Baldev Singh became the first Defence Minister of India. He served at this post from 15th August 1947 to April 1952. He was one of the prominent Sikh leaders during the freedom movement.
Defence Minister is a very important portfolio which is responsible for the protection of the country from external threat. Indian Army works under the direct control of this ministry. He is a very important member of the Council of Minister headed by Prime Minister.
Baldev Singh was a prominent Sikh leader during the time of the freedom movement. He belongs to the industrialist family. He started his political carrier when he got elected for the Punjab Provincial Assembly in 1937, after the implementation of Government of India Act 1935.
During the time of Cripps Mission coming to India, he was the representative of the Sikh Community. Cripps Mission fails to make any deal with Indian political parties. After the failure of talks with the Cripps Mission through Indian National Congress went for Quit India Movement, he and his party did not support the Quit India Movement.
He was also chosen as a representative of the Sikh community when Cabinet Mission came to India for making a deal with Indian Political parties for the transfer of power. during the talk with this mission, he advocated united India. But India gets divided into two nation then partition of Punjab should be done in such a manner that to protect the Shikh Community from Muslim domination.
Initially, he refused to join the Governor-General Executive Council, because proper assurance was not given for the protection of Sikh Community. But later he joined the Governor-General Executive Council headed by Jawahar Lal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He was given the portfolio of Minister of Defence.
When India became independent on 15th August 1947 he became first Defence Minister of India.
As a Minister of Defence, he played a key role in controlling the riot and helping the displaced people. He took a lot of steps to help the displaced people due to partition of the country. He closely coordinated with the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for the integration of India.
He as a Defence Minister played a very crucial role in the first battle of India and Pakistan for Kashmir. Under his guidance, the Indian Army was able to push back Pakistan militants and Army from the Srinagar and major portion of Kashmir was gained under India control.
He along with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had taken Operation Polo, which integrated the Princely State of Hyderabad in India.
Baldev Singh became the first defence minister of India after independent.
Smt Nirmala Sitaramam became the first women defence minister of India.