At the national level, while remaining in the vanguard of national mainstream, the Shiromani Akali Dal has always remained committed to a dignified dispensation for Punjabis in general and the Sikhs in particular, always fighting to safeguard their political, economic, social and cultural rights. The Shiromani Akali Dal party is commited to the highest ideals of peace, communal harmony, universal brotherhoodand the welfare of humanity (Sarbat Da Bhala).
Shiromani Akali Dal was the first to advocate the need for co-operative federalism based on political and fiscal autonomy, a concept first opposed but subsequently accepted and adopted by almost every regional and national political party. SAD firmly believes that the setting up of a truly federal structure is the only way to strengthen the goals of national unity and prosperity. Hurdles put in the path of such a system in the country by the Congress party greatly harmed the interests of development and prosperity in the States and delayed for more than sixty years the emergence of India as a global leader.
Opposes Unitarian Mindset
The Shiromani Akali Dal strongly opposes this unitarian mindset. The latest indicator of the Congress’ anti-federal mindset is provided by a statement by the present Prime Dr. Manmohan Singh in which he has described regional parties as a hurdle in the way of national development. This mindset is not only a political outrage in a country which prides itself on giving primacy to the will of the people but is also an insult to the collective wisdom of the people who have repeatedly expressed full confidence in the ability of the regional parties to manage national affairs.
Taking like-minded regional and national parties along, the SAD will continue its efforts to liberate the development processes in States from the constricting clutches of fiscal and political centralisation.
Chandigarh and the Punjabi-speaking Areas
The Shiromani Akali Dal has waged long battles for the inclusion of Chandigarh and other Punjabi Speaking areas in Punjab. But, unfortunately, successive Congress governments at the centre have always conspired to scuttle this demand. The Shiromani Akali Dal will continue its peaceful and democratic struggle for the fulfillment of Punjab’s legitimate demand for the transfer of Chandigarh and other Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab.
River Waters Issue
On the river-waters issue, the SAD has always demanded the implementation of the nationally and internationally accepted Riparian Principle, accep;ted by the Supreme Court and applied by it in every river water dispute, like ;the Narbada River Water Dispute. Under the Constitution, river water is a state subject and non-Riparian states have no locus standi in any dispute arising out of sharing of the river waters. Why should an exception be made to this principle only to turn Punjab into a desert?
Apart from the question of the constitutional legitimacy of Punjab’s demand, Punjab’s river waters must be safeguarded as the state is already in the grip of a severe crisis and could be reduced to a mere desert by 2020 due to the alarming fall in the level of sub-soil water because of massive depletion through tube well irrigation. Unfortunately, successwive Congress governments at the centre and in the State have systematically violated the Riparian Principle. The SAD-BJP government will take political, legal and constitutional steps to redress this grievous wrong done to the people of the state.
The Shiromani Akali Dal has always taken pride in our country’s rich cultural, linguistic and relgious diversity. The party believes in emotional unity of our people as against the artificial uniformity advocated by the Congress. Unfortunately, the Congress has systematically worked to undermine the interests of the minorities in the country. It believes in cultural and political uniformity, as against emotional and cultural integartion. This is at the root of its destructively centrist mindset.
The Shiromani Akali Dal is committed to safeguarding and promoting the interests of the minorities in the country in a manner that enables them to play a constructive and meaningful role in the progress of our people. The party stands for a strong India, capable of playing its destined role as a global leader and is fully convinced that strrengthening its constituents is the surest way of achieving that goal. Strong, propserous and confident minorities on the one hand and politically and economically strong states on the other are the best guarantee for a great future for our nation.
Our goal: Changing the way the world looks at Punjab and the way Punjabis look at themselves. We have a dream of a Punjab in which every single Punjabi is able to walk into and out of any government office with his head held high. We aim at ensuring individual dignity and self-respect of every rural and urban Punjabi, making him truly the master of his destiny, and the government a tool for the fulfillment of his dreams. The SAD trusts the big dreams of the people and believes in harnessing all its energies and the energies of the SAD-BJP government towards the realization of their dreams. We are fully conscious of the great expectations that people have of us and consider it our moral obligation to do our best to live up to these.
Other components of our vision include: Bridging the gap between the people and their government through path breaking series of reforms in governance by transforming the very approach to administration.
Raising the bar in education and health, with more teachers and more doctors, backed up by state of the art facilities in schools and hospitals. Also revolutionizing higher education by setting up centers of excellence, such as world class university, ISB etc.
Raising agricultural and industrial growth by developing world class infrastructure, road network and air connectivity besides making Punjab a power surplus state and ensuring 24-hour power supply to the commercial, Industrial and farm sectors as well as to the domestic consumers.
All this, and more, aimed at making every Punjabi proud of his state.
To strengthen Shiromani Akali Dal at grass root level and to bring about complete internal democracy in the party, so that the party could keep the confidence of the people of the state in the years and decades to come and ensure that the tasks we have initiated are carried to their climax.
Within the Organisation, the party aims at a synergy of the youth force with the Taksali cadre. Whereas the youth would provide the necessary firepower and enthusiasm, the Taksali Akalis would continue to provide the necessary guidance and ideological strength and purity to the party. The SAD is inspired by the noble ideals set before us by our great Gurus, saints and seers in which respect for every religion, human brotherhood and Sarbat da Bhala are the cornerstones of our approach to life. The party is committed to peace, and communal harmony at all costs.
With our political ally Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), we are on a mission for the overall welfare and development of the state. As a part of this mission Punjab, the SAD-BJP government has already emerged as a pioneer in the country by launching reforms in governance.