Daily News Analysis

Babu Jagjivan Ram

7th April, 2021 History

GS PAPER 1: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

Context: On the 114th birth anniversary of Babu Jagjivan Ram, PM Modi and others paid tribute to Jagjivan Ram, a crusader for social justice

  • He was a freedom fighter and Dalit Icon, he worked tirelessly for the "underprivileged and deprived section of the society.
  • Popularly known as Babuji, he dedicated his life for the betterment of the poor and downtrodden.
  • He was instrumental in the foundation of the All India Depressed Classes League, an organisation 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 the Constituent Assembly of India, where he ensured that social justice was enshrined in the Constitution.
  • 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 modernising Indian agriculture, during his two tenures as Union Agriculture Minister are still remembered, especially during 1974 drought when he was asked to hold the additional portfolio to tide over the food crisis.
  • At his death, he was the last surviving minister of the Interim Government and the last surviving original member of the first cabinet of independent India.