Monthly Archives: JULY 2018

Punjab is Silent as India Wakes Up to Talk of Refugees, Migration, Issues of Citizenship
Refugee se refugee mile, kar kar chotte haath
30.07.18 - S PAL

 Indian national media’s top story finds no mention in Punjab newspapers, TV
PUNJAB IS A land of the refugees. Certainly, a large number of refugees. Partition meant that millions were displaced, and forced to trudge their way into the Indian Punjab, Delhi, Jammu, parts of Rajasthan and elsewhere. Often they landed wherever they thought their relatives would help them, or wherever trains took them, or army trucks dumped them.

On the morning of Monday, July 30th, millions of people in India found themselves in a similar situation. Fear and the spectre of doom loomed over the lives of lakhs of people who have only known India as their home, and as the clock ticked and the Registrar General of India announced that names of around 40 lakh people were not in final draft of the dreaded National Register of Citizens, Punjabis were perhaps the only people in India who should have been ...

Democracy: From Jantar Mantar to Matka Chowk, march with the help of Supreme Court
26.07.18 - S Pal

Editors may not come to the chowk, but sons and daughters of Mother India must
IS DEMOCRACY BACK at the chowk? Sample this: It took a strong people's movement extending over years, massive public opinion mobilisation, the legacy of Chipko agitation and tireless efforts of civil society to push the Indian government to move on the environmental front.

As a result, India set up the National Green Tribunal. One of the first moves of this NGT was, guess what, not to stop the government from committing wholesale rape of the environment, not a stoppage to its anti-poor mining policies, not a roadblock in the way of decimation of the forest cover in the name of development.

Instead, the first thing the NGT did was to save the manicured lawns of the Jantar Mantar from the crowds of the unwashed, aggrieved, voiceless, marginalised sons and daughters of Mother India who would often come crying ...

Amarinder first to talk about AAP-Congress alliance, but what could it mean?
23.07.18 - S Pal*

MAKING THE MOST definitive statement till date about his party's stance towards the Aam Aadmi Party, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has made it clear that the Congress is open to a pre-poll alliance with the AAP.

"Building alliances is the prerogative of the central party leadership, not ours," Captain Amarinder Singh has said, making it clear that he and the state unit of Congress will do exactly what the high command tells them to.

The BJP and the Akali Dal in Punjab are likely to go hammer and tongs after the Congress and Amarinder Singh now as they will claim that the AAP was always a B team of the Congress, a consistent tune that the Badals kept up during the last Assembly election campaign.

The AAP is also likely to suffer a great deal of reputational damage since its only claim to legitimacy was remaining equidistant from both, the SAD-BJP ...

CHIDAMBARAM IS WRONG – The cry of Sushma Swaraj and the silence of Rajnath Singh
08.07.18 - S Pal

"Not one fellow minister or (BJP) party functionary" condemned the trolls hounding Union Minister Sushma Swaraj, claimed former Union Finance Minister and one of the sharpest critics of the Modi government, P Chidambaram of the Congress.

He is wrong. 

BJP's Ram Madhav, a man with a direct line to Amit Shah and Narendra Modi, condemned the trolls and even wrote an article in the same newspaper in which Chidambaram is a Sunday columnist.

The problem, in fact, is far more serious than what Sushma Swaraj's new found friends in different parties have pointed out. 

Not only did no union minister speak up for Sushma Swaraj, not only did Prime Minister Narendra Modi remain silent at the plight of a woman minister literally begging for support in the cybertown square as an army largely composed of men jeered her and humiliated her, not only did Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh tell her to ignore the ...

Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron
05.07.18 - kanwar manjit singh

PIARA SINGH WAS a little, chubby kid, studying in Class 2. His father Dilbagh Singh was a religious man. On that hot day in June, he was at Sri Harimandir Sahib to observe the martyrdom day of the Fifth Sikh Master. A grenade lobbed by the army left him injured. He was arrested and became a Jodhpur jail Sikh detenue. There was no one else to pay Piara Singh's school fee, so he dropped out of school. Dilbagh Singh died in 2012. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has cleared a payment of Rs 2.6 lakh as the state's part of the compensation amount. The Centre is in the court to contest that it should not be asked to pay its share.

Thirty-four years after that summer of 1984, and 27 years after the legal battle began, 40 of the 365 Sikh detenues, or their kin, finally received the compensation from the Punjab ...

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