Chaudhary Ranbir Singh was a Constituent Assembly member elected from East Punjab: he was a renowned parliamentarian and freedom fighter. He has the distinction of being a member of 7 different houses: Constituent Assembly of India, Constituent Legislative Assembly, Provisional Parliament, Punjab State Assembly, Haryana State Assembly, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
In the Constituent Assembly, he made interventions on several issues including reservation in public services and rights of farmers.
This country is a land of villages and is dominated by the rural population; but none can deny on the basis of facts that the townsmen have developed with greater speed and they are much more advanced than the people of the countryside, and if in these circumstances a man from rural areas is made to compete with a person of urban area and similar types of questions are asked of them, there cannot be any doubt that the former cannot compete with the latter successfully or on equal terms.
He added, the members appointed to the Public Service Commission must be sensitive to issues faced by the rural population. This call for seeking reservation based on rural origin was unique as most members demanded reservation for communities based on caste or religion.
Mr. Singh proposed a new article in Directive Principles of State Policy chapter to secure protection of farmers:
34-A. (a) The State shall endeavour to secure by suitable legislation or economic organisation or in any other way the minimum economic price of the agricultural produce to the agriculturists.
(b) The State shall give material assistance to national co-operative organisations of the producers and consumers.
(c) Agricultural insurance shall be regulated by special legislation.
(d) Usury in every form is prohibited'.
He asserted that it is imperative to fix the price of the economic produce to prevent farmers from suffering grave injustice. He remarked: “The duty of the State today is not merely to maintain law and order but also to resolve the economic complexities, the solution of which is the main problem of the peasantry at present.” However he did not move this amendment as other members assured him that the purpose of his article was covered under Article 43 of the Constitution.
Mr. Singh was born 114 years ago on 26th November 1914. He has the distinction of being the longest surviving member of the Assembly who died at the age of 94 in February 2009.