Jalandhar February 5 (Jaswinder Singh Azad)- Former Agriculture Minister of Punjab Master Gurbanta Singh was paid rich tributes on his 44th death anniversary at his native village Dhaliwal today. On this occasion, his grandson Phillaur MLA Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary and Congress candidate for 2023 Lok Sabha by election Karamjit Kaur Chaudhary held the path of Sukhmani Sahib.
Describing Master Gurbanta Singh as a messiah of the marginalised and downtrodden, MLA Chaudhary stated that Late Master Gurbanta Singh was known as a great social reformer, educationist, able administrator and the pre-eminent Dalit leader of Punjab.
He highlighted Master Gurbanta Singh’s contribution in bringing the Green Revolution. He said that it was during his tenure as an agriculture minister in Partap Singh Kairon’s government that the foundation of the Green Revolution was laid with the establishment of Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana and other institutions.
Master Gurbanta Singh started his political career in 1932
The Phillaur MLA stated that Master Gurbanta Singh started his political career in 1932, when the society was badly gripped by the evil of casteism, adding that he along with his associates Babu Mangoo Ram and others started a revolutionary tirade against these divisive forces under the aegis of Ad-dharam Mandal, Jalandhar and led a historic struggle for eradication of untouchability and inequality from our society.
Master Gurbanta Singh was first elected to the Assembly of United Punjab in 1945 and remained an MLA until 1977. He was so popular amongst the people that he was declared elected unopposed in the 1972 Vidhan Sabha Elections. He remained in the Council of Ministers of Sir Malik Khizar Hayat Tiwana government before the Partition. After the Independence, he held various ministerial portfolios in Partap Singh Kairon and Giani Zail Singh governments.
Master Gurbanta Singh got abolished the law which debarred the scheduled caste community from purchasing land in their name known as ‘Mutation Land Act’. He worked to get government’s vacant lands allotted to the members of the SCs, to appoint SC Nambardar in every village, for arrangement of stipends and scholarships for SC Students in schools and colleges, reservation in service for employment and promotion for SCs, loans on nominal interest to purchase land and establish small-scale industries and made a law for the SCs to have a share in the joint pool for village common land.
Besides this, he also opened innumerable schools and colleges in the Doaba region which are catering not only to the SCs but to students of all castes and creeds.