- Shiromani Akali Dal
Akali Dal, also called Shiromani Akali Dal ("Akali Religious Party"), is a collection of
Sikh political partiesmainly based in Punjab, Indiafounded/headed by different people. The modern-day Akali Dal is made up of several break away factions which were once part of the same intellect, a proper unified Akali Dal, of times of Master Tara Singhand Sant Fateh Singh Sahib. Then for political/non-political reasons, some chose to break away and establish their own Akali Dals and thus how Akali Dal entered into factionalism.
Akali Dal was formed on
13 December 1920after the formation of SGPC(Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee), a religious body formed to secure Sikh Gurdwaras from corrupt priests. Akali Dal considers itself a religio-political party and the principal representative of Sikhs. Sardar Sarmukh Singh Chubbal was the first president of an unified proper Akali Dal, but it was under Master Tara Singhthat Akali Dal became a force to reckon with.
The party launched the
Punjabi Subamovement to create a Sikh majority state in the undivided East Punjab under the leadership of Sant Fateh Singh. In 1966, the modern-day East Punjab was formed, but its division led to bitter conflict. Akali Dal came to power in Punjab, but many times the party's governments were dismissed by the Indian National Congressruling at the federal level.
The Dal's chief opponent on the political state is the
Indian National Congress. Its political ally in the state and at the Centre is the Hindutva Bharatiya Janata Party. Since Punjab is about 75% Sikh, the SAD needs the support of as many Hindus as the BJP can get to form lasting administrations, and the BJP needs the SAD to bring as many parliamentary seats from Punjab as it can to form a Union government.
Akali Dal's history is full of divisions and factionalism. Each faction claims to be the real Akali Dal. In 2003, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), headed by
Parkash Singh Badal, was the largest faction and the one recognized as having the name SAD (Badal) by the Election Commission of India. Other than-active factions have had included Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dalled by Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthik)led by Maharaja Capt. Amarinder Singh(which later merged with Congress), Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic)led by Sardar Kuldip Singh Wadala, Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal)founded on principles of late Sardar Harchand Singh Longowal, Shiromani Akali Dal (1920) and Haryana State Akali Dal, a former part of Badal's Akali Dal but separated from it because of him daring to challenge Sikh authority and depose a Jathedar of Akal Takht, one of main authorities of Sikhism.
In the fall of 2003, the Badal and Tohra factions reunified.
As of now, August 2008, there are six groups claiming to be the Akali Dal. They are Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal),
Shiromani Akali Dal (Simranjit Singh Mann), Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi, Haryana State Akali Dal, Shiromani Akali Dal (UK) and Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar (Panch Pardhani).
The basic philosophy of Akali Dal is to give political voice to Sikh issues (Panthic cause) and it believes that religion and politics go hand in hand.
At the February 2007 Punjab state elections, the Shiromani Akali Dal led by Parkash Singh Badal won 48 of the 117 seats, becoming the largest party in the East Punjab State Assembly. The alliance of the Shiromani Akali Dal led by Parkash Singh Badal and Bharatiya Janata Party took over the state government from the Indian National Congress, with Parkash Singh Badal as chief minister. [http://www.rulers.org/2007-02.html]
* [http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/shiromani-akali-dal/ Everything about the Akali Dal]
* [http://www.akalidalamritsar.org/ Website of Akali Dal led by Sardar Simranjit Singh Maan]
* [http://www.shiromaniakalidal.co.uk/cms/index.php Website of Akali Dal led by Sardar Harjinder Singh Raja]
* [http://www.sadamritsar.com/ Website of Akali Dal led by Sardar Daljit Singh Bittu]
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