Monthly Archives: SEPTEMBER 2018

What one leaves behind
16.09.18 - Jawed Naqvi

ATAL BEHARI VAJPAYEE's ashes were immersed in the Ganga. Nehru had his scattered over the Himalayas from a plane. Theatre diva Zohra Sehgal desired no such fuss. She left a stark message for her followers to cremate her quietly and put her ashes in the flush. The electric furnace was malfunctioning as it often does, so Sehgal was put on a pyre. Priests who tried to intervene were shooed away. Nehru got an emotional farewell from millions he loved and who loved him back. Vajpayee was on the ventilator till a day after Prime Minister Modi’s last Independence Day speech. Then he passed away.

In 1977, he assured fawning leftist students on a visit to JNU as foreign minister that he had decided to "drop the bomb”, a significant disavowal of a core Hindutva objective of making a nuclear weapon. As soon as he got a wafer-thin majority he did Pokhran ...

Punjab’s angry crowds – Unsheathed swords, swinging lathis. All for the Guru.
07.09.18 - S Pal

THE CROWDS ARE angry, and they are baying for blood. The rulers are guiding them as to whose blood they must spill. Brandishing unsheathed swords, swinging sturdy lathis and shouting the war cry of Bole So Nihal, the devout are converging wherever they find a senior Akali leader plans to visit.

Top leaders of the ruling Congress, the self-anointed saviours of the Guru, are exhorting the devout to mete exactly such a treatment to their political opponents. The police, trained in the black arts of who to ignore and who to listen to, isn’t rushing around to book anyone fanning trouble. The media has so far not found anything particularly disgusting with ministers and legislators using the floor of the Punjab Assembly to ask voters to lynch their opponents. They dropped hints, suggested violence and exhorted crowds from the floor of the Assembly to not let elected representatives of the Akali ...

Will Punjab see a new party by 2019? Panthic, nationalist, Punjabi, & without Badals
05.09.18 - S Pal

WILL PUNJAB SEE the emergence of a new political party, headed by Captain Amarinder Singh, panthic in nature and nationalist in its positioning, by 2019? Will Punjab see mid-term polls next year? The window is now wide open. 

With the Akali Dal sinking into a vortex and its panthic turf slipping fast, Punjab’s politics is currently witnessing a vacuum: it has always had a huge component of panthic vote bank that doesn’t want to go with the Brand Badal anymore, but is not ready to overcome its antipathy to the Congress brand.

The new kid of the block, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), is proving to be nothing more than a nuisance creating urchin who hasn’t yet learnt to deal with politics as a serious vocation. 
On top of that, Amarinder Singh is not having the most comfortable of the times in Rahul Gandhi’s Congress, and the BJP is not having the best ...

To save the faith
02.09.18 - Amandeep Sandhu

MY UNCLE HAD always wanted to go back to his village in Punjab. When he passed away in Delhi mid-August, his daughter Minni took his body to village Chakklan, district Morinda. The shareeka — larger family, kin, village community — took over the funeral rites. After the cremation, we discussed where to conduct the Sehaj Paath — the reading of the Sikh holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, in its entirety. Many of my elderly female relatives have bad knees. We knew they would find it hard to climb up to the village Gurdwara on the first floor. On the suggestion of a kind neighbour, we decided to host the Guru Granth Sahib at his dignified outhouse across the road.
By resurrecting the ill-considered blasphemy bill, the Punjab government has shot itself in the foot. The proposed law may have grave implications for the entire country
Sikh prayers include the humble phrase bhool ...

Hua Panthik-Panthik Punjab - How do we reclaim real politics?
01.09.18 - S Pal

IN SEARING HEAT and amid ricocheting gunfire, when the Vijayanta Tanks of the Indian Army rolled into the parikarma of Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, it solidified a long-term narrative in Punjab politics: that the Congress was anti-panthic, and the Akalis were a panthic lot.

For three and a half decades, it remained an enduring narrative underpinning the state politics, even when Amarinder Singh gave a panthic hue to the provincial Congress.

This week, that narrative seemed to have been reversed, even if temporarily. The day-long mediocre debate, its idiom and diction particularly crude in parts, was telecast live from the Punjab Assembly, and while you may parse the hyperbole and demands to put aside all legal niceties and tie a rope around the necks of political opponents, the fact remains that the 'Congress is enemy of the Sikhs' narrative lost its currency.

For the first time since Operation Bluestar, on the highly slippery ...




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