Why Partap Singh Kairon, man behind Punjab’s agricultural and industrial growth, was killed
Nihal Singh Kairon was a social reformer and a pioneer who was the first person in the state of Punjab to raise awareness for the education of girls. He set up a girls’ college in Patti and encouraged parents to send their daughters to college. He was a well-known and respected man in Amritsar.
They called him Partap Singh. Nihal Singh, his dad, laid great emphasis on Partap and education was brought up on the very same principles. After successfully completing his schooling in Amritsar, he went to Khalsa College in town to pursue graduation.
Nihal Singh wanted him to achieve new heights and gain and was proud of his son. He decided to send him to the United States for higher studies.
Partap Singh took admission at the University of Michigan. He started working in factories and farms while continuing with his studies. Soon he passed out from the University of Michigan with a master’s degree in political science. However, on completion of his degree, he did not immediately return to India. He had been impressed with the farming techniques that the Americans deployed and was keen to learn all of it, hoping to replicate back home to those. He ended up spending years studying farming methods, working on farms for 12 to 14 hours a day. He decided to return to India when he was convinced that he had learnt it all.
At the time of independence, Partap Singh Kairon held offices in various state authorities. He performed different roles that were constructive . Initially, he was elected as development minister and the rehabilitation minister between 1949 and 1947. The Partition had displaced over 14 million people along religious lines, creating a situation of overwhelming refugee crisis; there were large-scale violence, migration and insanity, with estimates of loss of life, accompanying or preceding the Partition, varying between several hundred thousand and two million. This was a very challenging situation and as the rehab minister, he had to settle millions of refugees who had migrated from West Punjab amidst confusion. Kairon is credited with reestablishing countless East Punjab with job chances but also with homes. He provided stability for them in professions that were new to support themselves and their families.
After attaining political power and seeing success, he never forgot his origins.
Kairon brought in prosperity for Punjab by preparing the ground for the Green Revolution and the growth of industries. He invited industrialists, like the Jaijees and the Oswals, to invest in the nation. Like his dad Nihal Singh, Kairon believed in the value of education. He made primary- and middle-school schooling free and compulsory. He consolidated landholdings in undivided Punjab by pooling fragments of land into chunks that were economically viable –the only state to do thus preparing farms. The legislation that was passed for this assisted farmers not only improving their produce but also bringing them relief from confrontations. A villager by conviction and an American by schooling, Kairon always looked to assist his state’s farmers.
Partap Singh Kairon was considered one of the state’s most progressive minister. According to M Rajiv Lochan, Panjab University, Chandigarh, Partap Singh succeeded in restoring communal harmony, opposing both the Punjabi Suba Movement and the speech movement.5 With the introduction of innovation, Punjab was placed on the industrial map of India. What’s more, the Partition had also cost the nation its capital–Lahore. It now needed a new funding. American architect and planner Albert Mayer was tasked to design a city called Chandigarh in 1949. Kairon, throughout his chief ministership’s years, helped in the creation of Chandigarh, which was completed in 1960. He also assisted in establishing the industrial township of Faridabad the biggest city in the state of a major industrial hub and Haryana.
Punjab became the first state to have power in its villages. The nation’s basic requirement of infrastructure concerning electrification, irrigation and roads were fulfilled. Everything was going well until a tragedy struck.