OPINION

Monthly Archives: OCTOBER 2018


FROM 1984 TO BARGARI
Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?
30.10.18 - S Pal
Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?



ONE READING OF any account of the victims of 1984, and your blood will boil. One meeting with a group of widows of anti-Sikh massacres of 1984, and your blood will boil. One quick read of the first person accounts of the November 1984 riots narrated by many of India's leading civil society leaders before commission after inquiry commission and your blood will boil. One casual sitting through a movie like Amu and your blood will boil. 

You will be very angry with India's multi-tyre system, circa 1984.

That multi-tyre system was simple in its effectiveness. Take a lot of tyres, set them afire and put them around any Sikh you can grab. The tyres were in great supply, as was the kerosene. Trembling with fear, the Sikhs huddled inside their houses but those running the multi-tyre system had provided them meticulously-drafted voter lists, with the chosen ones clearly marked out. A darkness of sorts had befallen India's capital because a big tree had crashed, and someone in the power echelons had decided that it needs to be lit through some kind of an Ujjwala scheme, the one that ran on kerosene, tyres and constructed rage of the bloodthirsty crowds.
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India’s multi-tyre system was simple in its effectiveness. Take a lot of tyres, set them afire and put them around any Sikh you can grab. This was the Ujjwala scheme of 1984, the one that ran on kerosene, tyres and the constructed rage of bloodthirsty crowds.
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It was a political innovation built on past experience of rioting, but one that was deadly effective in that Orwellian year. The experiments of June 1984 had stunned the community, and it was still to wrap its head around the Indian establishment's capacity to handle sensitive situations in a most ham-handed fashion when the winter turned a little extra cold for it, thanks to the willingness of the rulers to settle scores to satiate the imagined cumulative anger.

The denial of justice after 34 years is a testimony to the effectiveness of this Indian invention. 

People being burnt alive on the roads of the national capital in huge numbers for days altogether did not make India’s blood boil. No wonder that India watched the monster's deathly dance again in Gujarat in 2002. Still, India's blood did not boil.

We are now watching the lynch mob in action on a more drawn out basis. If you thought Mohd Akhlaq or Pehlu Khan were one off incidents, then the mob soon proved it wasn't going home anytime soon. It became a series of dramatic tussle-beating-killing-videographing routine. The killers now no more hide their identities, they put these videos online and political masters garland them. 
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Words like chilling, appalling, inhuman, outrageous, have all lost their charge. We have become a mass of desensitized viewers set upon by a turbo fuelled media. Image is chasing image at such blistering speed that we dare not hold on to anything — lest we burst.
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Now, it has become the new normal. A Muslim student living in a PG accommodation is not secure. Hostel mates can beat up their classmate because he comes from Kashmir. Cops can knock on your door because a neighbour saw your tenant offering namaz. It is happening on a daily basis. 

Does India's blood boil?

Years after 2002, there were tapes out there, exposing the faces of the killers, bringing out the truth straight from the killers’ mouth as they explained how they ripped open a woman’s stomach and thrust a sword through the foetus, how they killed a politician, shredding his limbs one by one. The world was aghast, but why do you think India's blood did not boil? 

It was 1984. It is 1984. It is not going away anytime soon. 1984 is living with us.

Those who were shouting "Khoon ka badla khoon se lenge” even as a newly anointed Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi stood by and national TV telecast the slogans – effectively exhorting the killers to use the tyres more effectively, burn more Sikhs, rape more women, loot more shops – one thing was very clear. The killers knew that India’s blood will not boil.
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Either we have lost our sense of outrage, or it does not work and has not stood us in good stead. Is it time we try karuna, compassion?
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A nation whose sense of outrage is dead is only a state without a soul. Those with claims of thousands of years of civilisational history behind them were exposed as having remained only heathens. The civilized do not do what newspapers will tell you about for the 34th year now. And no civilized nation acts the way Indian political establishment acted after these killers did what they did.

No civilized country’s premier stands before TV cameras and says when a big tree falls, the earth shakes. 

Unless, of course, we have blood that does not boil. 

It is time we search for a sense of outrage within ourselves. We live in an age of spiralling hype and sensation. An age of cheap spectacle in which the indulgences of tallest statues, mass yogas, vehicles that can ferry you to Mars or Rafale fighter plane deals can be so easily deemed landmark and historic. An age in which words like chilling, appalling, inhuman, outrageous, have all lost their charge. We have become a mass of desensitized viewers set upon by a turbo fuelled media. Image is chasing image at such blistering speed that we dare not hold on to anything — lest we burst. In such an age, it becomes necessary at times to hold on to our soul, to say a prayer, to remember someone killed before his father’s eyes, someone raped in front of her mother. 

Unless, of course, we have blood that does not boil.
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The state is not rushing to our aid. It seems to be in no hurry to deliver justice. We have to find a way out of this, one that takes us to the goal the Guru outlined.
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Either we have lost our sense of outrage, or it does not work and has not stood us in good stead. Is it time we try karuna, compassion? 

The sense of outrage has inspired huge numbers to go to Bargari. One assumes it is also a mass of people deeply hurt, not just angry. Will it make an argument for karuna, also?
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So far, the talk has been about righting the wrong by pulling someone down, dragging them through the streets and making them pay for the insult meted out to the Guru. So far we have demanded state action. So far we have reduced the universal message of the Guru to a purpose most narrow.

The demand for justice is a far bigger demand, from 1984 to Behbal Kalan. The hurt and the rage within us must lead us to search for karuna deep inside and respond with compassion. Compassion for our own inner selves. 

We are hurt. We need to assuage our minds and hearts. The state is not rushing to our aid. It seems to be in no hurry to deliver justice. We have to find a way out of this, one that takes us to the goal the Guru outlined. 

It might start with a search for karuna deep inside us. The Guru will guide us. It always has. It always will.

Or would you rather go back and ask the same question: "Why does our blood not boil?"
 _________________________________________
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles: 

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE

Amarinder Singh, the coup in the CBI & the ED case: Headline is missing, so please read it between the lines

COP Vs. COP IN PUNJAB: Saiyan Bhaye Kotwal Ab Dar Kahe Ka

SURGICAL STRIKE DAY & WE THE PEOPLE The story of the gate is not the story of the house

Akali Dal's attempt to brand Navjot Sidhu as anti-national & ISI agent is ridiculous

UNHOLY HASTE To save the faith

Hua Panthik-Panthik Punjab - How do we reclaim real politics?

The Yuba City Attack on Manjit Singh GK & General Sambit Patra

Pakistan, Navjot Sidhu & the hug: Amarinder Singh 2018 is opposing Amarinder Singh 2004

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Paragraphs that went missing from PM’s Red Fort speech could have pre-empted Opposition attack

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

Mr SY Quraishi, can you please help to save this pet dog locked inside this sealed building?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

Punjab is Silent as India Wakes Up to Talk of Refugees

AAP-CONG ALLIANCE: ARREY BHAI, YEH KYA LIKH DALA?

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS PLANNING HONEYMOON? 

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

DEATH EMBRACING LOGIC: Drugs in Punjab

PANJAB'S EMERGENCY: FORMAL AND INFORMAL

THE KASHMIR GOVERNOR, THE TRIBUNE TRUST & ETHICS - How Journalism Fails Readers?

"Congress Sikhan Di Dushman Jamaat Hai?” —Akalis need to dump broken record, shift gears

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

SARKAR IN MANALI: From Shahkot to Mohali Court, Sara Alam Bigrra Jaye

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

SIKHS & FEMINISTS – We hailed Harjit Sajjan; they didn’t hail Gina Haspel

AFTER BEING RAPED, I WAS WOUNDED; MY HONOUR WAS NOT

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WE MISSED A REVOLUTION, BUT CAN IT STILL BE A GAME CHANGER?

A POLITICIAN SPEAKS – YOU SHOULD HEAR

ENCOUNTER, JULOOS & SELFIES

SOWING ANGER - NO QUICK FIX - Democracy is an Empty Ritual in Punjab

OUT-OF-BOX SOLUTION TO STOP FARMERS' SUICIDES

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

'THORRI BAHUTI EHNA NU SHARAM AUNI CHAHEEDI HAI'

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON SUICIDE-HIT BATS FOR AARHTIYAS

RANGROOT OFFERS A PEEK INTO PUNJAB'S TRAGEDY

WHAT MAKE NEWS IN INDIA, AND WHAT DOES NOT?

HITLER, MODI & GANDHI: ON THE SAME PAGE?

PUNJAB IS STILL VERY FAR FROM INDIA

APOLOGY – AKALIS BIG LOSER, CONG TOO 

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

SUPER EFFICIENCY ONBOARD CM’S CHOPPER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties: The Coordinated Silence of Amarinder Singh & Badals

PM MODI VINDICATES PUNJAB TODAY REPORTAGE

NEW DELHI V/S OTTAWA — WILL QUEBEC DEFEAT INDIA?        

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA - Trudeau came to Punjab, pushed Amarinder closer to BJP, then called him a liar

JASPAL ATWAL CONTROVERSY: Mr. Ujjal, will you throw some light on this too?   

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

J&K – RAM MADHAV LEAVES SPACE FOR MEHBOOBA’S POLITICS

SHEKHAR GUPTA'S HALF-BAKED TRUTHS 

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES - Karze Ne Layee Ikk Hor Kisan Di Jaan...

PNB Scam: Who is Nirav Choksi and what he is doing In the name of God?

Congress upset due to Priyanka’s cleavage on calendar 

RENUKA'S LAUGHTER: Thank you for your guffaws. We needed this non-violent weapon.

MR CLEAN to PAKKE DHEETH: How Punjab’s Congress hurt Brand Rahul Gandhi? 

MANJIT SINGH CALCUTTA– THE DISSENTER

PUNJAB FARMERS AND IPL CRICKETERS - Finally, they can stand like equals

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION. My teacher is not alive, but you please call it off!

SUKHBIR IS RIGHT – On 97th anniversary  Panth Khatre Vich Hai. Where does this threat come from?

THE FINAL HONESTY CERTIFICATE: ISSUED BY THE TRIBUNE

NO TIME TO READ THIS STORY? – That’s OK - Please do not feel guilty 

BAD, BAD WOMAN! – Punjab’s top playwright slams woman complainant against Langah

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame

RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS – Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience

PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT


 








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Amarinder Singh, the coup in the CBI & the ED case: Headline is missing, so please read it between the lines
24.10.18 - S Pal
Amarinder Singh, the coup in the CBI & the ED case: Headline is missing, so please read it between the lines



YOU WILL NOT read this headline in any newspaper, but you are not stupid, either. It's not a piece of news that you cannot read between the lines. That's why most readers often know more about our leaders than the newspapers/news television tell them.

It is about Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's view on the internal bloodshed within the CBI. It's not tomorrow's news today; it is yesterday's news today - unpublished. It is least likely to appear in a newspaper, and still, you are not going to miss it because by now, you know how to read stuff that does not make it to the headlines.

A war has broken out within the CBI. Offices were opened past midnight, the route from the residence of the interim director M. Nageshwar Rao to the headquarters of the CBI was sterilised, a police posse accompanied him to the office, orders were typed out and key officers were shunted out or given plum positions. Rahul Gandhi raised hell, the Congress spokespersons scrambled on different television channels, top articulators of the party's position even demanded sacking of the CVC, and everyone blamed Narendra Modi.
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But how is CM Amarinder Singh linked to any of this? Good question. Thank you for asking — you have just performed a patriotic duty because it is the one question the newsmedia gaggle in Punjab is programmed not to ask.
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Within hours, the BJP fielded Arun Jaitley. Clearly, it was a game far more serious than the blah-blah kabaddi that the ilk of Sambit Patra/Rakesh Sinha play, so heavy guns were needed. On Thursday morning, the national capital exploded with scenes of IB men being caught and dragged on the road and taken inside the residence of the 'ousted' director of the CBI. 

But how is CM Amarinder Singh linked to any of this? Good question. Thank you for asking — you have just performed a patriotic duty because it is the one question the newsmedia gaggle in Punjab is programmed not to ask.

Practically, Amarinder Singh is the only chief minister that the Congress party has in the country. (Yes, we know V. Narayanasamy is the chief minister of Pondicherry and belongs to the Congress, but seriously you need to remind us of that? He rules over a state that has a population less than that of Jalandhar.)

And yet Amarinder Singh is the man no media wallah asks for a comment on the tussle within the CBI. You can bet good money that Amarinder Singh will not open his mouth on the Alok Verma-Rakesh Asthana controversy. So far, he has kept mum on the Rafael deal, a subject about which his party president Rahul Gandhi is shouting from the rooftops.
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His entire party high command issues statements everyday but Amarinder Singh is not inspired enough to put his weight behind Rahul Gandhi's Rafael plank.
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Amarinder Singh is an ex-army man. He is an established author with some expertise on armed forces, is a chronicler of battles past, and matters military. And yet he has not issued a single statement on how the controversy over the Rafael deal and the talk of bribery can affect the morale of the armed forces.

His entire party high command issues statements everyday but Amarinder Singh is not inspired enough to put his weight behind Rahul Gandhi's Rafael plank.
 

In Tel Aviv, where he reached after "cancelling" his visit to Israel (he could have 'postponed' it but then must have been advised to 'cancel' it), Amarinder Singh found time to release a statement about a young minister of his Cabinet so fond of Urdu romantic shairi that he just can't resist to share particular couplets with a woman IAS officer.

Amarinder Singh is at his most eloquent when he decides to stay silent. His silence on Rafael, his silence on CBI, his silence on Islamophobia, his silence on Mandsaur killings of farmers, his silence on the riots in Muzzafarnagar, his silence on silencing of civil society activists and his thousand other silences are in keeping with his pattern of maintaining a silence on any issue akout which his party makes too much noise. So he was silent on the RSS, he remained silent on Mohan Bhagwat advocating change in law and Constitution to construct the Ram Temple, he remained silent on the mob lynchings, he has never broken his silence on the disappearance of Najib in the JNU, he remained silent on the demonisation of the JNU and other universities, and he refused to break his silence even when Narendra Modi directly slams former prime minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress' leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Not once has Amarinder Singh broken his silence to defend Sonia Gandhi/Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case in which both are on bail.
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Find me an Amarinder Singh statement against Amit Shah and I will remember you in my will.
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Forget about that. Amarinder Singh has so far not even criticised the BJP or the Modi government for the flight of Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi or a string of loot-and-flight episodes during the Modi regime.

Find me an Amarinder Singh statement against Amit Shah and I will remember you in my will.

It takes a lot of effort to curate such a silence. Amarinder Singh started early, and has practised a lot. He remained silent on beef ban, love jihad, ghar wapsi, Ishrat Jahan encounter, the assault on JNU student leaders, the suicide of Rohit Vemula. He has been practicing silence for a long, long time. Even when Amarinder Singh was forced to speak out following National Herald case, his attack was on Subramanian Swamy, and he managed to criticise the BJP without naming Narendra Modi/Amit Shah/Arun Jaitley.

Now what could be the possible link between Amarinder Singh's silence and the latest CBI imbroglio? The old ED cases. 

This is typical of how the Central government or state governments use instruments of investigation as bargaining chips in political deals. You have an Enforcement Directorate case against you, you better remain mum about a CBI matter against someone else.

Amarinder Singh is not alone in this muck. From Mayawati to Mulayam Singh to Congress to Chidambaram to BJP, they are all old masters at it.

But Amarinder Singh's case is assuming interesting dimensions with every passing day. 
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"Woh toh Amarinder ke baare hee soch-soch kar bolte hain! Amit Shah ke saamne to bathroom niklta hai un ka," a senior Congress leader in the anti-CM camp told me. It was the most polite usage of the term "bathroom" for me.
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You can measure it from the distance at which Amarinder Singh sits from Rahul Gandhi's seat on any stage. Rahul Gandhi did not call Amarinder Singh to Karnataka even for a single day for campaigning in an election that was a do or die for the young leader. 

When HD Kumaraswamy was finally sworn in as the chief minister of Karnataka, Sonia Gandhi stood next to Mayawati with Sharad Pawar on the other side. Then was seated Akhilesh Yadav, followed by Sitaram Yechury, Ajit Singh, and then Velu Narayanasamy, the CM of Puducherry. Amarinder Singh, the only other CM of a Congress-ruled state, was not there. His absence was jarring, no doubt, but no one asked why. The Congress did not even issue a perfunctory press release to say Amarinder Singh had some other pressing engagement. 

Do not expect the Akali Dal to call Amarinder Singh's bluff on CBI, Rafael etc. The Akali Dal is already a master at maintaining stoic silences. "Woh toh Amarinder ke baare hee soch-soch kar bolte hain! Amit Shah ke saamne to bathroom niklta hai un ka," a senior Congress leader in the anti-CM camp told me. It was the most polite usage of the term "bathroom" for me.

With Rahul Gandhi now deep in electioneering mode, Amarinder Singh is among campaigners, but it is Navjot Singh Sidhu who has been listed as star campaigner.

Rahul Gandhi has been promising to waive off loans of farmers, but not once has he given the example of his own Congress government in Punjab having waived off the loans of farmers.

In fact, Amarinder Singh's stances have been diametrically opposed to Rahul Gandhi's and Congress' stance. He wrote an article in the Indian Express, demanding a bravery medal for the Indian Army Major who trussed up a man on a jeep and used him as a human shield against stonepelters. He wrote an article in The Tribune, advocating a free hand for the Army in Kashmir and termed any resultant corpses as collateral damage. He, much like Sushma Swaraj, wants ten Pakistani heads for each Indian soldier martyred. 

None of that is something Rahul Gandhi can spout as Congress' line of thinking.

On CBI-Alok Verma-Rakesh Asthana controversy, expect Amarinder Singh to remain silent.

He will return from Israel and will talk about many things, including Charanjit Singh Channi's keen interest in Urdu poetry, but he will not talk about the mid-night coup in the CBI, the role of Narendra Modi in it, or the Rafael deal.

And what he will not say will not figure in the headlines, because we have a house trained media which publishes stuff only when the leader says it. If the leader does not say something, there is no headline. 

These are the headlines that you have to read on your own.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles: 

THE ADHAR CARD-YUKT JASOOS - THE FOUR MUSKETEERS OF IB

COP Vs. COP IN PUNJAB: Saiyan Bhaye Kotwal Ab Dar Kahe Ka

SURGICAL STRIKE DAY & WE THE PEOPLE The story of the gate is not the story of the house

Akali Dal's attempt to brand Navjot Sidhu as anti-national & ISI agent is ridiculous

UNHOLY HASTE To save the faith

Hua Panthik-Panthik Punjab - How do we reclaim real politics?

The Yuba City Attack on Manjit Singh GK & General Sambit Patra

Pakistan, Navjot Sidhu & the hug: Amarinder Singh 2018 is opposing Amarinder Singh 2004

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Paragraphs that went missing from PM’s Red Fort speech could have pre-empted Opposition attack

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

Mr SY Quraishi, can you please help to save this pet dog locked inside this sealed building?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

Punjab is Silent as India Wakes Up to Talk of Refugees

AAP-CONG ALLIANCE: ARREY BHAI, YEH KYA LIKH DALA?

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS PLANNING HONEYMOON? 

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

DEATH EMBRACING LOGIC: Drugs in Punjab

PANJAB'S EMERGENCY: FORMAL AND INFORMAL

THE KASHMIR GOVERNOR, THE TRIBUNE TRUST & ETHICS - How Journalism Fails Readers?

"Congress Sikhan Di Dushman Jamaat Hai?” —Akalis need to dump broken record, shift gears

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

SARKAR IN MANALI: From Shahkot to Mohali Court, Sara Alam Bigrra Jaye

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

SIKHS & FEMINISTS – We hailed Harjit Sajjan; they didn’t hail Gina Haspel

AFTER BEING RAPED, I WAS WOUNDED; MY HONOUR WAS NOT

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WE MISSED A REVOLUTION, BUT CAN IT STILL BE A GAME CHANGER?

A POLITICIAN SPEAKS – YOU SHOULD HEAR

ENCOUNTER, JULOOS & SELFIES

SOWING ANGER - NO QUICK FIX - Democracy is an Empty Ritual in Punjab

OUT-OF-BOX SOLUTION TO STOP FARMERS' SUICIDES

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

'THORRI BAHUTI EHNA NU SHARAM AUNI CHAHEEDI HAI'

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON SUICIDE-HIT BATS FOR AARHTIYAS

RANGROOT OFFERS A PEEK INTO PUNJAB'S TRAGEDY

WHAT MAKE NEWS IN INDIA, AND WHAT DOES NOT?

HITLER, MODI & GANDHI: ON THE SAME PAGE?

PUNJAB IS STILL VERY FAR FROM INDIA

APOLOGY – AKALIS BIG LOSER, CONG TOO 

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

SUPER EFFICIENCY ONBOARD CM’S CHOPPER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties: The Coordinated Silence of Amarinder Singh & Badals

PM MODI VINDICATES PUNJAB TODAY REPORTAGE

NEW DELHI V/S OTTAWA — WILL QUEBEC DEFEAT INDIA?        

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA - Trudeau came to Punjab, pushed Amarinder closer to BJP, then called him a liar

JASPAL ATWAL CONTROVERSY: Mr. Ujjal, will you throw some light on this too?   

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

J&K – RAM MADHAV LEAVES SPACE FOR MEHBOOBA’S POLITICS

SHEKHAR GUPTA'S HALF-BAKED TRUTHS 

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES - Karze Ne Layee Ikk Hor Kisan Di Jaan...

PNB Scam: Who is Nirav Choksi and what he is doing In the name of God?

Congress upset due to Priyanka’s cleavage on calendar 

RENUKA'S LAUGHTER: Thank you for your guffaws. We needed this non-violent weapon.

MR CLEAN to PAKKE DHEETH: How Punjab’s Congress hurt Brand Rahul Gandhi? 

MANJIT SINGH CALCUTTA– THE DISSENTER

PUNJAB FARMERS AND IPL CRICKETERS - Finally, they can stand like equals

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION. My teacher is not alive, but you please call it off!

SUKHBIR IS RIGHT – On 97th anniversary  Panth Khatre Vich Hai. Where does this threat come from?

THE FINAL HONESTY CERTIFICATE: ISSUED BY THE TRIBUNE

NO TIME TO READ THIS STORY? – That’s OK - Please do not feel guilty 

BAD, BAD WOMAN! – Punjab’s top playwright slams woman complainant against Langah

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame

RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS – Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience

PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT


 

 





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Questioning Bargari is a Civic Duty, Sanctioned by the Guru
19.10.18 - S Pal
Questioning Bargari is a Civic Duty, Sanctioned by the Guru



THE PRIME PURPOSE of anyone even thinking of committing sacrilege of holy scriptures of any religion is to incite the devout. Such is the power of the blasphemy/sacrilege narrative that the devout get incited in accordance with the script.

None of this happens in a vacuum. Sacrilege does not happen randomly, a trait this form of criminality shares with riots. There is always a context, a situation, a window in which such feelings could be targeted towards a clearly identified entity.

Once that happens, logic takes leave. Sentiments, and the machine feeding those sentiments, rule. That sacrilege happened under the regime of Badals feeds the anger. That similar incidents happened during the Amarinder regime becomes an incidental factoid.

That Badals did not catch the culprits makes Badals the target. That Amarinder Singh's police could not catch the culprits also makes Badals the target. Do not question the logic.
-----------
Bargari can be much, much bigger than what a DS Mand or a BS Daduwal can envisage. 
-----------
None of the demands being made at Bargari are unjustified. People who hurt sentiments of an entire community, indeed of all right thinking people, must be brought to book. Police officers who took the law unto their own hands and killed innocent protestors must be made accountable. Regimes that were found in cahoots with the lawless elements must bear the brunt of public anger.

But something else is also happening at Bargari. The ongoing agitation is becoming the site of protest politics, and is subsuming the precious public mind space that rightfully belonged to other struggles of various demographics of citizens.

The agitations for jobs or other avenues to earn a livelihood assumed a sharp edge in the form of struggle of teachers now forced to work at meagre salary levels, but since teachers' agitation is loud, colourful, dramatic and capable of feeding reality television style news formats – a stall to dispense blood-filled bottles for ministers, an onslaught on Moti Mahal, Patiala – the travails of all other demographics of young men and women are pushed out.

The entire debate around farm suicides has been relegated to the margins of mass media since it is not as dramatic as the Bargari morcha.

Somehow, the crowd-proclaimed Akal Takht jathedar DS Mand and his associate cleric BS Daduwal have cornered the political agenda which is announced several times from the Bargari stage during the course of a single day, punctuated by chants of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale Amar Rahe and Jagtar Singh Hawara Zindabad. Leaders lending their support to the Bargari morcha haven't said if they have any issue with these slogans.
-----------
The ongoing agitation is becoming the site of protest politics, and is subsuming the precious public mind space that rightfully belonged to other struggles of various demographics of citizens. 
-----------
This silence of convenience helps the current rulers.

It takes decades of struggle to give people a constitutional identity. Massive struggle lasting donkey years ensured that from Anil Ambani to Punjab's farmers to your daily garbage collecting hand are called citizens. Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Atheists, Liberals, Conservatives, Democrats, Lohia'ites, Ambedkarites, Communists all become citizens.

At Bargari, all the people are identified as sadh-sangat. There is no concept of citizenship. There is direct sanction to do what the collective proclaims is right. This sanction is derived straight from the Akal Purakh. There is no way to check the validity of this direct command. If you had any doubt, they have installed the holy scriptures in the grain market, the site where farmers were to unload their paddy.

Once they make a commitment to the Guru, perform an Ardas, and command the crowd to follow the edict passed by the collective, who would have the power to offer any nuanced disagreement?

Gadaar is an epithet liberally bandied about. And if there is one photograph of yours with any member of the former rulers' family, that can be used as a clinching piece of evidence against you. 
-----------
When Bargari becomes the pivot of politics, it is the success of the man who in the first place chose to commit the heinous act of sacrilege. Are we delivering to the Satan more than even he bargained for? 
-----------
The erstwhile rulers have messed up their case and are watching which way Bargari will turn. The incumbent rulers know that their silence is the key to using the Bargari morcha to their advantage. The questions of farm suicides, denigration of public school system, the rot in the higher education, the state of Punjab's colleges and universities, the daily scenes of parents watching their young children suffering in hospitals because they simply cannot afford their treatment, our elderly citizens being left at the mercy of measly old age pensions and our young ones constantly dreaming of and working towards leaving Punjab forever and becoming residents of some foreign country — all of these and much more is subsumed by a Bargari morcha.

Once an enemy is identified, it can be blamed for every single ill. When Bargari becomes the pivot of politics, it is the success of the man who in the first place chose to commit the heinous act of sacrilege.

Are we delivering to the Satan more than even he bargained for?

Now, CM Amarinder Singh has said he has no understanding with radicals, and asked why would he ever support them? You can take him at his face value, or you can look into the mirror and slap yourself hard. What were you thinking all this while? Amarinder Singh has said that Congress was not doing the politics of religion, and he has also said he will back a moderate Sikh for management of gurdwaras. Where's the mirror?

The Akali Dal, of course, is at the receiving end, and its leadership is largely responsible for having brought itself to this turn. The reason is that the Akali Dal learnt nothing from its defeat. The party never behaved like a force defeated at the hustings. Its leadership thought clever political posturing will help get by. 

It now harks back to its history, reminding everyone that it is an almost 100 year old party. But it needs to understand that when it came to power, it had dumped the history, forgotten its legacy and trashed its own struggle. It chose to become the party of airports, of Progressive Punjab summits, of cheque distribution dramas at Sangat Darshans. If managed politics through halqa-incharges and when out of power, it thought it merely needs to wait it out.

Deep inside, there is nothing to the party. It is all hollow.

THE FACT IS that Punjab's politics is a shrinking universe of morals where talk of ideas and ideologies is neither a serious issue nor does anyone lose any sleep over it. Hyperbolic statements can be crafted by media advisors on either side, while parties are reduced to mere electoral machines. Success legitimises ambition, greed and intrigue. All this has become the matrix in which we Punjabis have been anchoring our lives.
-----------
Raising questions, pointing fingers, stating facts, calling out bluffs, and refusing to strike false equivalence when the choice is between stark truth and utter lies. Not doing this is be-adbi of the Guru. 
-----------
It is this that we need to question – in our drawing rooms, in our Assembly meetings, at Bargari. 

The agenda at Bargari must be that Bargari must not become the sole agenda. The question about the adab of the Guru raises bigger issues, and demands bigger answers from us. It demands engagement, not just sloganeering.

It demands that we question ourselves. It involves a major thrashing out of ideas to understand why things are the way they are, and what must be done to move forward. It starts by asking questions. It is an onerous task. Raising questions, pointing fingers, stating facts, calling out bluffs, and refusing to strike false equivalence when the choice is between stark truth and utter lies. Not doing this is be-adbi of the Guru.

We learnt this from the Guru. We need to do this because we are citizens. Even questioning Bargari is a civic duty, one sanctioned by the Guru.

Because Bargari can be much, much bigger than what a DS Mand or a BS Daduwal can envisage.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles: 

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SURGICAL STRIKE DAY & WE THE PEOPLE The story of the gate is not the story of the house

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If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

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_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT


 

 




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Comment by: Sahib singh

S satpal g, You do not know or have knowingly ignored the history of Punjab especially of Sikhs who secrified for the words of their respected Gurus . Unemployment or others issues have no value at the cost of Shri Guru Granth Sahib g.

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Comment by: Sahib singh

Sorry, S Pal g

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I saw MeToo in Sector 17, Chandigarh, & everyone missed it
11.10.18 - S Pal
I saw MeToo in Sector 17, Chandigarh, & everyone missed it



WHILE THE MeToo movement in India must be welcomed, the fact remains that it is a movement of the elite. 

It must not be tarnished because it is an elite phenomenon so far; instead it should be celebrated and encouraged so that it hopefully expands, penetrates, sustains and reveals layers of our society that we have brushed under the carpet for far too long.

Almost every woman who has so far come forward and written an account of the horrific experience she went through at the hands of one or the other predatory man, has done so in the English language.

Almost all women are from India's metro towns. So far, the women have been from the service industry. Most have been from the world of media or entertainment.

Almost all these women rose in their respective professions, or, with the passing years, gained enough voice and maturity that put them in a position where they could articulate their pain.

They had a language that they could deploy for this purpose. It is a privilege that a felicity in the English language has accorded them. In many vernaculars, the words for genitalia have been dirtied to such an extent that our men and women have little idea of how to refer to their own private body parts, and how to explain the actions of a lewd man who considers himself licensed to prey on vulnerable women.
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Certain comparisons are very difficult to draw, and none such are definitive, but the general perception is that women employees at workplaces in small towns and in smaller organisations are often more vulnerable.
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After days of such a stormy movement taking over our airwaves and claiming reams of coverage in the print media, the first account of a woman who suffered at the hands of her local MJ Akbar/Harvey Weinstein is yet to appear in Punjabi, or in Oriya, or Bhojpuri, or Haryanvi, or in the Dogri language.

Certain comparisons are very difficult to draw, and none such are definitive, but the general perception is that women employees at workplaces in small towns and in smaller organisations are often more vulnerable.

Also, their capacity to speak out remains painfully limited. Even years later, the town remains small, and any woman who tries to sail in the tailwinds of the MeToo movement knows that potential employers will label her as "difficult."

Now, think of girls working at departmental stores and guess the level of the owners’ inclination to stand up for them against a regular customer who has a glad eye and passes lewd comments or propositions every time he makes a purchase.

Those girls have still to hear of the MeToo movement. 

Our regional channels are still at a loss about how to translate MeToo. So far, it hasn't even become #मी.टू., forget about a translation.

We need to wonder why we are not hearing voices from inside the constricted newsrooms in Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Bathinda, Hisar, Ambala and many others. Has one not heard of horrific stories from inside these institutions over the years? Why are there no voices from the campuses of Punjab's 34 universities? Many of these universities have a misogynistic culture that would shame any academic worth her/his salt. I know that in Punjab University, Chandigarh, in one department, everyone knows of a predatory professor and women teachers even warn young girls as soon as they enrol for a doctoral course. 

Where are the voices from within the Punjab Civil Secretariat where officers with a glad eye boast about their conquests in the presence of their male subordinates on a regular basis? Why is #MeToo not inspiring a large number of women police officers and constables to speak up and tell the truth that hundreds or even thousands in the force and outside already know?
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Where are the voices from within the Punjab Civil Secretariat where officers with a glad eye boast about their conquests in the presence of their male subordinates on a regular basis?
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We must welcome #MeToo, we must embrace it, we need to speak up for women who speak up, we need to open up the space even further, we need to have our own MeToo movements in our respective professions, in our mother languages, in our smaller towns and cities.

It is not easy. It does not happen even when it does. I saw it. I saw it happening, and then not happening.

In Sector 17 of Chandigarh, hundreds of activists had gathered after an 8-year-old girl was raped, confined and murdered in Kathua. Several students from the Panjab University, Chandigarh and IISER, Mohali were part of the protest. Many a speaker were taking the floor, one by one, punctuated by some slogan shouting. Suddenly, a young girl who was given the floor, dumped aside the issue of the Kathua rape and murder and instead started telling a different story. "Meri friend ke saath huya hai, iss hafte bhee huya hai…next week phir hoga!” She was shrieking at the top of her voice. 

She named her friend, a girl student, she named the cousin of that girl who was molesting her on a daily basis, she named the relatives of the girl. She told the crowd that the boy was raping her every week, had raped her just days ago, and will do it again. "Kathua ke liye bol rahe ho, main bhee chilla rahi hun, is ka kasoor batao kya?” 

This was #MeToo happening in the chowk. Everyone was angry at what had happened in Kathua. That collective expression of rage had given her the strength to come out with the details of a repeat sexual offender, to name everyone involved. She was speaking in Hindi. She was crying bitterly. She was doing it in the town square. She spoke for about ten minutes, ten uninterrupted minutes. The activists were standing all around her.  
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In Sector 17, at a dharna, a young girl raised her hand and was given the floor. She told her story… She spoke about how the boy had raped her friend just days ago, and will do it again.
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You know what happened after that? The next speaker introduced herself as a story teller, took the floor and started narrating a story in English – "Once there was a king …”. It was a good story, and the narration invited audience participation. The crowd was in an interactive mode. Some in the crowd were seen wiping off their tears when the earlier girl was telling about her friend being molested every other day. Now that crowd was immersed in a feminist story about an imaginary king. Then other speakers took over. No one made even a passing reference to the MeToo revelation that had just happened right before their eyes, with the sole exception of an activist, Kanwaljit, of CPI(ML), who underlined how important such gatherings are since these give the strength to blow the lid off. After some regular sloganeering, the dharna ended just as it always does, with a song.  

Some of the activists later went to the Indian Coffee House in Sector 17. I, too, tagged along. There was no talk about that girl, and the heart-rending tale that she had told. In fact, no one ever talked about it later. Later, most of the activists I spoke to had forgotten the name of the girl. 

This was a MeToo movement missed in the chowk, in full view of a huge audience. 

It is time to pick up the thread again. It is time to say we have had enough. 

It is time to say a lot of other things: We will live the way we want. We will wear what we want. We will marry who we want. We will have sex with who we want, when we want. Yes, you heard that right – with who we want, when we want. Even inside the marriage, when we want. We will have husbands who will respect that.  
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Let there be no safe haven for sexual harassment. Not in Mumbai, not in Delhi. Also, not in Jalandhar, not in Bathinda, not in Meerut.
----------
It is time to end this constant judgment about our sexuality. You want to discuss whether we are sluts or virgins, do it inside soundproof rooms, because if we hear of it, we will come down crashing on you like a ton of bricks. 

We have our eyes and ears inside your houses – your wives and daughters and nieces. Many a times, we have even decent men who live in your houses. They could be your sons or nephews. This world is changing, so do not think that they will not grow up to be intelligent young people or that they will not judge you. They will.

So be careful when you say that some of these women are doing it for money, or that they must not be women of good character. Such loose comments will come to haunt you. 

We will flirt, and will still exercise our right to say no to sex. It is our right. It is the right of your sons and nephews. It is their right to try and woo me. It is their duty to learn how to take a no. It is a simple word. There should be no part of N or O that is difficult to understand. No means no. Simple. 

I am already seeing some men joking saying in a gathering that they will avoid any contact with a woman because tomorrow she may accuse them in some MeToo movement. For them, it could be a joke. But you know, it is good in one way. Such men should actually avoid the company of women. If you can joke about sexual assault survivors, if you can laugh about their pain, if you think some girl might start naming you as a sexual predator without any cause, then you are exactly the kind of man who women should avoid, should be wary of.
Thank you for your decision to stay away from women, then.

As for the rest of men, and all women, let there be no safe haven for sexual harassment. Not in Mumbai, not in Delhi. Also, not in Jalandhar, not in Bathinda, not in Meerut. 

It is not easy to sustain a MeToo movement. So when we have one, let us welcome it. Embrace it so that it becomes a MeToo in our vernacular. How about #ਮੈਂਵੀਬੋਲਾਂਗੀ? 

 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles: 

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_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT 




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