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Badal saab’s legacy: His contrasting grace, dignity, and the politics of hate

Even in the presence of opposition, his speeches in the Vidhan Sabha exuded an aura of serene assurance and garnered genuine respect

Annesha Barua

December 8th 2023 10:26 AM

December 8th 2023 10:48 AM

Badal saab birth anniversary: Nearly a year has passed since the departure of Punjab’s renowned leader, Parkash Singh Badal, marking a profound loss for the state. As we approach his birth anniversary on December 8, it’s not merely the personal void his absence has left but also the vacuum of grace, culture, and sanity in our political milieu that many are beginning to sense, even those who were his staunch political adversaries.

Mr. Badal symbolised an era of calmness and respect, an embodiment of sobriety and culture in the often tumultuous arena of politics. His presence in the Vidhan Sabha evoked a sense of reassurance, even amidst those who vehemently opposed his ideologies. It was a display of how political discourse should ideally unfold – with dignity and decorum.

Today, as we navigate a landscape of discord and personal vendettas in politics, it’s crucial for the present generation of leaders and intellectuals to rise beyond their biases. Evaluating Badal’s legacy may offer a significant lesson, potentially serving as an antidote to the toxicity prevalent in our political sphere. His persona exuded an aura that debunked the prevalent notion that differing opinions must breed hostility and enmity.

The challenge now lies in reviving a political discourse that mirrors the grace and respect inherent in Badal’s approach, an approach that defied the hostile environment we often find ourselves in. It’s a legacy worth exploring, a beacon of hope to guide us away from the abyss of acrimonious political rhetoric.

The man, his legacy, and a lasting impression

Parkash Singh Badal’s legacy transcends mere political alliances, offering a testament to his character and influence. His impact extends beyond his followers, leaving a profound imprint even on those who opposed him vehemently. What sets his legacy apart is his remarkable ability to maintain a dignified silence in the face of opposition, even when faced with vehement personal animosity.

In a realm often plagued by vitriol and animosity, Badal stood out for his refusal to engage in disparaging or hateful rhetoric against his adversaries. Notably, this wasn’t a compromise on his political beliefs or an act of relinquishing his party’s interests. He remained resolute in his convictions while upholding a decorum that eschewed personal attacks.

He wasn’t a saintly figure; instead, as a formidable political force in Punjab, his astuteness and sharpness were unmatched. However, what distinguished him was his ability to navigate the political landscape with intellect and cunning without compromising his moral compass. His approach epitomised a political culture that valued ethical conduct, where victories didn’t necessitate stooping to underhanded tactics to triumph over opponents.

Sardar Badal’s political strategy: A lesson in dignified leadership

The enigmatic success and enduring political career of Mr. Badal often prompted a familiar query: “What’s the secret behind your political longevity?” His response was never veiled in deceit or false righteousness. In essence, it revealed his astute ability to foresee his opponents’ moves, almost foreseeing their strategies before they were formulated. His prowess lay in identifying their vested interests, a hallmark of his strategic political approach.

However, the true essence lies beyond strategy. Mr. Badal’s relevance in contemporary politics transcends his tactical acumen. What remains significant for today’s politicians is his distinct achievement – ascending to the zenith of power without descending into the abyss of animosity, rancor, or vulgar rhetoric. Irrespective of the adversities he faced or the depths to which his opponents stooped, Badal upheld an unwavering commitment to dignity, culture, and refinement.

Witnessing Mr. Badal commence his day with the recitation of daily Gurbani and a prayer before the Guru Granth Sahib, the baseless accusations hurled at him were acutely distressing. Despite this ordeal, even in the most private conversations, he remained untouched by bitterness or words that contradicted his dignity or the ethical ethos of Sikhism. His integrity and commitment to nobility remained unblemished, serving as a testament to his unwavering principles amidst the tumultuous landscape of politics.

An advocate of peace and communal harmony

The narrative of Mr. Badal’s legacy encompasses numerous facets—his commitment to preserving and propagating the Khalsa Panth’s humanitarian ideals, his remarkable adeptness in navigating the tumultuous and polarissed landscape of Punjab, and his role as a beacon of peace and inter-faith harmony. He effortlessly transcended communal divides, transforming Punjab into a harmonious space where even the most entrenched animosities dissolved into brotherhood, compassion, and communal unity—a representation of Punjab’s essence.

Undoubtedly, Mr. Badal’s imprints adorn the developmental canvas of Punjab, evident in virtually every milestone of progress. However, amidst acknowledging his myriad contributions, what resonates most profoundly today are two pivotal aspects of his public and personal life. Firstly, his adeptness in steering Punjab away from the vortex of animosity and conflict, sculpting it into an oasis of tranquility grounded in societal and political consensus. Secondly, his endearing demeanor, radiating warmth and affection, even amidst the cut-throat arena of politics.

Punjab finds itself bereft of these essences today. The Akali Dal, in particular, must reminisce that their towering leader set a precedent—proving that success in public life need not be marred by ugliness or vulgarity. On the contrary, he epitomised the antithesis of this notion—championing the belief that cultural refinement ensures enduring success and sustenance in the public domain. As Punjab navigates its course, the revival and reincarnation of his ethos stand paramount, offering a compass for his party’s resurgence.

Also Read: Sardar Parkash Singh Badal birth anniversary: Exploring his life, political career, family, and more

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