Baldev Singh

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Baldev Singh

Born: 11 July 1902

Died: 29 June 1961

  • He was an Indian Sikh political leader, he was an Indian independence movement leader and the first Defence Minister of India.
  • Moreover, he represented the Punjabi Sikh community in the processes of negotiations that resulted in the independence of India, as well as the Partition of India in 1947.
  • After independence, Baldev Singh was chosen to become the first Minister of Defence, hence becoming the “First Sikh Defence Minister” of any country in the world, and served in this post during the first Kashmir war between India and Pakistan.
  • He is addressed often with the title of Sardar, which in Punjabi and Hindi means leader or chief.
  • Although Baldev Singh and other Sikhs initially opposed the implementation of the Mission’s 16 May scheme, in the grounds that it did not offer any protection to the Sikh community, Baldev Singh joined the new Viceroy’s Executive Council, to be headed by Congress leaders Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel as the Sikh member. Singh became the Defence minister.

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