After appropriating such icons as Sardar Patel and B.R. Ambedkar, the Narendra Modi government seems inclined to include Babu Jagjivan, former Union minister and erstwhile Harijan (now Dalit) icon, in the saffron pantheon. The Prime Minister chose Ram’s birth anniversary to launch the Stand Up India initiative at Noida, UP.
Lavishing fulsome praise on the former Congress leader, the Prime Minister reminded everybody that Ram presided over the Agriculture Ministry during the green revolution and was defence minister during the Indo-Pak War of 1971. In a veiled attack on the Congress’ dynastic politics, he expressed regret over “some reasons” that the contributions of such great men were forgotten. Modi went on to add that never before the Central government launched a programme in Ram’s name—“at least not in my memory.”