Bhatinda: “The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones.” The aforesaid quote used by William Shakespeare in Julius Caesar is a befitting one for three-time legislator of Akali Dal Harjit Singh Poohli. While tainted politicians continue to hog the limelight these days, not many are bothered to remember Poohli who depicted a picture of true Indian politician after serving the nation with Gandhian principles.

Hugely popular amongst the masses for his down to earth approach, Poohli expired in 1992. The plight of Poohli’s family is such that they are facing a hand to mouth existence and are struggling to arrange two square meals. In the absence of rations, the house kitchen is lying unused.

Poohli’s eldest son died due to lack of medical aid and his grandsons were forced to leave studies in middle owing to financial constraints.

Poohli was elected MLA in 1962, 1967 and 1969 from the Nathana assembly seat of Punjab. At 32, he became a member of Shiromani Committee. His active participation in the campaigns initiated by the Akali Dal during the freedom struggle earned him respect and popularity.

But, the present condition of his family paints a sorry picture. Poohli was in a sharp contrast to the modern era politician. Despite being an MLA for three times, he never availed any benefits from the government.

In the name of property, he only had an ancestral property. Poohli used the entire funds for the social development activities, and it was his crystal clear image which made him immensely popular in the state.

After Poohli’s death, his family was ignored by all and sundry. To manage the family expenses, Poohli son’s Bhola Singh and two grandsons are compelled to work as labourers.

Bhola said, “It was becoming difficult to manage the financial expenses, therefore my children had to quit studies after Class X.”
According to Singh, he had met Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal regarding employment of his sons. “He told me to educate my sons first and thereafter he will look into the matter,” Singh added.

When contacted, Vice-president of Akali Dal Swaroop Chand Singhla assured to meet Poohli’s family and take up the issue with Badal.

(JPN/Bureau)