Tribute to S. Rangil Singh

Ashok Bhan
Sardar Rangil Singh has moved on in style.A personal friend-a barrister, great social activist, an articulate legislator, a competent minister, educated, self respecting and decent politician- The gentleman par excellence,Sardar Rangil Singh has left for heavenly abode.The best tribute to the departed soul  by his friends, the fellow party men and the civil society is to accomplish his left over task of working towards the cohesion of all the three regions of the State and for peace and societal equilibrium within all the communities in JK State that has been imperilled by the divisive forces by promoting self serving myths of divisive socio-political narrative.The real tribute to the noblest soul of Sardar Rangil Singh is to strive to bring back the glory of plural ethos of JK State.
I had an occasion to know him for many years closely.He was a valuable colleague in our Party affairs.He was very sensitive and sensible politician.He once in legislature asked CM Farooq Abdullah  why he is not seriously doing his job as CM of a very delicate State of Union of India.At that time he had sensed the  trouble brewing up in the Valley.The CM replied that he did not wish to land up in hospital at that age with BP and other stress related issues.The State was going through critical phase of mal-governance and challenges of initial terrorist activities orchestrated from across the borders.
Sardarji was part of a senior party delegation to PM Rajiv Gandhi of which he and I were the main spokesmen.We discussed JK affairs at great length for couple of days with the PM.It was finally decided to change the team of Congressmen in the partnership Government.The replacement was decided to be GR Kar,Pandit Mangat Ram,Rangil Singh(as speaker)and myself as MOS.Since two of us namely Sardar Rangil Singh and myself were vocal critics of CM Dr.Abdulah he opposed tooth and nail our induction consequently both of us were dropped and GR Kar & Pt. Mangat Ram were accepted and inducted by Cabinet Ministers.
After the resignation of Dr.Farooq on the eve of Jagmohan’s appointment as Governor,it was decided by both NC-Congress to boycott Jagmohan’s arrival at Jammu airport.Sardar Rangil Singh and myself defied the decision and went to airport.That was widely reported by JK & national media.we continued our comradeship for a long time till PDP was formed.He along with late Mufti tried to pursue my joining PDP but I discreetly said no.
There was great element of self respect in his instinctive political decisions and guided by his personal decency and warmth towards friends particularly to Mufti Syed.There are numerous stories in our comradeship that can describe Sardarji as the noble person,an able self respecting politician.JK State has lost a patriot,a great social activist an able legislator and a decent Member of the proud Sikh community.Friends have lost an affectionate friend,the family has lost a pillar of value system.PEACE be to his SOUL.
(The author is Sr. Advocate)