The first state-level function organised here Saturday by the new Congress government in the state to celebrate the birth anniversary of late Master Tara Singh, one of the tallest leaders of Shiromani Akali Dal, provided another opportunity to Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu to attack the current Akali leadership, which he said had diluted the Akali character over the years.
The demand for the memorial had come from Kiranjot Kaur, the maternal grand-daughter of Master Tara Singh and a SAD member of the SGPC, who had met Captain Amarinder Singh during his first visit to Amritsar after becoming the CM earlier this year.
Though Kiranjot did not attend the function organised by the Congress government due to her political affiliation with SAD, her sister Jaspreet Kaur was present.
Speaking at the function, Sidhu said, “The city of Amritsar would soon see a memorial dedicated to Master Tara Singh, which would inspire future generations to remain imbued with the sense of sacrifice for the sake of the country. The memorial would be constructed as per the wishes and at the place chosen by the family members of Master Tara Singh.”
“Selfless leaders like Master Tara Singh would continue to rule the hearts of the people. I thank CM Captain Amarinder Singh for organising this event. Master Tara Singh always put the interests of panth above his own,” Sidhu said.
“When I see the Akalis of today in the Vidhan Sabha, I feel like arguing with them. But I feel like touching the feet of and bowing before selfless leaders like Master Tara Singh. The current lot of Akali leaders suffer from moral degradation,” he said.
Despite being in SAD, Kiranjot Kaur agreed with Sidhu. Talking to The Indian Express, she said, “It is true that every member of Akali Dal was supposed to be baptised Sikh at the time of Master Tara Singh. But then they changed constitution of party in late 90s and it was no more a party of Sikhs. Anyone could become its member. So moral degradation was obvious in the character of Akalis.”
“I had requested CM Amarinder Singh to install the statue of Master Tara Singh in the campus of partition museum on Heritage Street. The previous SAD government had passed resolution in 2016 to set up memorial. I am hopeful that present Congress will respect that resolution,” she said.
“It is true that SAD failed to set up memorial for Master Tara Singh all these years despite remaining in power. SAD used to celebrate birth anniversary of Master Tara Singh in the past, but practice was stopped many years back,” said Kiranjot Kaur. At the function on Saturday, Jaspreet Kaur shared the contribution made by the great leader during freedom movement, Gurudwara reform movement and Punjabi Suba movement.