Who was the seventh President of India?

Giani Zail Singh (25 July 1982 – 25 July 1987)

Giani Zail Singh, who served as the seventh President of India, was the first Sikh to serve in the post. He held office from 1982 to 1987. His original name was Jarnail Singh. Zail Singh earned the title ‘Giani,’ which means ‘a learned person’, as he was well versed in Sikh doctrines.

Zail Singh was born in a mud house to a humble family in Faridkot district in Punjab. From a very young age he had shown enthusiasm in reading Sikh scriptures, Bhagavad Geeta and Ramayana. He later joined the Indian National Congress and took part in the freedom movement.

After India became independent, he was appointed as the revenue minister of the recently formed Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU). In 1972 he became the chief minister of Punjab. A freedom fighter himself, his work for the people of Punjab was impressive. Prior to his presidency, he had held several ministerial posts in the union cabinet, including that of home minister.

He was elected as the President of India on 25th July 1982 and remained in office till 25th July 1987. Even though some events like Operation Blue Star and the anti-Sikh riots coloured his tenure, some decisions by him won him popularity. He refused to sign the Postal Amendment Bill in 1986, which earned him applause from the civil society.

Picture Credit : Google 

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