Rao Bahadur Sir Chhotu Ram, was a prominent politician in British India’s Punjab Province, an ideologue of the Jat peasantry and a champion of its interests. He was knighted in 1937 and was a co-founder of the National Unionist Party.
Sir Chhotu Ram’s ideology combined the endorsement of certain Hindu cultural claims of the Jats with the need for a secular, rural identity for agriculturist communities. While his paradoxical political stance provided the context for the strengthening of the Jat identity, his pro-agriculturist ideology was appropriated by the Unionists and contributed to their electoral success.
His own understanding of the Jat identity combined the themes of caste (Kshatriya) assertions and land ownership. He worked to project the Jats as a community lacking in self-confidence and in need for both protection and recognition, to bolster their self-confidence and transform them into a politically, culturally and economically viable entity.