Babu Jagjivan Ram Jayanti – Samta Diwas
Jagjivan Ram (5 April 1908 – 6 July 1986), popularly known as Babuji, was an Indian independence activist and politician from Bihar. Jagjivan Ram, who held many top positions in Indian politics, was not only a freedom fighter, a skilled politician, a competent minister, and a qualified administrator, but also a skilled organizer, social thinker, and successful speaker.
He was a great freedom fighter, a devoted leader of the Congress, and the voice of millions of untouchables of the country. He was a messiah for the Dalit community who found the All India Depressed Classes League which was dedicated to attaining equality for untouchables.
He was born on 5th April 1908, in Chandwa, his father Sobhi Ram was from a Chamar caste or untouchables. Being from the Dalit community, he had to suffer social discrimination and untouchability since childhood. While he was still in school, his father died and he was raised by his mother. He passed the first class matriculation examination from Arrah Town School.
Despite facing caste-based discrimination, Jagjivan Ram successfully passed the Inter-Science Examination from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and then graduated with a B.Sc. degree from the University of Calcutta. He at university organized conferences to draw attention towards discrimination and was part of the anti-untouchability movement started by Mahatma Gandhi.
After his first wife died due to illness in August 1933, Jagjivan Ram married again in June 1935. His wife, Indrani Devi was the daughter of Dr. Birbal, a well-known social worker of Kanpur. The couple had two children, Suresh Kumar and Meira Kumar.
Jagjivan Ram’s career in Indian politics and social causes spanned four decades. He was an Independence leader during the last years of British India and became the Minister of Labor in India’s first cabinet. He was also a leader in the fight for equality for all Indians for the “untouchables”. And he was instrumental in getting many provisions of “social justice” in the Indian Constitution.
Under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, he worked with many people like Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, and Netaji Subash Chandra Bose to get freedom. He prisoned so many times in a freedom Struggle. Since his student life, he suffered from ill-treating by society, because he regards to backward class. So, he got realized and he started to awake the people with his ideas about the socio–economic situation of Dalits (Backward Classes) via social organizations like “Ravidas Mahasabha” and depressed classes League.
Babu Jagajivan Ram became a crusader for social equality. Being a nominated member of the Bihar Legislative Council, he represented the oppressed classes in the council. In 1937, he founded a “ KhetiharMajdoorSabha”, which is meant for laborers and their welfare. He came out with his ideas on the current socio–economic circumstances of backward classes at “All India Depressed Classes League” in Champaran, Bihar. Therefore, Gandhi publicly said about Babu Jagjivan Ram is the “Jewel” of India.
In 1946, Jagjivan Ram joined Nehruji’s provisional cabinet as the youngest minister. He remained popular among the public as well as among the MPs. Jagjivan Ram, as the defence minister during the Indo-Pak war of 1971 was instrumental in the birth of Bangladesh nation. He handled the additional portfolio of agriculture and irrigation during the 1974 floods and contributed to the green revolution. He left congress in 1977 and joined the Janata Party alliance and served as Deputy Prime Minister of India (1977–79); then in 1981, he formed Congress (J).
Babu Jagjivan Ram died on 6th July 1986 at the age of 78. His place of cremation has been made into Samta Sthal and his birth anniversary is celebrated as Samta Diwas in India. To honor his memory, many institutions are established in his name and Babu Jagjivan Ram National Foundation has been set up by the Ministry of Social Justice to spread his ideologies. He is remembered as the messiah of the Dalit caste society (Champion of untouchables).
Samta Diwas (Equality Day)
Samta Diwas is the celebration of the birth anniversary of nationalist politician Babu Jagjivan Ram. Born on April 5, 1908, he is a famous politician. The day emphasizes bringing about equality among all spheres of society. His beliefs were of great significance in the past era as there was a predominance of multi-layered society. He focused on the harsh rules of society and pressed for the abolishment of this society.
A homage function on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Babu Jagjivan Ram is organized at Samta Sthal, opposite Rajghat, New Delhi by the Babu Jagjivan Ram National Foundation.
All religion prayer meeting is also organized. The prayer for all religions was offered by the Granthis, Father, and Maulavies.
Samta Diwas is celebrated with a variety of activities. Functions are organized in various parts of the country. These functions spread his beliefs to maintain equality among all spheres of society.