Babu Jagjivan Ram: Remembering ‘Babuji’ on his 116th birth anniversary | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Babu Jagjivan Ram: Remembering ‘Babuji’ on his 116th birth anniversary

By | Edited by Aryan Prakash
Apr 05, 2023 12:50 PM IST

Babu Jagjivan Ram holds the world record for being a parliamentarian for 50 uninterrupted years, from 1936 to 1986.

Babu Jagjivan Ram, populary known as “Babuji”, was a national leader, freedom fighter, and advocate for social justice. He was born on April 5, 1908, in Chandwa village, Bihar to Sobhi Ram and Vasanti Devi.

Jayaprakash Narayan and Jagjivan Ram (right), former Deputy Prime Minister of India, at a Janata Party rally in New Delhi on 06 February 1977(N Thyagarajan/HT Photo)
Jayaprakash Narayan and Jagjivan Ram (right), former Deputy Prime Minister of India, at a Janata Party rally in New Delhi on 06 February 1977(N Thyagarajan/HT Photo)

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Despite facing discrimination due to his caste, he passed his matriculation with guidance from his mother. He later completed his Inter Science Examination from Banaras Hindu University and graduated from Calcutta University. Babu Jagjivan Ram devoted his life to fighting for equal rights for the oppressed classes. On his 116th birth anniversary on April 5, the nation commemorates his legacy.

More facts about ‘Dalit Icon’ Babu Jagjivan Ram

-Babu Jagjivan Ram began his public life as a student activist and freedom fighter. At the age of 28, he became a legislator in 1936, as a nominated member of the Bihar Legislative Council. In June 1935, he married Indrani Devi, who was also a freedom fighter and an educationist.

-Babu Jagjivan Ram played a key role in the establishment of the All-India Depressed Classes League in 1935. This organisation was dedicated to achieving equality for the untouchables, a cause that Babuji was deeply committed to.

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-He held several important positions in the Indian government, including minister of labour and minister of communications under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. He also served as India's defence minister during the Indo-Pak war of 1971.

-Jagjivan Ram left the Congress party in 1977 to protest against the Emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He joined the Janata Party alliance along with his newly formed party, Congress for Democracy. He was later appointed as the deputy Prime Minister of India, a position he held from 1977 to 1979.

-He holds the world record for being a parliamentarian for 50 uninterrupted years, from 1936 to 1986. In addition, he is the longest-serving cabinet minister in Indian history, having served for a remarkable 30 years.

-Meira Kumar, a prominent Congress leader and former diplomat, is the daughter of Babu Jagjivan Ram. She also served as 15th Lok Sabha Speaker from 2009 to 2014.

-Babu Jagjivan Ram passed away on July 6, 1986, leaving behind a legacy of social and political activism that continues to inspire people across India. In his honour, a memorial was built at the place of his cremation, now known as Samta Sthal, meaning “Place of Equality.”

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