(Last Updated on : 12-03-2014)
Jagjivan Ram was born on 5th April 1908 at Chandwa in Bihar. He came off a lower caste family. Jagjivan Ram passed matriculation examination in the first division. While he studied at Benaras Hindu University he got the Birla scholarship. He obtained B.Sc. degree from Calcutta University in 1931.When popular rule was initiated in 1935 Jagjivan Ram was selected to the Bihar Council because he had actual knowledge of the social and economic situation of Bihar. Later He resigned from the Bihar Council and in the year 1937 he was elected in the Bihar Assembly.
agjivan Ram tried a lot to develop the condition of the lower caste and established himself the leader of scheduled castes. He formed All-India Depressed Classes League. He was also involved in the anti-untouchability campaign led by Gandhiji. In 1940 he joined the Indian National Congress and actively took part in the Satyagraha and the Quit India Movement. He was imprisoned by the British Government twice. In 1946 Jagjivan Ram was selected in the interim Government as Labour Minister. He was the member of Indian delegation to the International conference on labour in 1947 in Geneva which was led by his father, Bihar Bibhuti, Dr. Anugrah Narayan Sinha .After the first general election Jagjivan Ram was appointed as the minister for communications in 1952.Later he also held the post of transport and railways ministry from 1956 to 1962 and transport and communications from 1962 to1963.
When Indira Gandhi was the prime minister of India Jagjivan Ram held a number of posts in the cabinet including minister for labour, employment, and rehabilitation (1966-67), minister for food and agriculture (1967-70), minister of defence (1970-74) and minister for agriculture and irrigation (1974-77). In the division of congress in 1962 Jagjivan Ram remained in the camp of Indra Gandhi and was appointed as the president of that camp.During the time of Emergency he left the congress party and joined the Janata coalition. Jagjivan Ram served as the Deputy Prime minister of the India from 1977 to 1979 when Morarji Desai was the Prime Minister.When Congress again captuted the power in 1980 Jagjivan Ram formed a new party, the Congress (J).
Jagjivan Ram passed away in July 1986. His birth anniversary day is celebrated as 'Samata Diwas' as he believed in egalitarianism, human dignity and individual freedom throughout his life.