Remembering Prakash Singh Badal: An Iconic Figure in Punjab’s History

On Tuesday evening, Prakash Singh Badal, the esteemed patriarch of Shiromani Akali Dal, passed away at the age of 95. He had been admitted to a private hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) in Mohali on April 21 after experiencing breathing difficulties.

Prakash Singh Badal was a prominent Indian politician who had been a key figure in the state of Punjab’s political landscape for several decades. He was a senior member of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), a regional political party in Punjab, and served as the Chief Minister of Punjab multiple times. Here’s a brief overview of Prakash Singh Badal’s background and political career:

Early Life and Background:
Prakash Singh Badal was born on December 8, 1927, in a small village called Rode, located in the Faridkot district of Punjab, India. He completed his early education in his village and later pursued his bachelor’s degree in Arts from Forman Christian College in Lahore, British India (now in Pakistan). He also obtained a degree in Law from Punjab University, Chandigarh.

Political Career:
Prakash Singh Badal started his political career in the late 1940s and early 1950s when he joined the Akali movement, which was advocating for the rights of Sikhs in the post-independence era. He played an active role in various protests and agitations for the protection of Sikh interests, including the Anandpur Sahib Resolution which called for greater autonomy for the state of Punjab. He became a member of the Punjab Legislative Assembly in 1957 and was a prominent leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) ever since.

Badal served as the Chief Minister of Punjab for four terms: from 1970-71, 1977-1980, 1997-2002, and 2007-2017. He focused on issues such as agricultural development, rural infrastructure, education, and healthcare during his tenure. He was also involved in various controversies and challenges during his political career, including tensions with the central government of India over issues related to state autonomy, religious tensions, and political alliances.

Apart from his role as Chief Minister, Prakash Singh Badal also served as a Member of Parliament (MP) and Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) representing various constituencies in Punjab. He was a prominent voice for the Sikh community and advocated for their rights and interests at both the state and national levels.

Personal Life and Legacy:
Prakash Singh Badal came from a political family, and his son, Sukhbir Singh Badal, is also a prominent politician who has served as Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab. Prakash Singh Badal was known for his simple lifestyle and strong commitment to the Sikh faith and its values. He was respected in Punjab’s political landscape and played a significant role in shaping the state’s politics for several decades.

In conclusion, Prakash Singh Badal was a veteran politician who significantly impacted Punjab’s political landscape. His contributions to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and his multiple terms as Chief Minister of Punjab made him a prominent figure in Indian politics. Despite controversies and challenges, he remained a respected leader in Punjab and an influential figure in the state’s politics.