Next dynastic generation of Akalis too in service of Punjab

Shiromani-Akali-Dal-sukhbir badal

Jagtar Singh

Chandigarh, July 21: Akali Dal president and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal must be given all the credit that he deserves the way he has re-organised the Akali Dal. He has presented a set of new youth leaders of the party who have service to the people in their blood and thus there would be no problem during generational shift in the party. Many of the members of the newly nominated core committee of the Youth Akali Dal happen to be the sons of the party leaders.

This is the second such bold exercise over the years to accommodate all the deserving sons of the party leaders who have been in the service of the people in the state for years. These young men combine both youth energy and experience that they have inherited from their families. It was Sukhbir who should also be appreciated for taking the first step to induct young members of the families of the Akali Dal in the Youth Akali Dal earlier also who had worked as party’s vanguard in the elections, especially in 2007. That was the time when Parkash Singh Badal started  handing over his responsibilities to his son Sukhbir Singh  Badal. Senior Akali leaders had no reason to complain as their sons too had been adjusted.

Now the roles in Akali Dal are clearly defined. Top positions in the party and its front organisations are for reserved for younger generation from the traditional Akali families with leadership quality while the workers are supposed to work for them. There would thus be no clash as to who gets the ticket. It is all a smooth affair.

There is another aspect in the changing scenario as being witnessed in the run up to the February 2017 election. The role of the party worker is getting reduced and perhaps that would be confined mainly to booth management or managing crowds to the rallies. Both the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party have deputed hired people who are considered to be experts in mobilising people and assess the mood of the people. AAP brought in people from outside about a year ago who worked silently. AAP is now a people’s movement. This is the corporate style of managing elections.

Congress hired the services of strategic manager Prashant Bhushan who has his own team of such people. The style of electioneering and that of molding thinking of the people is being done on scientific if lines rather than depending upon the traditional worker who is otherwise rooted among the people.

The advantage of dynasty is there in Congress too but the  there is a rider as Capt. Amarinder Singh has announced that only one ticket would be given to a family. There is no such bar in the Akali Dal. AAP too has come out with similar criterion. This has come to be talked about after resignation by nominated BJP member of Rajya Sabha Navjot Singh Sidhu  who was to join AAP. His wife too is a BJP MLA and the ticket would be given to only one person-his wife. At least this is what is being stated by the party leaders.

Parkash Singh Badal has been too liberal at another level. He has accommodated bright relatives of the senior Akali leaders already in state government  service in the coveted IAS from the nominated category. Being from the family that has been in the service of the people for years itself is a big qualification. Such bright people get preference over others in case of nominations to PPSC and the like. The roles are this clearly defined and there should be no confusion to the ordinary worker.

This is in consonance with the changing times and the Akali Dal has been in power for about a decade that is a record. Struggles are now part of its glorious heritage. At one time, going to jail used to be the added qualification of the Akali leader. In the modern age, even the struggles are in the virtual space-over twitter or other social media. Jails are now only for gangsters in case they get caught by chance or those petty druggists.

It is a different matter that Parkash Singh Badal is once again talking in the same old idiom preparing the people to be ready to make every sacrifice to protect river waters. It seems he has made up his mind to sacrifice his government a few months before the term is to end in case the situation so demands. After all, this would be the biggest sacrifice of his political career.


Jagtar Singh


[email protected]

Related Editorials