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Indian Journal of Federal Studies
(Vol.XII, No.2, 2011)

ISSN No. 0976-8408

Political Autonomy and Changing Contours of Akali Ideology

- Ranjit Singh


Shiromani Akali Dal, previously was known for being a Sikh party, is an important regional outfit in Punjab. However recently it has tried to shed its religious image by becoming a protagonist of Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat. Ideologically, it has deep socio-religious and historical basis. In the early years of its inception party was aimed at getting rid of wanton forces from the Sikh religious places. Gradually, it acquired political overtones and began to call shots in the national movement along with the Indian National Congress. In the post-independence period its role changed from being an ally of Congress in the fight for freedom to that of a political contender for power in the state. Hence its ideology has been disparate and diverse changes have been observed during the different phases of its evolution. Variety of social, religious, economic and political factors has critically shaped its ideology. In its opinion, federal set up is heavily loaded in favour of the centre leaving little room for the states and subnational identities to grow. It has been demanding more autonomy to states by reviewing the Constitution. This article analyses the various twists and turns in Akali ideology regarding autonomy.

[Page No. 23 - 39]





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