Bharat Ratna for Verghese Kurien, India's Milkman
  • Petitioned Dr R Chidambaram

This petition was delivered to:

Principal Scientific Advisor to Govt of India
Dr R Chidambaram
Secretary to the President
Mrs Omita Paul
Cabinet Secretary
Mr Ajit Kumar Seth
Home Secretary
Mr RK Singh
Prime Minister of India
Dr Manmohan Singh
Principal Secretary, PMO
Mr Pulok Chatterjee

Bharat Ratna for Verghese Kurien, India's Milkman

    1. Sucheta Dalal
    2. Petition by

      Sucheta Dalal

      mumbai, India

India talks socialism and pays lip service to poverty alleviation. But when it comes to the highest civilian award for exemplary service to the nation - we have not adequately recognised the work of this giant individual who transformed lives in rural India.

Verghese Kurien, gave up his home state of Kerala to build a unique milk cooperative movement, which transformed the lives of millions of poor rural Indians. He make them self-sufficient. He empowered women. He eradicated poverty in a pocket of India. But that's not all. In Amul, he built one of the biggest brands in India. One that we are all proud of and which is going strong after half a century.

 There has been a spontaneous demand from ordinary Indians for a Bharat Ratna to be conferred on India’s milkman Dr Verghese Kurien, who passed away recently at the age of 90. People have been saying this in the social media and in emails and letters to newspapers. Some of us thought that the best way to make these voices heard collectively is through an online petition that allows everyone to sign up and explain their stance.

Here are 10 reasons why India must recognize Verghese Kurien’s contribution with a Bharat Ratna-

1. His breadth of vision was stunning. No matter how familiar we may be with his work it is awe inspiring: He transformed India from a milk-deficit country to the world’s largest milk producer and did it through the cooperative route so that women and small farmers were empowered and found an additional source of revenue to augment their farm income.

 2. In doing so he brightened the future of a millions of children by ensuring they had access to milk in when they needed it the most, in their childhood.

3. Operation Flood or the white revolution worked, not because it was a social experiment, but because of Dr Kurien’s shrewdness and strategic vision in creating a national marketing machine that matched wits with the best multinationals.

4. It also worked because he built Amul into one of India’s biggest brands since independence. Its mascot, the Amul girl has charmed the nation for half a century.

5. Dr Kurien had the ability to recognize and nurture the finest talent and give them room to deliver – he did this with his advertising agency, to create an iconic outdoor campaign with the “utterly butterly Amul” tagline. It comments on everyday events.

6. In building Amul, Dr Kurien demonstrated that efficiency isn’t dependent on profit motive alone, as is the modern belief. He remained unaffected by the mountain of money that he controlled in the 1970s and 1980s – over Rs 2000 crore in liquid cash at one stage.

7. Importantly, Dr Kurien’s genius at the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) and the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and the creation of an iconic brand in Amul happened in a closed and highly restrictive economy.

8. India has no other brand of a similar stature even from the private sector in the 50 years since Amul or even in the 20 years after economic liberalization.

9. History will remember Dr Kurien as India’s real Bharat Ratna because no individual has impacted the lives of ordinary and rural Indians the way he did in the last 50 years.

10. By giving Dr Kurien the recognition that he richly deserves, the government will demonstrate that our highest civilian award goes to a person who has truly lived up to the socialist ideals that India embraced at independence.

News Sources-

[1] The uncrowned Bharat Ratna

[2] Kurien, the doodhwalla visionary

[3] Bihar leaders demand Bharat Ratna for Verghese Kurien

[4] Amul's Verghese Kurien deserved a Bharat Ratna, if anyone ever did

Recent signatures


    1. Sahakarya Kranti Diwas

      Sucheta Dalal
      Petition Organizer

      Here is what we did to take the movement forward. Do click on our link. Do share with me your thoughts and ideas on how to take forward the work done by Dr Kurien! I would also urge you to watch the videos of talks by Anand Halve and Vinay Somani. best regards

      Sahakarya Kranti Diwas: A movement for positive change on Dr Kurien's birth anniversary - Moneylife

      A gathering of Mumbai's leading activists with interests in a wide range of social issues gathered today at Moneylife Foundation to mark the birth anniversary of Dr Verghese Kurien. In line with Dr Kurien's ideals, it was decided to commemorate the day by pledging to cooperate for positive change or as "Sahakarya Kranti Diwas".

    2. Molly Kurien passed away last night at Mumbai

      Sucheta Dalal
      Petition Organizer

      With just a few days for 2012 to end, Molly Kurien, wife of Dr Verghese Kurien passed away at Breach Candy hospital late last night. Got to know it today. I just heard she is being cremated at Chandanwadi around now. All those who knew this gracious smiling woman who was Dr Kurien's pillar of strength may want to pay their respects.

      Meanwhile, we renew our efforts at getting the government to see that Dr Verghese Kurien is one Indian who definitely deserves India's highest civilian honour. On 26 Nov, Dr Kurien's birth anniversary (Sahakarya Kranti Divas), we analysed the 40 odd Bharat Ratnas awarded so far. Around 17 went to freedom fighters - several others to artists, economists & political leaders. Only two - Mother Teresa & Acharya Vinoba Bhave were honoured for working among our poorest people. Lets make it happen again!

    3. Reached 12,500 signatures
    4. Give India's 'milkman' his due

      Sucheta Dalal
      Petition Organizer

      Vadodara/Anand: Even as the demand to confer Bharat Ratna on late Verghese Kurien is growing, Kurien's supporters are demanding that his birth anniversary which falls on November 26 be observed as 'Sahkarya Kranti Diwas'.
      Over 10,000 people across India have already signed an online petition seeking Bharat Ratna for India's 'milkman', who passed away at 90. GCMMF and Institute of Rural Management, Anand -- are chalking out plans to pay homage to the Father of White Revolution on November 26.
      The online petition, which is seeking public support for the Bharat Ratna campaign, will be emailed to the President and the Padma award committee members once closed. The idea behind celebrating Kurien's birth anniversary as 'Sahkarya Kranti Diwas' is to start a movement for positive change

    5. Lets recognise 26Nov as Sahakarya Kranti Diwas: Movement for +ve change

      Sucheta Dalal
      Petition Organizer

      Over 10,180 people across India and abroad have signed a petition seeking a Bharat Ratna for Dr V Kurien, better known as India’s milkman. The campaign now seeks public support for the next phase, which is to bring it to the attention of decision makers. There is also a suggestion to recognise 26th November, Dr Kurien’s birthday as ‘Sahkarya Kranti Diwas’ to start a movement for positive change and inclusive growth. A 1988 convocation address at IIM-Ahmedabad show how relevant this is even today.

      Click link to read more and join us or send your thoughts and ideas to me at

      Over 10,000 people signed on a petition asking "Bharat Ratna" for Dr V Kurien. What next? - Moneylife

      Over 10,180 people across India and abroad have signed a petition seeking a Bharat Ratna for Dr V Kurien, better known as India's milkman. The campaign now seeks public support for the next phase, which is to bring it to the attention of decision makers.

    6. Reached 10,000 signatures
    7. 9000 signatures and more

      Sucheta Dalal
      Petition Organizer

      Jay Thakker.. Congrats. You are the signature 9000 on this petition. Many thanks.

    8. Surprise gift for best message on why Dr Verghese Kurien is a Bharat Ratna

      Sucheta Dalal
      Petition Organizer

      Friends... this is an aam aadmi effort... so dont forget to post a message on why you think Dr Kurien is a Bharat Ratna. We have a surprise gift for the best message coming your way! watch out for more announcements on this

    9. Reached 9,000 signatures
    10. Sahil Kulkarni is 8000th petitioner to sign

      Sucheta Dalal
      Petition Organizer

      Hi Folks. Hope to announce a surprise soon. Do please give us reasons why you think Dr Kurien deserves a Bharat Ratna.. its important

    11. Reached 8,000 signatures
    12. IndiaCSR writes about Bharat Ratna for Dr Kurien

      Sucheta Dalal
      Petition Organizer

      Here is a piece on the campaign :

      10 Reasons Why Dr Verghese Kurien Deserves A Bharat Ratna | INDIA CSR

      NEW DELHI: There is a spontaneous demand from ordinary Indians for a Bharat Ratna for India's milkman Dr Verghese Kurien (November 26, 1921- September 9, 2012), who passed away recently at the age of 90. India talks socialism and pays lip service to poverty alleviation.

    13. Reached 7,000 signatures
    14. Online campaign seeking Bharat Ratna for Verghese Kurien

      Sucheta Dalal
      Petition Organizer
      REad this link about the campaign. Super... Now lets go past 5000 please?

    15. Sharing a lovely thought from Prof Sri Gopal,Ontario

      Sucheta Dalal
      Petition Organizer

      Dear Suchetaji,
      First when I received your appeal I stopped and thought what good it would
      do except achieving a glorification which many of us would like to see it
      happening but have been frustrated otherwise. We observe Gandhi's picture in
      every Govt. office. Isn't it great? Our job is done. Once you all sign and
      reach your quota your job is done and then the business is as usual. We
      adore superficiality because it is easy.

      The other day someone suggested to make a mass appeal so as to give Mahatma
      Gandhi Nobel Peace Prize posthumously. Should we? I wonder.

      Today I signed it. I want to be optimistic. Who knows today's taste of the
      crust may take someone tomorrow to the substance? Who knows Gandhi's
      picture may inspire someone tomorrow?
      Behind this effort, I appeal to bring a genuine change within ourselves.
      The entire world is pondering on it.

      Thanks for your effort,
      Sri Gopal Mohanty,Emeritus Professor
      Dept of Mathematics & Statistics
      McMaster University
      Hamilton, Ontario

    16. Reached 4,000 signatures
    17. Thanks Rajdeep Sardesai for endorsing. We are 3907 now

      Sucheta Dalal
      Petition Organizer

      Do spread the word..we've had a slow day yesterday ... must go past 5000 today with your support and help. Best thing to do on a Sunday!

    18. 3447 just now... need to go to 5000 today!

      Sucheta Dalal
      Petition Organizer

      Did you see the release of a new book on Dr Kurien?

    19. Reached 3,000 signatures
    20. Ketan Kakkad's comment. Wanted to share it

      Sucheta Dalal
      Petition Organizer

      Can u believe that 12000 crore per annum directly goes to the farmers of villages of 13 districts of Gujarat thorugh the co-operative route. This is the real manufacturing contribution to the rural economy and one should believe that this is one of the biggest factor why the Gujarat Economy is growing.

    21. EMBED to support

      Sucheta Dalal
      Petition Organizer

      I just noticed that you can embed this request in your blogs too. Will be a great help in spreading the word if you do.

    22. Reached 1,000 signatures



    Sep 26, 2012

    Bharat Ratna for Verghese Kurien: India's milkman via @change

    Meera Sanyal


    Oct 20, 2012

    RT @Nishad need 4000 signatures 2 reach 10K needed 2 petition govt 4 #bhartratna 4 Dr Kurien of Amul can you RT too?

    Mahesh Murthy


    Sep 23, 2012

    Does this Government have either character or courage! If Rajiv Gandhi was given the Bharat Ratna, why not Verghese Kurien the Amul(ya) man?



    Sep 23, 2012

    @suchetadalal done. If Dr Kurien had not created the vast Amul enterprise, govt would be saying we need foreign retallers 2 organize us

    Shekhar Kapur


    Sep 30, 2012

    Support online petition #bharatratnaforkurien . Contact @suchetadalal or for more

    Rajdeep Sardesai

    Reasons for signing

    • Prabhakara Medihala SASKATOON, CANADA
      • 9 months ago

      I am a veterinarian and completely understand and know his idea and contributions

      • 10 months ago

      A wonderful role model.

      • 10 months ago

      He has done very important job for uniting,upliftment of milk producer and even for country to be self dependent in milk production.

      • 10 months ago

      i respect good things

    • Sanjeev Jinka FRANCONIA, VA
      • 10 months ago

      I deserves it more than anybody else. The kind of transformation he brought in when all the government schemes where failing and for it to be so effective that the country is highest producer of milk products now. He didn't just put India forward but has put the Indian peasant forward or the AAM Adami forward.


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