A snapshot of Jagjivanram's life

Mysore boasts of maiden museum in South India on champion of Dalits

 The University of Mysore on Friday dedicated a museum on former deputy prime minister the late Babu Jagjivanram — becoming the first varsity in south India to house the facility.

The museum and Dr Babju Jagjivan Ram Studies, Research and Extension Centre — both located in Manasagangotri — was dedicated by social welfare minister A Narayan Swamy.

The museum, comprising 45 rare photographs of Babuji, as Jagjivanram was fondly addressed by his acolytes, gives a peek into the unblemished life of the champion of Dalits.

A spacious hall on the first floor of the study centre has been converted into a museum. Most of the photographs, although in black and white, includes Babuji’s moments with his family members, meeting with India as well as foreign dignitaries, foreign tours and also the day before he lost the chance of being elevating to the post of prime minister.

The Indian dignitaries include; Morarji Desai, Indira Gandhi, Chandrashekar and Atal Behari Vajpayee, who later went on to become prime ministers, Jayprakash Narayan to name a few.

Rare photos

Babuji and Chandrashekar closeted in a place, following the failure of prime minister Chowdhury Charan Singh to prove his majority in the Parliament is significant as the caption reads; the then President Neelam Sanjeev Reddy had promised to invite Babuji to form the government, but only to dissolve the house later.

His 68th birthday celebration with his daughter, now Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, wife addressed Maiji and others, presiding over the third conference of Bombay (now Mumbai) depressed classes league in 1951, a visit to USSR with then president of India Babu Rajendra Prasad in 1960, conferring of honorary doctorate at a convocation of Vikram University in 1967 among other exhibits kindles interest on delving into the life of the rare politician.

When the netas at present are on a war path, crossing sword on every given occasion, a photo of then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru along with Babuji waving tri-colour, Sardar Hukum Singh, Y D Chari and Satya Naraian Sinha walking down the route during Republic Day parade of 1963 displays rare bonhomie.

Key exhibit

Another key exhibit is the moment Godavari river water dispute that was solved with the intervention of babuji caught in frame. Chief ministers of five states; Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa (now Odisha), Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh signing an agreement in tandem in the presence of Babuji, still has a relevance.

Captions in both Hindi and English make it easier for visitors to follow the photographs.
A biodata of babuji; right from his date of birth April 05, 1908, to death; July 06, 1986, with his political life in between, and his principles and words of appreciation by other stalwarts, also among the exhibits make the museum complete.

From his maiden election to Lok Sabha from Sasaram constituency in Bihar in 1952 till his death, he had been the member of the lower house of the Parliament eight times in a row. 

Books on babuji, besides those authored by him; in Kannada, Hindi and English languages are also on display.

Addressing a gathering later, minister A Narayan Swamy announced that there is no dearth of funds for development of the museum and other welfare schemes of his department. Medical education and district in-charge minister S A Ramdas said the study centre should be an opportunity for students to study various faces of the leader. He appealed to the youth, irrespective of caste, to make use of the facility.

Vice-chancellor of University of Mysore V G Talawar, registrar P S Naik, director of the centre Mylahally Revanna, ex-MLC C Ramesh, syndicate member Devaiah and ex-deputy mayor Krishna were present.

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