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Who was the First Non-Indian to Receive the Bharat Ratna?

By Balaji

Updated on: February 17th, 2023

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was the First Non-Indian to Receive the Bharat Ratna He was a resident of Pakistan and got the Bharat Ratan in 1987. Abdul Ghaffar was also known as “Frontier Gandhi”. He was a follower and supporter of Mahatma Gandhi and his non-violent ideals. The Bharat Ratna does not specifically mention that awardees should be Indian nationals.

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  • 1. First Non-Indian to Receive the Bharat Ratna (more)
  • 2. Who was the First Non-Indian to Receive the Bharat Ratna? (more)

First Non-Indian to Receive the Bharat Ratna

The formation of two civilian awards, including the highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, was disclosed in a news release from the secretary to the President’s office on January 2, 1954. The Bharat Ratna does not explicitly state that awardees must be Indian nationals. It was given to Mother Teresa, an Indian who had become a naturalised citizen, in 1980, to Abdul Ghaffar Khan of Pakistan in 1987 and to Nelson Mandela, a former president of South Africa, in 1990.

  • Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award in India, which started in 1954.
  • It is given to those who have made exceptional work in art, public affairs, science & engineering, social work, sports, trade, and industry without distinction of race, caste, position, and sex.
  • The first recipients of the Bharat Ratna award were C.Rajagopalachari, CV Raman, and S.Radhakrishnan.
  • Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was a prominent politician and leader of the Muslim ethnic group, the Pashtuns.
  • He was part of the agitation against the Rowlatt Act and was actively involved in the Indian freedom struggle through non-violence.
  • He also joined the Khilafat movement to protect the rights of Muslims.

Summary:

Who was the First Non-Indian to Receive the Bharat Ratna?

The First Non-Indian to Receive the Bharat Ratna was Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1954. He was the founder of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement in 1929. The second Non-Indian to receive Bharat Ratna was Nelson Mandela in 1990 and Mother Teresa.

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