Shiromani Akali Dal.—It was formed on December 14, 1920, for the proper control and management of the gurdwaras which were earlier treated by the mahants as their private property and suffered from all sorts of abuses. Subsequently, this religious body also assumed a political role, as a representative body of the Sikh, and played a vital role in the free dom struggle in collaboration with the Indian National congress.


            The Akali Dal—a religio-policital body—commanded considerable influence in the district in the First General Elections (1952). In the Second General Elections (1957), the party entered into an election alliance with the Congress and did not contest any seat independently. In the Third General Elections (1962), the party improved its position in the district. In the Fourth General Elections (1967), the party considerably lessened the influence of the Congress—the rulling party.


            In 1961, the Akali Dal was split up into two groups : Akali Dal (Master Tara Singh Group) and Akali Dal (Sant Fateh Singh Group). In course of time, the latter emerged as more powerful. After the mid-term poll in 1969, both the groups got reconciled and entered into an alliance for running the Government.


            In the First General Elections (1952), the Akali Dal got 17 per cent votes out of the total valid votes for the Lok Sabha and 20.6 per cent votes out of the total polled votes for the Vidhan Sabha. In the Third General Elections (1962), the party got 17.2 per cent votes out of the total valid votes polled for the Vidhan Sabha. In the Fourth General Elections (1967), the party got 25.2 per cent (Sant Group) and 5.9 per cent (Master Group) votes out of the total valid votes polled for the Lok Sabha, and 25.3 per cent (Sant Group) and 0.1 per cent (Master Group) votes out of the total valid votes polled for the Vidhan Sabha. In the 1969 mid-term poll, the Akali Dal got 28.1 per cent votes out of the total valid votes polled for the Vidhan Sabha.


            Jan Sangh.—It was formed in the district in 1951. It is an all-India party and stands for the maintenance of Indian traditions, polity. After the organization of the former Punjab Stte in 1966, the Sangh started taking independent stand on matters exclusively of State interest which its central unit would not condemn. The party enjoys influence in the Amritsar city. It has 53 branches in the urban areas and 48 in the rural areas. The membership of the party has gone up to 18,000. The party hs formed the Harijan Sangh for the betterment of Harijans, and the Kisan Sangh for the betterment of farmers.


            In the First General Elections (1952), the party did not capture any seat. Only 2.2 per cent votes out of the total valid votes polled were secured by the party for the Vidhan Sabha. In the Second General Elections (1957), 2 Assembly seats were captured by it. The party got 18.18 per cent votes out of the total votes polled for the Lok Sabha and 11.6 per cent votes out of the total valid votes polled for the vidhan Sabha. In the Third General Elections (1962), the party won 2 Assembly seats. The party got 10.7 per cent votes out of the total valid votes polled for the Lok Sabha and 8.5 per cent votes out of the total valid votes polled for the Vidhan Sabha. In the Fourth General Elections (1967), one Lok Sabha seat and 3 Assembly seats were won by the party. It got 15.5 per cent votes of the total votes polled for the Lok Sabha and 11.5 per cent votes polled for the Vidhan Sabha. In the mid-term poll in 1969, the party got 9.1 per cent votes out of the total votes polled for the Vidhan Sabha.


            Swatantra Party.—Born as a right-wing reaction to the socialism of the Congress Party, the Swatantra Party, which was actually founded by some stalwarts of the Congress, believes that social justice and welfare can be attained not by compulsion but by the Gandhian doctrine of trusteeship. Asa conservative political party, the Swatantra party favours the restriction of Stateism and the restoration of guarantee specified in the original Constitution regarding the freedom of trade, employment, property and just compensation for property, if acquired for public purposes.


            At the all-India level, the party was formally inaugurated at a preparatory convention in Bombay in 1959 and its first convention was held in March, 1960.


            The party contested the Third General Elections for the Vidhan Sabha seats and could not capture any. It got 3.2 per cent votes out of the total votes polled in the district. In the Fourth General Elections, the party contested only one Lok Sabha seat and got 4.6 per cent votes out of the total votes polled. In the mid-term poll in 1969, the party got a negligible percentage (only 86 votes) out of the total valid votes polled.


            Republician Party.—This party is a reorganized form of the Scheduled Castes Federation. It s distinguishing feature is that unlike the parent political organization, it enrols non-Scheduled Castes also as its members. The party did not contest any Parliamentary/Assembly seat in any of the General Elections.


            Communist Party of India.—It is an all-India Party established in the district in 1934 and stands for the State-controlled socialism. The party concentrates its activities among the workers and peasants, organizing them in their own unions in accordance with the party pattern. In 1962, at the time of the Chinese aggression, the party was divided into two groups, i.e. Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India (Marxist). The latter does not recognize the Chinese attacks as an acto fo aggression, whereas the former group condemened the invasion outright . The Communist Party of India has a District Council, 13 Block Area Committees and 96 branches in the district, covering 400 villages.


            In the First General Elections 1952), the party captured two Assembly seats. In the Second General Elections (1957) again, the party got two Assembly seats. In the Third General Elections (1962), the party got one Assembly seat. In the Fourth General Elections (1967), the party bagged two seats, one by the Communist Party of India and the other by the Communist Party of India (Marxist). In the First General Elections (1952), the party got 11.2 per cent of the total votes polled for the Lok Sabha and 15.1 per cent of the total votes polled for he Vidhan Sabha. In the Second General Elections (1957), the party got 29.30 per cent of the total valid votes polled for the Lok Sabha and 19.4 per cent of the total valid votes polled for the Vidhan Sabha. In the Third General Eelctions (1962), the party got 25 per cent of the total valid votes polled for the Lok Sabha and 10.1 per cent of the total valid votes polled for the Vidhan Sabha. In the Fourth General Elections (1967), the party got 3.3 per cent of the total valid votes polled for the Lok Sabha and 11 per cent of the total valid votes polled for the Vidhan Sabha. In the mid-term poll, the Communist Party of India got 6 per cent and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) 7 per cent of the total valid votes polled for the Vidhan Sabha.


            Socialist/Praja Socialist Party.—The Socialists formed a separate wing of the Indian natinal Congress before the partition (1947). At that time, it was imperative for every member of the Congress Socialist group to enrol himself as a formal member of the Congress. The Socialist section separated from the main body of the Congress in 1948 and was organized in the district as a separate party in that very year. In 1954, the Socialist Party merged into the Kisan Mazdoor Praja party, with the new nomenclature of Praja Socialist Party. It was split up into two group—Praja Socialist and Socialist. In 1955, both the wings were merged into a larger party with the new name of Samyukt Socialist Party. Immediately afterwards, it was again split up into the Praja Socialist Party and the Socialist Party. The Praja Socialist Party has four branches in the district. It pleads the rights of the employees of the municipal committees, labour, Public-Health Services, Harijans, displaced persons, etc.


            The party could not capture any seat either in the Lok Sabha or in the Vidhan Sabha in any of the General Elections. However, in the mid-term poll in 1968, one seat ws captured by the Praja Socialist party from the Amritsar city. In the First General Elections (1952), the party got 2.1 per cent of the total votes polled for the Vidhan Sabha. In the Second General Elections (1957), it got 1.5 per cent of the total valid votes polled for the Vidhan Sabha. In the Third General Elections (1962), it secured 2 per cent of the total valid votes polled for the Vidhan Sabha. In the Fourth General Elections (1967), the party got 2.8 per cent of the total valid votes polled. In the mid-term poll in 1969, the party got 3.1 per cent of the total valid votes polled for the Vidhan Sabha.


            Besides the above-mentioned parties, the Ram Rajya Parishad, the Hindu Maha Sabha and the Forward Bloc have also been contesting elections for the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha seats. The number of votes polled by these parties was, however, negligible. No reference to their ideology and manifesto is, therefore, called for.


(c )       Newspapers and Periodicals


Newspapers and Periodicals Published in the District and Their Importance


            The first periodical to start publication in the district was Khalsa Samachar in Punjabi in 1899. It was followed by Sanatan Dharam Parcharak in Urdhu in 1901. Thereafter were started Niguniara and Khalsa Advocate in Punjabi in 1903, followed by Dukh Niwaran in Punjabi in 1906. The most widely read Punjabi periodicals are Preet Lari, started in 1933, and Bal Sandesh, started in 1943. Both of these are published by a renowned Punjabi writer from Prit Nagar (Tahsil Ajnala). The other periodicals which started publication before the independence are Radiant Health in English in 1930, Bajrang in Urdu in 1935, Kanwal in Punjabi in 1940 and Sant Sipahi in Punjabi in 1945.


            The important Punjabi periodicals, etc. started after the independence (1947) are : Sikh (daily) in 1948, Mahatma in 1950, Kavita in 1952, Balak in 1953, Gurmat in 1955,  Gian Amrit in 1956, Nirmal Udesh in 1960, and  Bharti Naari and Biba Rana both in 1962. The important Hindi periodicals started after 1947 are : Amar Kahaniyan in 1950, Bal Phulwari in 1959 and Advocate in 1963. An English quarterly, India Through Art, started publication in 1963.


            The particulars in respect of newspapers and periodicals published in the district, as on April, 1968, are given below :


Serial    Name of newspaper/         Place of          Year when      Circulation Language

  No.          periodical                  publication           started        


  1                    2                                3                      4                     5                       6



1.       Sikh                                 Amritsar              1948              1,500              Punjabi

2.       Doctor                                  Do                  1960              2,500              English and    Punajabi

3.       Business Light                   Amrtsar              1959                 204              Hindi

4.       Indo-Afgar Trade                 Do                  1965                                 Do

5.       Sindhi Aghotri                       Do                  1957                                 Do


6.       Khalsa Samachar              Amritsar              1899              2,211              Punjabi

7.       Khalsa Advocate                  Do                  1903                                 Do

8.       Mahatma                              Do                  1950                                 Do

9.       Mera Punjab                         Do                  1959                                 Do

10.     Nirmal Udesh                       Do                  1960                 400              Do

11.     Pasmanand Jiwan            Tarn Taran            1965                                 Do

12.     Punjab Patthar                      Do                  1958                                 Do

13.     Punjab Mail                      Amritsar              1964              1,900              Do

14.     Qaumi Jiwan                   Tarn Taran            1962                                 Do

15.     Qaumi Swatantar           Baba Bakala          1962              1,000              Do

16.     Ramgarhia Bir                   Amritsar              1963                 755              Do

17.     Sacha Sewak                        Do                  1959                                 Do

18.     Sadhu Sandesh                     Do                  1963                 600              Do

19.     Aal Tasvir                             Do                  1965                                 Do

20.     Awami Leader                      Do                  1965                                 Do

21.     Awami Tahrik                       Do                  1960                 250              Do

22.     Bekhof                           Tarn Taran            1965                                 Do

23.     Desh Bhagat                     Amritsar              1965                 253              Do

24.     Itfaq                                     Do                  1962                                 Do



Serial    Name of newspaper/         Place of          Year when      Circulation         Language

  No.          periodical                  publication           started        


  1                    2                                3                      4                     5                       6


25.     Jag Beeti                               Do                  1963                                 Do

26.     Sakandal                        Tarn Taran            1959                                 Do

27.     Sangathan                         Amritsar              1965                                 Do

28.     Satara-I-Hind                       Do                  1963                                 Do

29.     Shakti                                   Do                  1948                 200              Do

30.     Tamancha                             Do                  1961                                 Urdu and Punjabi

31.     Chitra Mala                          Do                  1957                 500              English, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi

32.     Sindi Aghotri                         Do                  1953                                 Sindhi           


33.     Punjab Market                 Amritsar              1959              5,600              English

34.     Advocate                              Do                  1963                                 Hindi

35.     Rang Lok                             Do                  1965                                 Do

36.     Ghan Chakkar                      Do                 1964/                                 Punjabi

37.     Bajrang                                 Do                  1935                                 Urdu

38.     Sanatan Dharam                   Do                  1901              1,546              Do

39.     Shaheed-i-Watan                  Do                  1963                                 Hindi and

40.     Panchayat Sansar                  Do                  1963                                 Urdu, Hindi   and Punjabi


41.     Radiant Health                  Amritsar              1930                                 English

42.     Science Review                    Do                  1960                 300              Do

43.     Bahadur Jasoos                    Do                  1964                                 Hindi

44.     Bal Phulwari                         Do                  1959              1,376              Do



Serial    Name of newspaper/         Place of          Year when      Circulation         Language

  No.          periodical                  publication           started        


  1                    2                                3                      4                     5                       6


45.     Jasoosi Mahol                       Do                  1963              1,411              Do

46.     Kailash Jyoti                         Do                  1965                                 Do

47.     Market Way                         Do                  1963                 990              Do

48.     Amar Kahaniyan                   Do                  1950              8,800              Do

49.     Amrit Wela                           Do                  1963                                 Do

50.     Anmol Rattan                  Tarn Taran            1951                                 Punjabi

51.     Balak                               Amritsar              1953              1,650              Do

52.     Bl Sandesh                           Do                  1943              4,076              Do

53.     Bharti Naari                          Do                  1962                                 Do

54.     Biba Rana                             Do                  1962                                 Do

55.     Daler Jasoos                         Do                  1962                                 Do

56.     Dukh Niwaran                Tarn Taran            1906              5,416              Do

57.     Film Kala                         Amritsar              1955              5,360              Do

58.     Filmi Bahar                           Do                  1958              2,000              Do

59.     Filmi Sansar                      Amritsar              1958              2,000              Do

60      Gian Amrit                            Do                  1956              1,228              Do

61.     Gurbani Science                    Do                  1957                                 Do

62.     Gurmat                                 Do                  1955              2,000              Do

63.     Gurmat Parkas                      Do                  1957              2,000              Do

64.     Himmat Samachar                 Do                  1965                                 Do

65.     Jasoosi Duniya                      Do                  1963              2,000              Do

66.     Jasoosi Panja                        Do                  1963                                 Do

67.     Kanwal                                 Do                  1940              1,998              Do

68.     Kavita                                  Do                 1,952              3,337              Do

69.     Komal Sansar                       Do                  1953                 600              Do

70.     Mastana                               Do                  1928              3,700              Do

71.     Nirguniara                             Do                  1928              3,700              Do

72.     Phul Jhari                              Do                  1960              2,000              Do



Serial    Name of newspaper/         Place of          Year when      Circulation         Language

  No.          periodical                  publication           started        


  1                    2                                3                      4                     5                       6


73.     Preet Lari                 Prit Nagar (District      1933            13,118              Do

74.     Sacha Premi                     Amritsar              1965                                 Do

75.     Sangat Samachar                  Do                  1965                                 Do

76.     Sant Sipahi                           Do                  1945              2,100              Do

77.     Vedic Rattan                         Do                  1964                 353              Do

78.     Vaidya Visharad                   Do                  1952                 800              Do

79.     Anmol Rattan                  Tarn Taran            1954                                 Urdu

80.     Atam Katha                      Amritsar              1958              1,950              Do

81.     Hiteshi                                  Do                  1953                                 Do

82.     Jasoosi Mahol                       Do                  1963              1,008              Punjabi

83.     Khukhrain Sandesh               Do                  1961              2,000              Do

84.     Munnawar                            Do                  1963                 500              Do

85      Nigarish                                Do                  1959              1,430              Urdu

86.     Panch Bhoomi                      Do                  1960                                 Do

87.     Postman                               Do                  1951                   99              Do

88.     Rajpur Sandesh                    Do                  1951                                 Do

89.     Textile                                  Do                  1960                                 Do

90.     Qanun                                  Do                  1953              1,932              Urdu and Punjabi


91.     Amritsar Productivity        Amritsar              1963                                 English
          Council Newsletter


92.     India Through Art             Amritsar              1963                 500              Do

93.     Parkash Deep                       Do                  1961                                 English and    Urdu

(Press Ind India, 1966, Part II, and  1967 II; and the District Public Relations Officer, Amritsar)

Newspapers and Periodicals Published Outside but in Fairly Large Circulation in the Amritsar District


            The following newspapers and periodicals, published outside the district, are in fairly large circulation in the district :


Serial    Name of newspaper/       Place of                  Language          Periodicity      No.       periodical                       publication                                           



1.       Tribune                                    Chandigarh                     English                    Daily

2.       Indian Express                         New Delhi                        Do                        Do

3.       Times of India                                Do                              Do                        Do

4.       Hidi Milap                             Jullundur City                    Hindi                      Do

5.       Vir Pratap                                      Do                              Do                        Do

6.       Punjab Kesri                                  Do                              Do                        Do

7.       Ajit                                                Do                           Punjabi                     Do

8.       Akali Patrika                                  Do                              Do                        Do

9.       Nawan Zamana                             Do                              Do                        Do

10.     Jathedar                                         Do                              Do                        Do

11.     Hind Samachar                              Do                            Urdu                      Do

12.     Milap                                             Do                              Do                        Do

13.     Pratap                                           Do                              Do                        Do

14.     Pradeep                                         Do                              Do                        Do


1.       Illustrated Weekly of India         Bombay                       English                  Weekly

2.       Filmfare                                         Do                              Do                  Fortnightly

3.       Femina                                          Do                              Do                        Do

4.       Dharmyug                                      Do                            Hindi                   Weekly

5.       Sarita                                       New Delhi                        Do                  Fortnightly

6.       Sushma                                          Do                              Do                    Monthly

7.       Tasvir                                     Jullundar city                   Punjabi                     Do

8.       Drishti                                            Do                              Do                        Do

9.       Biswin Sadi                                  Delhi                           Urdu                      Do

10.     Sharma                                          Do                              Do                        Do


(d)                  Voluntary Social Service Organizations


Organized social service at the State or community level in its present form is a modern development. Social welfare, according to the age-old traditions, was generally understood to be a form of charity shown by wealthy philanthropists in the shape of the construction of serais, the sinking of wells, the opening of dispensaries, etc. Against the above background, the scope of all present-day social-welfare activities remained extremely limited in the past. To a considerable extent, the joint-family system and the caste-system obviated the need for regular social-welfare organizations. The head of the joint-family was expected to look after all the members of the family. The caste-system also catered for the welfare of the members of different groups. Above all, every village by itself was a compact unit which was governed by its own panchayat. Under the old rural autonomy, little scope or necessity was left for the whole-time social-welfare organizations. Further, the life in the olden days was simple and human needs were not many. The local panchayats looked after the interests of the poor and needy as part of their moral duty. For instance, in the villages, the panchayats never allowed a money-lender to charge interest exceeding the principal or to attach the land of the cultivator in default of the payment of loan and thus deprive him of his means of subsistence. Panchayats used to persuade the money-lenders to remit the principal or not to charge the interest from widows and orphans who bread-winners had died while under debt. Such favourable conditions prevailed up to the advent of the British rule. The establishment of the centralized administration and the enforcement of law considerably reduced the social cohesion and left the people without any agency for social welfare. Moreover, the law under the British strengthened the hands of the money-lenders who could go to any extent without paying any heed to the moral pressure brought to bear on them by the panchayats. In the urban areas, as well, the chaudhris or mir mohalladars lost their influence of mediation and the law encouraged litigation, thereby rendering the poor more helpless.


            The role played by the philanthropists and sardars in the district in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is highly commendable. Five Sikh Gurus (the Second to the Sixth) had already left behind laudable traditions of charity and community kitchens (langar). This wholesome tradition also influenced the people in general. They built serais and sunk well. Thr rulers, particularly Maharaja Ranjit Singh, donated lakhs of rupees to the poor on different occasions of religious importance. Several akharas of the mahants were established where free kitchens were run and pilgrims or travellers could stay for a few days. Amritsar, with its religious traditions and prosperous commercial community, was renowned for its charitable community institutions. As compared with other district in the State, Amritsar had the maximum number of such institutions in the nineteenth century. Even to this day, this district can boast of more welfare institutions than any other district.


            The present form of voluntary organizations came into existence after the advent of the British. The branches of international organizations, e.g. the Red Cross Society and the Rotary Club, were started in the city during the present century. On similar lines, the Institute for the Blind, the Chief Khalsa Diwan Orphanage, the Pingalwara, the Sewa Samiti, etc were started by religious bodies or voluntary organizations through contributions. The Bharat Sewak Samaj is a voluntary social service organization under the Congress patronage. The Government also gives grants to these organizations. The Christian missionaries are running a leprosy centre near Tarn Taran. Some of the notable voluntary social services organizations in the district are briefly described below :


(i)       The Indian Red Cross Socity (Disrict Branch), Amritsar


            The Amritsar District Red Cross Branch and its allied institutions, i.e. St John Ambulance Association and Hospital Welfare Section, were constituted in 1948 after the partition. The branch runs ten trained Dal Centres in the rural areas of the district for the welfare of the female population. The branch also runs an Urban Family-Planning Centre in Dhab Wasti Ram, Amritsar.


            St John Ambulance Association.—This Branch receives Rs 10,000 from the parent body, i.e. the Red Cross Society, for holding First-Aid and Home-Nursing Classes and for the equipment of the Ambulance Nursing Division.


            The Branch has 85 Ambulance Nursing and Cadet Divisions. They render service by establishing First-Aid Posts in the district and also outside the district, i.e. at Anandpur Sahib, Kurukshetra and Hardwar. This branch maintains an ambulance van and plies on public calls at nominal rates. The branch also runs 95 well-furnished First-Aid Posts, out of which 65 are in the urban and 30 in the rural areas.


            Hospital Welfare Section.—it has 150 lady members, out of which 16 are called conveners. They visit hospitals twice a week. Relief article are distributed in the hospitals through these conveners. They also render social service by knitting woollen garments for distribution among the poor.


            The blood groups of the members are also taken. They are available for donating blood in the event of an emergency.


            General Activities for the Welfare of the Poor.—The Red Cross Society spends a good amount on free distribution of medicines, through lady conveners of the Hospitals Welfare Section, in hospitals/wards, e.g. the T.B. Free Hospital, and the Ram Lal Eye and E.N.T. Hospital, at Amritsar.


            Woollen and cotton clothes, approximately worth Rs 5,000, are distributed by the society annually among the poor. Relief articles, old and new, received from the headquarters of the Indian Red Cross Society, are also distributed at the time of a national calamity. Besides, sewing-machines, artificial limbs, steel jackets, and calipers are distributed among the poor.


            The society are gives grant-in-aid to the Bhartiya Grameen Mahila Samity, Amritsar Branch; the Indian Council for Child Welfare, District Branch, Amritsar; the Saket Coucil of Orthopaedically Handicapped Children, Chandimandir; and the District Education Officer, Amritsar, for the Indira Holiday Camp.


            Miscellaneous Work.—The society distributes transistors for the jawans of the Border Security Force pickets on demand.


            Up to 1968, the society had 3 life members, 5 life associates, 26 annual members and 4,058 annual associates.


            The expenditure incurred by the society is met from public contributions and a grant from the Government.