Dr Punjabrao S Deshmukh, also known as Babusaheb Deshmukh was born on 27 December 1898. Born and raised in Amravati, Maharashtra, he obtained his early education in Papal and Amravati. Later, he went on to study in Fergusson College, Poona, Edinburgh University, Oxford University and Lincoln’s Inn, London.
Role in India’s Independence Movement
Deshmukh was a farmers’ rights activist and set up the C. P. & Berar Farmers’ Association. He participated in Satyagraha to protest against untouchability in Amba Temple, Amravati. Further, he set up Shivaji Education Society.
Contribution to Constitution Making
Deshmukh was elected from Central Provinces & Berar. He spoke frequently in the Constituent Assembly and intervened in debates around citizenship and federalism.
Deshmukh was the Union Minister of Agriculture in the first cabinet post-independence. He was elected to the Lok Sabha for two terms between 1952 and 1962. During his stint as a Parliamentarian, he held the portfolios of Union Minister of Agriculture and Union Minister of Cooperation.
He continued his advocacy work around agriculture and farmers’ rights, and represented India at international organizations, conferences and delegations including F.A.O. Conference and Far East Regional Conferences.
Deshmukh passed away in 1965.