Zail Singh

Zail Singh

name=Giani Zail Singh

order=7th President of India
term_start=July 25, 1982
term_end=July 25 1987
vicepresident=Muhammad Hidayat Ullah (1982-1984)
R. Venkataraman (1984-1987)
predecessor=Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
successor=R. Venkataraman
order2=9th Secretary General of Non-Aligned Movement
term_start2=March 12, 1983
term_end2=September 6 1986
predecessor2=Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
successor2=Robert Mugabe
birth_date=May 5, 1916
death_date=December 25, 1994
Giani Zail Singh ( _pa. ਜ਼ੈਲ ਸਿੰਘ, May 5 1916December 25 1994) was an Indian politician and member of the Congress Party. He served as the seventh President of India between 1982 and 1987.

Sardar Zail Singh, a Sikh by religion, was given the title of "Giani", as he was educated and learned about Guru Granth Sahib however he did not have formal education. He had a humble start in life and his father was a carpenter who was killed in an automobile accident.

Zail Singh's public life was long and varied - freedom fighter, state Congress leader, Chief Minister, Union Home Minister,and the president of India. A fighter against princedom, feudalism and foreign domination in the pre-independence days, he is also remembered for his crusade against communalism, economic disparities and social injustice in the republic. He also served as Chief Minister of Punjab. He was the President of India when the 1984 anti-Sikh riots took place in New Delhi.

President of India

Giani Zail Singh was elected to the highest office of the President of India on July 15, 1982 and took the oath of office on July 25, 1982. He was criticised for his subservient attitude to the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi As the president he said that he was willing to sweep the floors of Mrs Gandhi's house.He is venerated for his integrity,poltical morality and wits.He is one of the few politions of India who never laundered money for his family.He was always thankful to the people who had been helpful to him and people still remember him as a man who returned milk for the water offered to him during his days of struggle.Politically his detractors and opponents also praise his human qualities. He was President, when Indira Gandhi launched Operation Blue Star. Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister after the assassination of his mother by two of her Sikh bodyguards. Even though Zail Singh had strained relations with Rajiv Gandhi, he declined to embarrass his government by seeking re-election as President of India with the support of non-Congress parties. Giani Zail Singh died in a road accident on December 25, 1994, near Kiratpur Sahib in Ropar district. Following his accidental death, Zail Singh was cremated at EKTA STHAL in the vicinity of the Raj Ghat.

Important positions

1951 Agriculture minister, PEPSU

1956 Member of Indian parliament (Rajya Sabha)

1972-1977 Chief minister of Punjab

1980-1982 Union Home Minister

1982-1987 President Of India


External links

* [ Profile at the Presidents of India website]

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