Bharat Ratna not only honour for me but also for ideals and principles I served: Advani
New Delhi: Veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani said on Saturday that the Bharat Ratna award is not only an honour for him as a person but also for the ideals and principles that he strove to serve throughout life to the best of his ability.
“With utmost humility and gratitude, I accept the Bharat Ratna that has been conferred on me today,” he said in a statement soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his name for the country’s highest civilian honour.
The 96-year-old leader, the longest serving president of the BJP, said ever since he joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as its volunteer at the age of 14 years he has sought reward in only one thing – “in dedicated and selfless service of my beloved country in whatever task life assigned to me”.
He said what has inspired his life is the motto: “This life is not mine. My life is for my nation.”
Today, he said, he gratefully remembers two persons with whom he had the honour of working closely – Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, awarded the Bharat Ratna earlier.
Expressing heartfelt gratitude to millions of BJP workers, RSS volunteers and others with whom he had worked in his public life, Advani thanked President Droupadi Murmu and Modi for the honour.
“I also express my deepest feelings for all members of my family, especially my dear departed wife Kamla. They have been the greatest source of strength and sustenance in my life,” he said.
He added, “May our great country progress to the pinnacle of greatness and glory.”