Giani Zail Singh was
the first Sikh to hold the position of the President of
India. He was a man of many parts- a freedom fighter,
Congress leader, Chief Minister of Punjab as well as
Union Home Minister. The tall and handsome Giani Zail
Singh believed in democratic traditions very strongly,
was a God-fearing person and was a true son of the soil.
He fought vehemently against feudalism and against
colonial rule in India's pre-independence era.
He was born on 5th May 1916 in a small village called
Sandhwan in the erstwhile princely state of Faridkot.
Zail Singh had very less formal education, only his
family's interests for religious learning were
inculcated in him. Apart from these, he could read the
Guru Granth Sahib fluently and had an excellent
knowledge of Sikh doctrine and history. He was a
prolific and immaculate speaker and could spellbind
people with his public speaking skills. He did his
college education at the Shahid Sikh Missionary College
In 1956, Giani Zail Singh became the Senior
Vice-President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee
and also a Member of Rajya Sabha. With his motivating
skills, he played a vital role in the victory of the
Congress in Punjab in the 1962 General Elections. He
became the President of India in July, 1982. This great
leader passed away on December 25, 1994.