LK Advani’s contribution to India’s development is monumental. He referred to Advani as one of the most respected statesmen of the country, with a life dedicated to public service from the grassroots level to holding important ministerial portfolios at the national level. 

Some key details about LK Advani and his incredible political journey:

  • Born in 1927 in Karachi (now in Pakistan), Advani migrated to India after Partition and settled in Mumbai. He joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh at a young age.
  • Advani was a founding member of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the precursor to the BJP. He has served as president of the BJP three times over the decades. 
  • He first became a Rajya Sabha MP in 1970. Advani went on to win elections and serve in the Lok Sabha as well, holding cabinet portfolios. 
  • As Home Minister in the Vajpayee government of 1998-2004, Advani oversaw important policy decisions and national security matters. 
  • Advani is best known for his historic 1990 Ram Rath Yatra, which mobilized nationwide support for the Ram Temple movement in Ayodhya. This catapulted the BJP into national prominence.
  • Even in his 90s, Advani remained an influential voice within the party and was consulted on many important matters of policy and strategy.
  • In 2015, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour, for his distinguished public service.

PM Modi highlighted Advani’s unparalleled efforts in furthering national unity and cultural resurgence. As someone who had the privilege of closely interacting with Advani, PM Modi said he considers it an honour to learn from the veteran leader’s high standards of political ethics and integrity.

By conferring Advani with the Bharat Ratna, the government has recognised his monumental role in India’s growth story and ensured that future generations will remember his service and contributions. At 96, Advani continues to be respected and admired across India for strengthening the nation’s democratic framework.

This prestigious award marks the culmination of LK Advani’s illustrious seven-decade long career devoted to public life. It will be remembered as a fitting tribute to one of India’s tallest leaders.