29 C
Guwahati
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Punjab Loses A Towering Leader

Certainly, the Badal clan is now minus the anchor that kept the Badal ship afloat, followed by a gradual slide into a state of receding political acceptance. At the fag-end of his long and illustrious political career, Prakash Singh Badal was swept into irrelevance by a new genre of politics, one that does not mind giving space to disruption and chaos. After years of fighting the Congress and the SGPC, for the Akali Dal to be shunted into the political wilderness by a piffling political entity must have been insulting for a giant like Prakash Singh Badal.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

A Sikh when he goes places can be traced to a gurdwara. Nowadays, the trace will lead through Canada, the United Kingdom, and into enemy country Pakistan. Akali Dal titan Parkash Singh Badal would not be at any of these Sikh centers of convenience. After 75 years serving the Sikh cause, Badal has flown over what had become a cuckoo’s nest. Some would even say that at age 95, his departure was long overdue. Certainly, the Badal clan is now minus the anchor that kept the Badal ship afloat, followed by a gradual slide into a state of receding political acceptance. At the fag-end of his long and illustrious political career, Prakash Singh Badal was swept into irrelevance by a new genre of politics, one that does not mind giving space to disruption and chaos. After years of fighting the Congress and the SGPC, for the Akali Dal to be shunted into the political wilderness by a piffling political entity must have been insulting for a giant like Prakash Singh Badal. The obituaries have been instant, penned even as the mortal remains were being wheeled out of the Mohali hospital. One piece wrote, “The state has lost a towering figure of the Sikh Panth”.

When Indira Gandhi declared an Emergency, Prakash Singh Badal, then leader of the Opposition in the Punjab assembly, was hauled off to jail. He was back as CM in 1977. In all, he was chief minister, of Punjab, five times. In 1994, Badal revolted against the Amritsar declaration that called for enhanced federalism. In the 1990s, Badal’s faction won the SAD’s ‘Scales’ symbol, and by 1996, he had united the ‘moderate’ factions to take total control of SAD, followed by the Moga declaration that made SAD a party of all the ‘Panths in Punjab’. Finally, Gurcharan Singh Tohra, whose SGPC fought Badal for control of Sikh bodies, was sidelined and Badal took total control. The last couple of decades saw the Akali Dal play a national role, essentially as an anti-Congress party followed by being part of the NDA. And as Prakash Singh Badal faded, politically and physically, the Akali Dal opted to step out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s orbit.

- Advertisement -

No doubt Parkash Singh Badal had a thing going with the BJP, but he knew New Delhi was hard to please, even after Modi took charge. Badal was perhaps the first regional satrap who caught on to the Modi-BJP game of breaking regional parties, compelling them to play second fiddle to the Bharatiya Janata Party. Badal’s “humble demeanor” couldn’t face up to the Prime Minister’s haughty “uppityness”, who found it very frustrating that the Akali Dal was not allowing the BJP to increase its footprints in Punjab. The anti-Farm Bills agitation further alienated the two parties and it is hard to imagine the BJP mourning Prakash Singh Badal’s demise. Sardar Parkash Singh Badal will be known as the longest-serving Sikh politician but his long stint could not put the brakes on the continuing Khalistanisation of Punjab. His party stands accused of turning Punjab into ‘Udta Punjab’ where drugged-out gangsters kill stoned pop singers and drugged-out pop singers belt out numbers hailing stoned gangsters. On April 25, Akali Dal patriarch Prakash Singh Badal left for a better place.

 

- Advertisement -
The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
Welcome to The Hills Times, your trusted source for daily news and updates in English from the heart of Assam, India. Since our establishment in 2000, we've been dedicated to providing timely and accurate information to our readers in Diphu and Guwahati. As the first English newspaper in the then undemarcated Karbi Anglong district, we've forged a strong connection with diverse communities and age groups, earning a reputation for being a reliable source of news and insights. In addition to our print edition, we keep pace with the digital age through our website, https://thehillstimes.in, where we diligently update our readers with the latest happenings day by day. Whether it's local events, regional developments, or global news, The Hills Times strives to keep you informed with dedication and integrity. Join us in staying ahead of the curve and exploring the world through our lens.
Latest news
- Advertisement -
Related news
- Advertisement -