Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A bureaucrat who added to the strength of the steel frame- Kunwar Surinder Singh Bedi

Fazilka, June 20
Perhaps the only bureaucrat, who was a recipient of the prestigious civilian awards of the country, Padam Shri and Padam Bhushan, the legendary nonagenarian of Fazilka, Kunwar Surinder Singh Bedi (96), passed away in Mohali on Thursday night.

For his contribution during the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars as the District Magistrate and Commissioner of Jullundhur Division, Bedi was honoured with the highest civilian awards of the country.

Born in the Montgomery in the famous Bedi family of undivided Punjab, and the son of Baba Hardit Singh Bedi and grandson of Sir Baba Khem Singh Sahib Bedi, he migrated to Fazilka after the partition along with his three elder brothers.

"Surinder Singh Bedi was in the 15th generation of the direct lineage of Baba Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji," claimed nephew Mohinderjit Singh Bunty Bedi of Fazilka.

The highlight of the career of this IAS officer was his considerable contribution, planning and liaisoning skills with Army officers during the two Indo-Pak wars as the District Magistrate of Amritsar and Commissioner, Jullundhur division.

He was honoured with Padma Shri in 1965 and Padma Bhushan in 1971. An alumnus of Chiefs College and Government College Lahore, he was awarded the most sought Rivaz medal as the best all-round student at Chiefs College in 1936. He not only excelled in academics but in sports as well. He developed his natural sporting ability particularly in the shooting arena and won the national Trap Shooting Championship in 1951-52. His love for sport took him into sports administration where he served as the President of the Punjab CricketAssociation and continued as a life member of the PCA. In the literary field, he loved Urdu poetry. His favourite of course was the poetry composed by his elder brother, renowned international Urdu poet Kunwar Mohinder Singh Bedi 'Sehar'.


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