"He was instrumental in the creation of the 'Joint Command' of Bangladesh and Indian Forces for the final assault which led to victory," read the citation conferred on Jagjivan Ram, who was India's defence minister during the 1971 war.
The citation mentioned that he had consolidated and coordinated the war strategy with great efforts by providing training, arms and supplies to Bangladeshi freedom fighters.
But the history of politics is likely to remember him more for his historic parliamentary statement on December 16, 1971 announcing the emergence of Independent Bangladesh.
"I have an announcement to make. The West Pakistani forces have unconditionally surrendered in Bangladesh... Dacca (now called Dhaka) is now the free capital of a free country," he said minutes after Pakistani troops conceded defeat to the Indo-Bangla joint forces after nine months of war.
Ram's grandson and incumbent Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar's son Anshul Avijit received the honour from President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Bangabandhu International Conference Hall on Saturday.
"(I am) exited, honoured and grateful... it is reminder of (Ram's) links to Bangladesh's independence," Avijit said on the sidelines of the ceremony.
Avijit, a student of political history and currently doing his doctoral research abroad on colonialism, recalled until his 16 years of age he found Ram as a very affectionate figure who used to tell him the contemporary Indian history not in a manner that highlighted himself.
"The remarkable thing is that he used to say he never wanted the war but nonetheless he wanted the justice to prevail as Pakistani troops carried out genocides in Bangladesh and made preemptive attacks on India," Avijit said.
Defence analysts and military veterans previously appreciated Ram for his stewardship during the war, with then chief of general staff in Eastern command Lt Gen (retd.) JFR Jacob describing him as "perhaps the best Defence minister we (India) have had".
"He had an excellent grasp of military strategy. He was also an able administrator. It was Jagjivan Ram who made sure that the requirements of the three Services – manpower, weaponry equipment and infrastructural facilities – were provided, as far as possible," read the Surrender at Dacca of Jacob.
He was very sharp minded politician.Not in defence only,but also in rail and other portfolio he prooved his efficiency. He is a forsighted politician and always felt the pain of downtrodden people.He is a man of PAKKA IRADA.I praise his excellency.
Many talented dalits are not recognized by the society due to their birth. Babu Jagjeevan Ram was such an experienced and able person who managed many ministerial portfolio for more than 40 years. His knowleege on subjects he dealt with was commeneable. As a defence minister he contributed to our win against Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh. He was instrumental in initiating the movementof Green Revolution in India and this revolution is known only in the name of Dr.Swaminathan. One must know that any scientific project should get ample support from the Govt. for its successful implementation. Thus Babu has played a vital role in this revolution. News papers and channels run by caste Hindus ignore great and talented dalits deliberately. But you cannot erase them from the minds of dalits and continue to inspire them for ever.
Sir, We are proud of Jagjivan Ram who was regarded as one of the ablest administrator in the Indian Council of Ministers. When India was fighting food problem in the sixties it was Jagjivan Ram who initiated green revolution and today if we are self reliant on food producron, the credit must go to Shri Ram. It is hearty to note that the govt. of Bangladesh though of late has remembered the contribution of Shri Ram made to the liberation and emergence of Bangladesh as a sovereign free country. The present government headed by Sheikh Hasina and the people of Bangladesh deserve appreciation for remembering the people who contributed even 1% for the liberation of the country. Yours faithfully; BIMAL CHANDRA JHA Samanpura Road, Patna