April 5 marked the Birth anniversary of the Dalit leader who emerged from the rural hinterlands of Bihar to serve as a Union minister for more than four decades in independent India.
Jagjivan Ram, popularly known as Babuji was an Indian independence activist and politician from Bihar. He had a towering personality and played a long inning, spanning over half a century in Indian politics with commitment, dedication and devotion.
He was instrumental in the foundation of the All-India Depressed Classes League, an organization dedicated to attaining equality for untouchables, in 1935 and was elected to Bihar Legislative Assembly in 1937, after which he organised the rural labour movement.
In 1946, he became the youngest minister in Jawaharlal Nehru's interim government, the first cabinet of India as a Labour Minister and also a member of Constituent Assembly of India, where he ensured that social justice was enshrined in the Constitution.
Most importantly, he was the Defence Minister of India during the Indo-Pak war of 1971, which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. His contribution to the Green Revolution in India and modernizing Indian agriculture, during his two tenures as Union Agriculture Minister is still remembered, especial during 1974 drought when he was asked to hold the additional portfolio to tide over the food crisis.
He achieved so much, did so much and contributed so much towards social equality. To commemorate this great leader India post has issued 100 Paisa (1 Rupee) postage stamp on his birth anniversary.
Image Source: Mintage World