The Madigas of Andhra Pradesh (including the present day Telangana) were fore-runners in owning and making Dr Babu Jagjivan Ram as an icon. Dr Jagjivan Ram was one of the towering personality in Indian politics from Chamar community in the North India. He basically belonged to the present day Bihar region. Jagjivan Ram was a successful politician in Indian politics and served even as Deputy Prime Minister of India. There were fare chances for him to become Prime Minister of India at certain point of time. Most importantly, he had a rearrest of the rare record of serving in the Indian Cabinet / Council of Ministry for a more than three decades.
Mostly importantly, it should be known that the Madiga’s of United Andhra Pradesh attempted to ‘project and own’ Dr Jagjivan Ram, when Malas were increasingly ‘projecting and owning’ Dr B R Ambedkar as their icon / own person / belonging to their community and interpreting that Madiga Reservation Poratha Samithi’s (MRPS) demands and activities were against to the spirit and ideology of Dr B R Ambedkar. Thus, Madigas claim that the Mala’s exclusive owning of Dr Ambedkar in various forms and their attempts at projecting Ambedkar as not a icon for others like Madiga’s made them to chose Dr Jagjivan Ram as an icon. All this happened at a time of highly politically charged emotional atmosphere during 1990’s.
But then, Madigas also started to own and project Ambedkar also as an icon, in addition to Dr Babu Jagjivan Ram. In this respect it was acknowledged and projected that while Ambedkar is an ‘ideological icon’ – Jagjivan Ram is a ‘successful Political icon’. Thus, interpreting that these two personalities contain certain merits and demerits. Hence, continued to project and retain both the icons.
The Dalit Students’ Union (DSU) at the University of Hyderabad which attempts to carry and resonate ideologically with the MRPS / Madiga movement marks Dr Babu Jagjivan Ram’s birth / death anniversaries on the Campus. In this series only the present poster was released by DSU on the occasion of Jagjivan Ram’s Birth Anniversary in 2012.
Jagjeevan Ram Poster