Focus: GS 1;The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.
Why in News?
PM Pays Tribute to Sir Chotu Ram Ji on His Birth Anniversary
About Sir Chotu Ram Ji
- Sir Chhotu Ram was a prominent politician in British India’s Punjab Province, an ideologue of the peasants of pre-Independent India.
- He championed the interest of oppressed peasants of the Indian Sub-continent.
- He tried to create a non-sectarian peasant group consciousness.
- He formed the Unionist Party (Zamindara League) in 1923, which was a cross-communal alliance of Hindu, Jats and Muslim agriculturists.
- He was awarded the title of ‘Rao Bahadur’ and was accorded knighthood in 1937.
- He popularly came to be known as Deen Bandhu.
- He was the Alumni of St. Stephens College, Delhi.
- He was the founder of National Unionist Party.
- Sir Chhotu Ram rose to become Revenue Minister of undivided Punjab and was instrumental in empowering farmers in pre-Independence era and getting pro-farmers law enacted.
- The modern concepts like debt settlement boards, caps on interest, the basic fairness to the tiller were included in these 1930s laws.
- He is called as The father of Bhakra Nangal Dam.
- He conceived of the Bhakra Dam way back in 1923,to rid the farmers of the so called economic plague spots of erstwhile Punjab state.
- As a member of the pre-Partition Punjab Legislative Council, his first major achievement was the passage of the Punjab Land Revenue (Amendment) Act, 1929, which remains a landmark social legislation till date.
- He was also the originator of the concept of compensating the farmer for at least the expenses incurred by him on farming.
- Sir Chhotu Ram emerged as country’s first big agrarian reformer who stood up and fought for the rights of agriculturists.
- He used to recite the following lines of the poet Iqbal quite often: “Raise thyself to such a height that God may himself ask you what do you wish to achieve”.