Shiromani Akali Dal History
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), also popularly known as the Akali Dal, is a regional political party, as approved by the Election Commission of India. Its mass base is primarily in the state of Punjab.
The Akali Dal operates on the political position of the far-right, with a political ideology of Sikhism. In other words, the basic claim of existence of the Shiromani Akali Dal is in catering to the demands of the Sikhs across Punjab and all around the world. The SAD is far-right in position as it asserts that religion and politics are synonymous and one cannot operate without another.
There are many political parties with the name ‘Shiromani Akali Dal’. However, the oldest regional democratic party of the country is the one being referred to, and it is guided by the leadership of Sukhbir Singh Badal
. Very often, the party is also called the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), to eliminate any confusion. Formed in December 1920 as a task force of the Sikh religious body, the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, this new political party claimed to be the major proponent of upholding the interests of Sikh people, who form the majority of the population in Punjab. With Sardar Sarmukh Singh Chubbal as the first President of the Akali Dal, the party participated in some of the most glorious sagas in the struggle for independence of India, including its active role during the Bardoli Satyagraha and massive protests against the Simon Commission in 1928. Further, under the leadership of Master Tara Singh, the Akalis were actively involved in the Civil Disobedience Movement and gravely protested against the Pakistan Resolution passed by the Muslim League in 1940, as the creation of a separate nation of Pakistan was seen as detrimental to the prospects and harmony among people in the erstwhile undivided Punjab.
The Akali Dal reached its zenith of success under Master Tara Singh. After India achieved its independence, the SAD participated in the Punjabi Suba Movement, which was headed by Sant Fateh Singh. The Akalis demanded carving out a state out of undivided East Punjab, comprising majority Punjabi-speaking people of the region. The protests were so intense that the Indian government agreed to the demand for the reorganization of the boundaries of the erstwhile East Punjab. In 1966, the present state of Punjab was formed, with the Akali Dal coming to power. But the government did not last long due to factionalism within the SAD.
The Akalis first joined hands with the Jan Sangh (the BJP’s predecessor) in 1967. They parties stitched together a pre-poll alliance for the 1997 Punjab Assembly elections, which continued till 2019 parliamentary polls. The BJP had been part of post-poll alliances with governments led by Akalis in Punjab four times, from 1967 to 1980.
As farmer protests continued to roil Punjab, the Shiromani Akali Dal, one of the oldest allies of the BJP and a founding member of the NDA, announced they were exiting the ruling coalition at the Centre in protest against the farm legislation pushed through Parliament by the Modi government.
The Shiromani Akali Dal's president Sukhbir Singh on 12th July 2021 announced his party will form an alliance with the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for the Punjab assembly elections, which will be held in 2023, and said the coming together of both parties was a "new day in politics".
Election Symbol of SAD
The Election Symbol of the Shiromani Akali Dal is the scales. The scale symbol is shown as being equal on both sides. This is usually drawn on a bluish-black rectangular flag of the party. This symbol is famously used in a courtroom scene, being carried by Lady Justice whose eyes remain bandaged with a black ribbon. The scales are seen perfectly balanced, to suggest that law is balanced, it is not partial and that everybody will be given justice in the eyes of law.
A similar representation is made by the SAD in its election symbol. A perfectly balanced scale symbol depicts that the party is not biased or partial when it comes to the democratic rights and interests of the Sikhs. In other words, the demands made by the SAD, over the economic and social upliftment of the national minorities in specific and the Sikhs in particular, their democratic traditions and cultural safeguards, are perfectly balanced and not exaggerated or unlawful. By strictly adhering to the principles of social justice, fraternity and secularism, as guided in the constitutional structure of the Indian Constitution, the Shiromani Akali Dal does all it takes to protect the Sikh community worldwide.
Leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal
The leaders of Shiromani Akali Dal, who are also the national executives of the party, are listed below:
- Parkash Singh Badal, Party Patron of SAD: He was 8th Chief Minister of Punjab. He has been the youngest member to have become the Chief Minister first in 1969. Parkash Singh Badal remains a former president of the Akali Dal. He is also considered the most powerful Sikh leader in the country, after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
- Sukhbir Singh Badal, President of SAD: Son of Parkash Badal, he is presently the Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab. He remains a former Union Minister of State for Industry in the Vajpayee-led BJP regime. He is a very influential leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal, as all party policies and schemes depend on his able guidance.
- Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha: She is the wife of Sukhbir Singh Badal. She represents the Bathida constituency of Punjab in the 15th Lok Sabha. She resigned from the cabinet on 17 September 2020 to protest against few farmer related ordinances and legislation.
- Paramjit Kaur Gulshan, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha: She represents the Faridkot constituency of Punjab in the 15th Lok Sabha.
- Rattan Singh Ajnala, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha: He represents the Khadoor Sahib constituency of Punjab in the 15th Lok Sabha.
- Sher Singh Ghubaya, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha: He represents the Ferozepur constituency of Punjab in the 15th Lok Sabha.
- Naresh Gujrat, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
- Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha and Secretary General of SAD
- Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
- Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Senior Vice President of SAD
- Balwant Singh Ramowalia, Senior Vice President and National Spokesperson of SAD
- Avtar Singh Hit, General Secretary of SAD
- Daljit Singh Cheema, Secretary and Spokesperson of SAD
Achievements of Shiromani Akali Dal
As a regional political party in power in Punjab, the Shiromani Akali Dal has had a number of achievements. Some of these are listed below:
- The party has a number of frontal organizations under its banner, which have attained great success in catering to the interests of the sections they represent. These are the students’ wing called the All India Sikh Students’ Federation (AISSF), the Youth Wing under Bikram Singh Majithia, and the Women’s Wing under Paramjit Kaur Gulshan. These are subsidiary yet autonomous organizations working under the ideology of the SAD.
- The Akali Dal is committed to making Punjab a power surplus state by investing thousands of crores in the power projects and investing in small power-generating houses too.
- The SAD has accelerated revenue growth in the state, more than what the previous governments attained. This has come about through managing to gather funds from the Centre.
- The farmers are being given low-interest farmer loans, along with enhanced irrigation facilities, free power, and state-of-the-art irrigation techniques so that Punjab can excel in becoming a top-class producer of agricultural products. At the same time, industrial growth and enhancement is being ensured through invitations to big business houses and corporate lobbies in the state.
- The SAD makes efforts to ensure superior standards of living for the people of Punjab through improved infrastructural facilities as well as building world-class educational institutions in the state. Through its policies and administration, the SAD reaches out to each section of Punjab’s population.
Address and Contact details
- Official Website of SAD: http://www.shiromaniakalidal.org.in
- Head-Office Address of SAD: Block No. 6, Madhya Marg, Sector 28, Chandigarh, Punjab
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated on: July 13th, 2021