15 August 1922|
Dhar, Madhya Pradesh, India
28 December 2003|
AIIMS, New Delhi
|Political party||Bharatiya Janata Party|
Kushabhau Thakre was born at Dhar, Madhya Pradesh in a Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu family to parents Dr. Sundarrao Shripatirao Thakre (father) and Smt. ShantaBai Sundarrao Thakre (mother). He was educated at Dhar and Gwalior. In 1942 he was inducted as a Pracharak by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh then moved to the Ratlam Division (Ratlam, Ujjain, Mandsaur, Jhabua, Chittaur, Kota, Bundi, Jhalawad, Banswada(Raj.), Dahod (Gujarat)). He moved up in the Jana Sangh, the political wing of the RSS at the time, and then in the Janata Party when the parties merged.
In 1956 he became Secretary (Organisation) Madhya Pradesh of Bharatiya Jana Sangh. He was appointed All India Secretary of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Orissa and also additional in charge of Gujarat in 1967.
In 1974 he was made All India Secretary (Organisation). During the 1975–1977 Emergency, he was jailed for 19 months alongside other opposition political leaders. He was elected to Lok Sabha in 1979 in a by-election from Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh.
When the Bharatiya Janata Party was formed in 1980, he was appointed as a Secretary and in charge of Gujarat, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. Remained on this post until 1984. Throughout the years, he held offices as a national General Secretary, Vice-President or "in-charge" of a particular state. On 14 April 1998 Thakre was elected as President of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In August 2000, he stepped down from this post.
A true visionary and an efficient team builder Thakre has major contribution in building the organisation in Chhattisgarh. Leaders groomed by Thakre hold important positions in the state Government.
Some of the places named after him are Kushabhau Thakre University of Journalism and Mass Communication in Raipur, Kushabhau Thakre Nursing College]] & Kushabhau Thakre Inter State Bus Terminal in Bhopal, Kushabhau Thakre Community Hall in Ahmedabad, Kushabhau Thakre District hospital in Shahdol and Kushabhau Thakre Road in Indore
- Rob Jenkins (2004). Regional Reflections: Comparing Politics Across India's States. Oxford University Press. p. 164.
In fact, in the late 1990s and in 2000 the party apparatus was still controlled by upper-caste leaders — either from the faction led by former Chief Minister Sunderlal Patwa (a Jain) and BJP National President Kushabhau Thakre (a Kayasth[prabhu]),or by its opponents , led by Lami Narayan Pandey and former chief minister Kailash Joshi, both Brahmins
- Christophe Jaffrelot. Presses de la Fondation nationale des sciences politiques, 1993 Les nationalistes hindous: idéologie, implantation et mobilisation dès années 1920 aux années 1990. p. 150).
Le cas du Madhya Pradesh En Inde centrale, une des premières zones de force du nationalisme hindou, cette charge fut progressivement confiée à Kushabhau Thakre. Natif de Dhar et de caste kayasth[prabhu] (rough translation of last part: the charge was gradually entrusted to Kushabhau Thakre. Native of Dhar and of caste CKP
- Kushabhau Thakre: a brave political soldier