Saturday, 19 Sep, 11.17 pm Deccan Herald

Intellectuals' Forum wants Bharat Ratna for Devaraj Urs

Shruthi H M Sastry,

A forum of intellectuals comprising Supreme Court judge Justice Gopala Gowda, litterateur Baraguru Ramachandrappa and former advocate-general Ravi Varma Kumar, among others, has demanded Bharat Ratna be conferred posthumously on ex-chief minister D Devaraj Urs.

In a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, under the banner "Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Thinkers Forum, Karnataka", the intellectuals have stated that the former chief minister was an exemplary leader "worthy of emulation for the generation of leaders not only in the state of Karnataka but across the country."

Urs is credited with introducing revolutionary land reforms in the spirit of the 'land to the tiller' call, they said in their letter to Shah. Urs was a technocrat far ahead of his times who introduced technology into good governance.

Abolition of bonded labor, redistribution of land to the landless, rehabilitation of beggars, debt relief, were among his contributions, they said, seeking recognition for Urs' work through the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honor.

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