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UPSC BABU JAGJIVAN RAM - English

BABU JAGJIVAN RAM


Why in News?
The Prime Minister paid tributes to freedom fighter Babu Jagjivan Ram on his 115th birth anniversary


About 

  • Jagjivan Ram, popularly known as Babuji, was a national leader, a freedom fighter, a crusader of social justice, a champion of depressed classes and an outstanding Parliamentarian.
  • Jagjivan Ram was born on 5th April 1908 in Chandwa in Bihar to a Dalit family.
  • He was considered ‘untouchable’ and had to drink water from a different pot.
  • Jagjivan Ram protested against this by breaking the pot. The principal then had to remove the separate pot from the school.
  • In 1925, Jagjivan Ram met scholar Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya and was greatly inspired by him. On Malaviya’s invitation, he joined the Banaras Hindu University.
  • Even at the university, Jagjivan Ram faced discrimination. This inspired him to protest against such social boycotts of a section of society. He also organised the scheduled castes to protest against injustice.
  • Jagjivan Ram had organised a number of Ravidas Sammelans and had celebrated Guru Ravidas Jayanti in different areas of Calcutta (Kolkata).

Pre Independence Contributions

  •  In 1931, he became a member of the Indian National Congress (Congress Party).
  • He was instrumental in the foundation of the All India Depressed Classes League, an organisation dedicated to attaining equality for untouchables, in 1934-35.
  • He was a champion of social equality and equal rights for the Depressed Classes.
  • In 1935, he proposed at a session of the Hindu Mahasabha that drinking water wells and temples be open to untouchables.
  • In 1935, Babuji also appeared before the Hammond Commission at Ranchi and demanded, for the first time, voting rights for the Dalits.

Post Independence Contributions

  • When Jawaharlal Nehru formed the provisional government, Jagjivan Ram became its youngest minister.
  • He served as minister for food and agriculture and he was made minister of defence.
  • The Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 was fought when he was the defence minister.
  • He also holds another record for being the longest-serving cabinet minister in India (30 years).
  • Jagjivan Ram was a member of the Parliament uninterrupted from 1936 to 1986 (40 years) and this is a world record.


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