Maninder Singh Bitta

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Maninder Singh Bitta:

Maninderjeet Singh Bitta (also M S Bitta) is the chairman of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF), and former chief of the Indian Youth Congress. He was made the president of Indian Youth Congress by P. V. Narasimha Rao. Maninderjeet Singh Bitta was a Minister in Punjab Govt in the govt of Beant Singh (chief minister).

  • Maninderjit Singh Bitta nurtured a patriotic passion right from his childhood and was very inquisitive by nature.
  • He often put questions to his grandfather about the Jallianwala massacre and accompanied him to the historical site. From every single visit to the memorable place, he drew a secret inspiration from the great tragedy that took the lives of innocent human beings.
  • He grew up reading books on Subhash Chandra Bose, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Shaheed Udham Singh and Shaheed Bhagat Singh that expanded his vision and greatly influenced his ideology and thinking.
  • The house in which he stayed in Amritsar was just a stone’s throw away from the Golden Temple.
  • Bitta was baptised into politics in 1974 when he was in eighth standard.
  • From an ordinary Seva Dal volunteer, he soon rose to the position of Amritsar district Youth Congress President.
  • By this time, militancy was already on the rise and Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale was spitting fire.
  • Bitta soon was involved in an ugly confrontation with the militants.
  • The young Congress leader received warning from Bhindrawale’s men against unfurling the tricolour on Independence Day in 1980. He ignored the warning and requested a senior Congress (I) leader to preside over the function at Chowk Baba Saheb but the latter refused.
  • He persuaded another Congress (I) MLA to do the unfurling.
  • When the function was on, six menacing young men climbed on to the stage and started distributing Pro-Khalistani leaflets and shouting slogans.
  • Bitta recalls the incident, “But before they could utter zindabad after Khalistan, we overpowered them and gave them a good thrashing.” But what followed soon after was not altogether pleasant. Seven of Bitta’s friends were attacked and injured by the militants. Bitta however refused to be cowed down by the threatening militants and continued his campaign against them with more determination.

Besides, he never loses an opportunity to take the government to task by organizing protest demonstrations whenever an issue of social or national importance springs up. However, he gives priority to raise movement against terrorism wherever it exists. Bitta is visibly concerned at the onset of Global Terrorism particularly when WTC towers was hit by Al-Qaeda terrorists on September 11, 2001, and the recent attack on the underground railway network in Great Britain and Egypt falling prey to terrorists. He has held many functions at domestic and international level to highlight this grave issue. But it is a pity that his genuine effort for a just and social cause is yet to be recognized by the government or any other reputed national or international organization. Though an award in itself would not induce an individual to perform heroics, but it is the recognition that matters and Bitta certainly leads the chart of courageous men in the country and the world. It is surprising that his single-handed fight against such a dreadful social evil like terrorism for more than 25 years has not impressed the intellectual few who decide nomination for the Magasaysay awards. 

The democracy has become a rotten word and the system has begun to rust and true patriotic citizens like him are left to suffer the negligent attitude of an ill-fed system. A. C. Bradley in The Substance of Shakespearean Tragedy says, “Let it be granted that the system or order which shows itself omnipotent against individual is, in the sense explained, moral. Still – at any rate for the eye of sight – the evil against which it asserts itself, and the persons whom this evil inhabits, are not really something outside the order, so that they can attack it or fail to conform to it; they are within it and a part of it.” The government should start a subsidiary movement involving people to discourage terrorism and persons like Bitta should be summoned to lead it as he has the courage and determination to turn the impossible into possible. Having discussed the substance of such a thing, the government should naturally go on to examine the possibilities of its constitution. 
Attacks on his life:

  • On 7 July 1992 : Bitta lost his leg in a bombing that killed 13 people in the Punjab holy city of Amritsar on 7 July 1992.
  • On Sept 11, 1993 : Bitta survived a deadly attack on him at Indian youth congress premises on Raisina Road, New Delhi.The blast occurred at midday as Maninderjeet Singh Bitta, then president of the then governing Congress Party’s youth wing, left his office in a car. His two bodyguards were among the dead. He escaped with shrapnel wounds to the chest, but 9 people were killed and 36 wounded. 

Bitta left politics to become a full-time social worker supporting the widows of Kargil War soldiers, 2001 Indian Parliament attack soldiers. He is provided with Z+ security for lifetime.




Profession/Designation Politician
Location Punjab