OPINION

Monthly Archives: DECEMBER 2017


BUT AAP WON'T GET IT. TUM TO THEHRE SHEHARI
What is the problem with AAP?
30.12.17 - AMANDEEP SANDHU
What is the problem with AAP?



A WISE ONE once told me: give every phenomena time and it shall reveal its true colours. In spite of following AAP's bid to power in the Punjab elections, in spite of all the critiques of AAP and its fickle nature of the revolution, I never spoke on it because there are things I dd not understand. Now they stand revealed.

AAP remains an urban middle-class effort whose greatest worry is its own status quo - sustenance and longevity. This is also its greatest bugbear.

The nation is witness to the PM's slight to Kejriwal over the Metro Magenta Line inauguration. It was gross, arrogant and in absolutely bad taste. Even without AAP having to cry hoarse, it gave the party an opportunity to play humble, slighted by power. A David to the centre and major political party's Goliath. The very reason AAP won twice in Delhi, second time at 67/70 - unprecedented anywhere. Delhi folks and the nation also know of all the other slights AAP has faced in its tenure, most arising from the fact that Delhi is not a full-fledged state and the BJP muscling down the people's representation.
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AAP claims to seek revolution but ends up being a petty book-keeper and puts a material price on people's emotions.
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Yet, what does AAP do? It does what it understands to be its greatest issue: ask for donations over our anger. Puts a price on the people's emotions, our sense of right and wrong. It acts like a street corner juggler seeking petty monies for its monkey tricks.

This is its undoing. AAP did that in Punjab, it did that with Diaspora Punjabis, it did this earlier in Delhi, and is still doing it. AAP never learns. AAP claims to seek revolution but ends up being a petty book-keeper and puts a material price on people's emotions.

I understand AAP's anxiety. If it loses Delhi, it will be wiped out by 2020. But dear AAP, many bigger than you have been wiped out in history. Also, many smaller than you keep the idea of change, of equity, of democracy alive especially in rural India. But AAP won't get it. Tum to thehre shehari - urban India middle class revolutionaries. AAP does not get it that this nation is not sustained by its cities but by its villages where money is not everything. It was so in 1947 and it is so even now.

The issue with money is that it perpetuates the middle class - throw cash and get the service. In this case revolution.
 
That is not how people's movements work. People's movement is how AAP continues to try and market itself. People's movement is how many of us still approach AAP - it was/is our movement. People's movement needs spirit, the ability for the long haul and even the recognition and acknowledgement that it can perish and become something else. People's movement is a river, it does not determine its destiny. It knows its stance, not future history. 

But AAP is so self-righteous, so anxious, and is in such a hurry! That is because, it is now a political party. It has a shelf life and to survive it needs to stay alive. AAP is a reservior, if the water dips below critical limit, it becomes irrelevant. It needs to make a mark in history, it needs to puts a monetary price to itself. 

That is why, as a political party, AAP should no longer complain that people or the opposition has put a price to it. AAP asked for it.
 
Amandeep Sandhu is working on a book on Panjab.
 

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: 

PLAYING WITH SIKH SENTIMENTS: Punjab Govt’s ad depicts Tenth Sikh Master astride Napoleon’s horse

HOW DHUMAL WAS ASSASSINATED POLITICALLY, BY THE BJP

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

SHIROMANI AKALI DAL – Abhi to party shuru huyee hai...

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'IF NOT VANDE MATARAM, then will you salute Afzal Guru?' 

LAHORE NU SALAAM – LAHORE CHODD AAYA - Prof. Randhir Singh

THE LOOT THAT RAJASTHAN COMMITTED – An insult bigger than Bollywood’s Padmawati! 

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DESH CHORR DO – VANDE MATARAM MAN TELLS SIKH LEADER TO LEAVE COUNTRY

DYAL SINGH COLLEGE TO VANDE MATARAM MAHAVIDYALAYA - A DESIGN NEFARIOUS?

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WAS IT MEANT FOR TRUMP? OR US?  – Bush, Obama said this on Diwali

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

ELECTION COMMISSION - YOU FAILED TO CONVINCE. TRY AGAIN.

THIS IS WHY ELECTION COMMISSION DID NOT ANNOUNCE GUJARAT POLL DATES – Decoding the mystery 

BJP TO EDUCATE FARMERS ABOUT AGRI & RELIGION LINK – Will tell them Modi did so much 

AYE BHAI, BINA DEKHE CHALO –  Walking with the blind in Chandigarh

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

OPEN SALE AT GNDU – Have Rs 25,000? Get your compartment cleared. Rs 50,000 for two subjects

SUCHA SINGH LANGAH : KAMAAL JAARI HAI... Sucha Singh Langah wins, even in his darkest moments

ABEY TU BAHAR NIKAL, CHOWK MEIN AA   The 10-yard-radius protest

PATIALA, VIA PANCHKULA. HAIL DEMOCRACY! Halaat kharaab nahi hone chahiye!

PEHLU KHAN CASE   Will Govt Now Compensate The Magnificent Six? The Nation Needs to Know

MR HOME MINISTER, WILL YOU BE VISITING FAROOQ AHMAD DAR'S HOUSE? 

THE RYAN DEBATE: HOW INDIA MISSED THE GREAT CCTV ANGLE?  Not covered by cctv, so not covered by tv either

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THE GORAKHPUR DEAD SPEAK TO PUNJAB  From Patiala to Gorakhpur, the tale of the dead

WE WILL KILL 40-50 – Haryana BJP, Govt calculated death toll before firing first bullet

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

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A DOKLAM IN EVERY FIELD: Farmers not only produce food. They produce peace.

SURGICAL STRIKE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT: When Indian jawans killed everyone at Pak post

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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Guru Gobind Singh Ji astride Napoleon’s horse?
Napoleon painting row: Punjab Govt insists on riding its high horse
26.12.17 - S Pal
Napoleon painting row: Punjab Govt insists on riding its high horse



Top intellectuals call out the govt’s bluff as row rages further
 
ON THE FACE OF IT, this was the easiest controversy to be put to rest. 

Place both the paintings side by side — the one that figured in the Amarinder Singh government’s official advertisement to mark the 350th birth  celebrations of the Tenth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji, and the other painting of Napoleon Crossing the Alps, painted by a lackey court artist named Jacques-Louis David in the year 1802.

Now, one needs to have an IQ of less than 10 to decide if it is an outright thievery, an inspiration, a blending, a cultural exchange, or an idea refracting a different meaning. The defence that the Amarinder Government’s unnamed official spokesperson came up with can only be termed as a poor understanding of her/his job.

Most governments employ lackey spokespersons/advisors etc with a specific, well defined aim: when someone unduly criticises the government, they are expected to defend it with gusto; when caught in an indefensible tough position, they are expected to indulge in some semantic gymnastics; when the government is caught with its pants down, they are expected to rustle up any fig leaves they can manage. 
There is another job description that such advisors, mostly churning out press releases, have: it is to cut their losses and change the news cycle as fast as they can when a narrative is doing too much damage to their master.

Unfortunately, the spokesperson of the Amarinder Singh government thought it more prudent to defend Napoleon’s horse than address either the issue of wrongful depiction of the Tenth Sikh Master or unintended opprobrium earned by a CM who is a war historian himself.

Personally, I don’t think vile motives were involved when the Punjab Government chose this particular depiction to be included in the advertisement that appeared for days in national newspapers and on other media platforms. In fact, I am well inclined to believe the official spokesperson when she/he states that the depiction was taken from a site and was already in the public domain.
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Personally, I don’t think vile motives were involved when the Punjab Government chose this particular depiction…I am well inclined to believe that the depiction was already in the public domain, but perhaps the official spokesperson of Punjab government wanted to handover a gift to the Akali Dal spokesperson.
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All that the government had to do was to say that since it clearly seems to be a hack job/plagiarism and the similarities with Napoleon Crossing the Alps painting much too clear, it will immediately withdraw the impugned advertisement, and will use a more acceptable image. 

In fact, it should have asked the SGPC to provide the government with stock images that can be used while preparing content related to various days connected with Sikh gurus. It would have been a sane way to pre-empt the polemic of opposition Akali Dal.

Instead, the official spokesperson perhaps wanted to handover a gift to the Akali Dal spokesperson. In this case, it was a horse, its front legs raised, in a rearing position. And the Amarinder government had it coming, kicked in its side by a stallion named Marengo. {In all of history, there is no mention of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji having a horse named Marengo. Is there? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marengo_(horse)}

Now, well known professor of religious studies, Dr Harpal Singh Pannu, has said in terms so simple that even government spokespersons can understand it: You made a mess. Say sorry. And hold accountable the concerned people.

And he has expressed a real fear: "This is a disease that can spread rapidly. The Maghi Mela of Muktsar is coming up next. What if a painter takes it into his head to morph the head of Mai Bhago on a painting of Durga Mata riding a tiger?”
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Dr Harpal Singh Pannu has said, "This is a disease that can spread rapidly. The Maghi Mela of Muktsar is coming up next. What if a painter takes it into his head to morph the head of Mai Bhago on a painting of Durga Mata riding a tiger?”
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Dr Pannu certainly knows more than sarkari spokespersons about Sikhism, comparative religious studies, notions of martyrdom, representation of religious figures in art and depiction of wars, besides the role of lackey artists and pen pushers in the courts of the rulers – from Napoleon’s to Amarinder’s. 

Well known human rights activist and one of the most prominent Christian voices in India, Dr John Dayal, has stated publicly, "There is a whole code to the depiction of horses in statuary. A leg raised has a meaning, and a rearing stallion quite a different one.” Dr Dayal describes himself as "gloriously unemployed, perhaps not employable” — which is another way of saying that he will find it loathe to become an advisor to any government, considering the ethical somersaults involved in the job — but he makes a very valid argument.
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The Tribune makes a very simple case by saying that "the choice of the image raised eyebrows as paintings/sketches of the Guru by several artists, ranging from the legendary Sobha Singh to contemporary names such as Kanwar Singh, Bhagat Singh Bedi and Raj Singh Tattal, are easily available.”
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A number of people on various social media platforms have raised this point about the posture of the horse. Why would the horse of the Tenth Sikh Master be shown in a rearing posture, denoting a reluctance to move forward?

Well known author Amandeep Sandhu, whose book, Roll of Honour, made a powerful case for the need to remember, moderated an animated discussion thread on Facebook, before finally saying, "Haye Rubba! I am so inclined to laugh out loud but I am deeply sad. Jacques-Louis David got it wrong, our homegrown photo-shopper got it wrong. The artist managed to demolish Napoleon and our copy-cat really managed to insult Guru Gobind Singh. All that we do is celebrate, without logic, without thought, even defend plagiarism!”

On Wednesday, December 27, The Tribune carried a well reasoned article by senior journalist Vikramdeep Johal. Titled, "Two Paintings and a political row.” The article pointed out a very well known fact that the similar painting was made by late Punjabi artist Gurbux Singh Theathi and said he "had drawn inspiration” from David’s ‘Napoleon Crossing the Alps.’ 
While we leave it to the readers to decide whether it is a case of inspiration or low level thievery, Johal is probably right when he says, quoting sources, that the creators of official advertisements "probably copy-pasted these images without ascertaining their genesis.”

The Tribune makes a very simple case by saying that "the choice of the image raised eyebrows as paintings/sketches of the Guru by several artists, ranging from the legendary Sobha Singh to contemporary names such as Kanwar Singh, Bhagat Singh Bedi and Raj Singh Tattal, are easily available.”

If that is not simple enough for sarkari hacks to understand, one can only understand why an author like Amandeep Sandhu will want to close a conversation like this: "Last comment please, I am no one to spend my Sunday to talk about something that is plain to me: of course, the Guru needed a poor French painting to convey his own significance.”

There you go, official spokesperson. You won. It’s just that the Guru doesn’t need puny little men to defend him. The Founder of the Khalsa Panth is up there with the greatest of the great, and neither needs borrowed iconography nor semantic cud chewing, and certainly not a horse called Marengo.

Post Script: By the way, it is just David’s painting that shows him crossing the Alps riding a horse. In reality, he crossed over astride a mule. Think about what you are defending!
 

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: 

PLAYING WITH SIKH SENTIMENTS: Punjab Govt’s ad depicts Tenth Sikh Master astride Napoleon’s horse

HOW DHUMAL WAS ASSASSINATED POLITICALLY, BY THE BJP

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

SHIROMANI AKALI DAL – Abhi to party shuru huyee hai...

MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS IN PUNJAB: How Congress, SAD, AAP have framed issues  

DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT

VIDEO - CLASS 5 STUDENT THREATENS REVOLUTION

CHAI PAR SUICIDE? Meet Mankar. Sorry, he’s dead. Modi met him, though - for Chai Pe Charcha

1984 - A RIOT OR A GENOCIDE? Controversy explodes in Canada again as Hardeep Puri tweets

PUNJAB VIDHAN SABHA: They are publishing a new book, so please go read an old one

JAANE KYA DIKH JAAYE! Rajasthan, where they write poems hailing Shambu Lal Regar 

'IF NOT VANDE MATARAM, then will you salute Afzal Guru?' 

LAHORE NU SALAAM – LAHORE CHODD AAYA - Prof. Randhir Singh

THE LOOT THAT RAJASTHAN COMMITTED – An insult bigger than Bollywood’s Padmawati! 

TRIBUNE’S HARISH KHARE SHATTERS EDITORIAL SILENCE OVER CARAVAN REPORTAGE  

THE DANGER OF RENAMING A COLLEGE 

ARNAB GOSWAMI WATCHES PADMAWATI, KARNI SENA IS HAPPIEST

DESH CHORR DO – VANDE MATARAM MAN TELLS SIKH LEADER TO LEAVE COUNTRY

DYAL SINGH COLLEGE TO VANDE MATARAM MAHAVIDYALAYA - A DESIGN NEFARIOUS?

HONESTY CERTIFICATE TO MAJITHIA TRIGGERS CRISIS IN TRIBUNE 

THE FINAL HONESTY CERTIFICATE: ISSUED BY THE TRIBUNE

WAS IT MEANT FOR TRUMP? OR US?  – Bush, Obama said this on Diwali

WALKING IN STEP, HAND ON THE SHOULDER Aye Bhayee, Bina Dekhe Chalo

CHALO, PATAAKE CHALAYEN – CM Amarinder Singh & Parkash Singh Badal Jee

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

ELECTION COMMISSION - YOU FAILED TO CONVINCE. TRY AGAIN.

THIS IS WHY ELECTION COMMISSION DID NOT ANNOUNCE GUJARAT POLL DATES – Decoding the mystery 

BJP TO EDUCATE FARMERS ABOUT AGRI & RELIGION LINK – Will tell them Modi did so much 

AYE BHAI, BINA DEKHE CHALO –  Walking with the blind in Chandigarh

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

OPEN SALE AT GNDU – Have Rs 25,000? Get your compartment cleared. Rs 50,000 for two subjects

SUCHA SINGH LANGAH : KAMAAL JAARI HAI... Sucha Singh Langah wins, even in his darkest moments

ABEY TU BAHAR NIKAL, CHOWK MEIN AA   The 10-yard-radius protest

PATIALA, VIA PANCHKULA. HAIL DEMOCRACY! Halaat kharaab nahi hone chahiye!

PEHLU KHAN CASE   Will Govt Now Compensate The Magnificent Six? The Nation Needs to Know

MR HOME MINISTER, WILL YOU BE VISITING FAROOQ AHMAD DAR'S HOUSE? 

THE RYAN DEBATE: HOW INDIA MISSED THE GREAT CCTV ANGLE?  Not covered by cctv, so not covered by tv either

POLITICAL ECONOMY OF RETIREMENT AGE ROW   What’s wrong with retirement age policy?

THE GORAKHPUR DEAD SPEAK TO PUNJAB  From Patiala to Gorakhpur, the tale of the dead

WE WILL KILL 40-50 – Haryana BJP, Govt calculated death toll before firing first bullet

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

LET'S KILL PAASH – Dr Sumail Singh Sidhu on the importance of Paash

A DOKLAM IN EVERY FIELD: Farmers not only produce food. They produce peace.

SURGICAL STRIKE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT: When Indian jawans killed everyone at Pak post

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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Do not go gentle into that good night
19.12.17 - Sanehead
Do not go gentle into that good night



WOULD BJP HAVE WON in Gujarat had polls been held, as they should have been, along with Himachal polls on 9 November and on perhaps 14 November for the second phase , instead of a month later?

Would Rahul have shone quite as much in Gujarat had polls been held there a month ago?

A day is a long time in politics.

A month can change fortunes several times over.

Yet we have taken this massive, unnatural manipulation of the ECI and its machinery by the ruling party at the centre so much into our stride that hardly any anchor or analyst even talks about it.

It suits the two big netas on both sides: each got a chance to show off.
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For the Congress, projecting Rahul and justifying his coronation was as important if not more than actually winning the election.

Modi, too, had to show his paymasters that his demagogy alone makes all the difference between victory and defeat for the BJP.

The choreography of violations of ECI rules and RP Act and Model Code, the theatrical one sided FIRs , the high profile , high powers protests and complaints and gheraos at the ECI headquarters in Delhi, the FIRs on Channels in Gujarat but not on Rahul or Modi, the timing of the ECI notice to Rahul and then its strange withdrawal without even getting an answer from Rahul- could  you even have imagined such shenanigans during T N Seshan's regime?

We've come a long way since then.

The frogs are getting used to higher and higher temperatures of the water in the crucible in which they are to be boiled to death.

Rigged match?

ECI and EVMs just the instruments?

Modi won
Rahul won
Even Mevani and Rupani won

But Gujarat lost
People lost
Democracy lost
Principles lost

Institutions were destroyed
Secularism was destroyed

ECI and Model Code became objects of ridicule

Mandirs were used
Janeyuus were used
Seaplanes were used
Submarines were used
Pakistan was used
Caste was used

Development was forgotten

Long term interests of Gujarat and the nation were compromised

Let us not forget the first massive manipulation of the ECI by the ruling party at the Centre who for no good or convincing reason got the ECI to keep the election date announcement on hold till they found it convenient to get the polling schedule of Gujarat announced- long after the counting and result dates had been announced.

From this aberration sprang multitudes of aberrations, and it sent the wrong signal to the local administration which plays an important role in elections , and has been known to help parties it thinks is coming into power. The opposition played along, and indulged in its own violations of law and the Model Code.

It suited Modi, it suited Rahul, it suited the BJP, though it may or may not have suited the Congress. It certainly did not suit the public interest, which lies in the strict upholding of the law of the land and in maintaining the sanctity of democratic institutions.

Loss of faith in ECI and the fairness of elections will lead to erosion of faith in democracy , and that will lead to utter chaos in our country which in any case faces a million mutinies against its fragile polity , precarious economy and churning society everyday.

Let us keep protesting against the manipulation of the ECI, let us keep asking for action against the violations of the Model Code of Conduct and the Representation of People's Act , and the law of the land , which forbid appeal to caste and communal sentiments for obtaining votes, and do not allow defamation of candidates and parties or any citizen for such purposes.

Let us keep asking for an end to use of EVMs since they are hackable in countless ways, whether or not they are actually hacked in particular cases.

If we don't, the aberrations will grow till they become the norm and the democratic process will be totally derailed .

So whether political parties protest or not, citizens must protest , and keep protesting strongly at such hijackings of the political and electoral processes.

"Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light "
                                     (Dylan Thomas)

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: 

HOW DHUMAL WAS ASSASSINATED POLITICALLY, BY THE BJP

SUKHBIR IS RIGHT – On 97th anniversary Panth Khatre Vich Hai. Where does this threat come from?
SHIROMANI AKALI DAL – Abhi to party shuru huyee hai...
MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS IN PUNJAB: How Congress, SAD, AAP have framed issues  
CHAI PAR SUICIDE? Meet Mankar. Sorry, he’s dead. Modi met him, though - for Chai Pe Charcha

1984 - A RIOT OR A GENOCIDE? Controversy explodes in Canada again as Hardeep Puri tweets

PUNJAB VIDHAN SABHA: They are publishing a new book, so please go read an old one

JAANE KYA DIKH JAAYE! Rajasthan, where they write poems hailing Shambu Lal Regar 

'IF NOT VANDE MATARAM, then will you salute Afzal Guru?' 
LAHORE NU SALAAM – LAHORE CHODD AAYA - Prof. Randhir Singh

THE LOOT THAT RAJASTHAN COMMITTED – An insult bigger than Bollywood’s Padmawati! 

TRIBUNE’S HARISH KHARE SHATTERS EDITORIAL SILENCE OVER CARAVAN REPORTAGE  

THE DANGER OF RENAMING A COLLEGE 

ARNAB GOSWAMI WATCHES PADMAWATI, KARNI SENA IS HAPPIEST

DESH CHORR DO – VANDE MATARAM MAN TELLS SIKH LEADER TO LEAVE COUNTRY

DYAL SINGH COLLEGE TO VANDE MATARAM MAHAVIDYALAYA - A DESIGN NEFARIOUS?

HONESTY CERTIFICATE TO MAJITHIA TRIGGERS CRISIS IN TRIBUNE 

THE FINAL HONESTY CERTIFICATE: ISSUED BY THE TRIBUNE

WAS IT MEANT FOR TRUMP? OR US?  – Bush, Obama said this on Diwali
CHALO, PATAAKE CHALAYEN – CM Amarinder Singh & Parkash Singh Badal Jee
NO TIME TO READ THIS STORY? – That’s OK - Please do not feel guilty 
ELECTION COMMISSION - YOU FAILED TO CONVINCE. TRY AGAIN.

THIS IS WHY ELECTION COMMISSION DID NOT ANNOUNCE GUJARAT POLL DATES – Decoding the mystery 
BJP TO EDUCATE FARMERS ABOUT AGRI & RELIGION LINK – Will tell them Modi did so much 
AYE BHAI, BINA DEKHE CHALO –  Walking with the blind in Chandigarh
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
OPEN SALE AT GNDU – Have Rs 25,000? Get your compartment cleared. Rs 50,000 for two subjects
SUCHA SINGH LANGAH : KAMAAL JAARI HAI... Sucha Singh Langah wins, even in his darkest moments
ABEY TU BAHAR NIKAL, CHOWK MEIN AA   The 10-yard-radius protest
PATIALA, VIA PANCHKULA. HAIL DEMOCRACY!
 Halaat kharaab nahi hone chahiye!
PEHLU KHAN CASE   Will Govt Now Compensate The Magnificent Six? The Nation Needs to Know
MR HOME MINISTER, WILL YOU BE VISITING FAROOQ AHMAD DAR'S HOUSE? 
THE RYAN DEBATE: HOW INDIA MISSED THE GREAT CCTV ANGLE?  Not covered by cctv, so not covered by tv either
POLITICAL ECONOMY OF RETIREMENT AGE ROW   What’s wrong with retirement age policy?
THE GORAKHPUR DEAD SPEAK TO PUNJAB  From Patiala to Gorakhpur, the tale of the dead
WE WILL KILL 40-50 – Haryana BJP, Govt calculated death toll before firing first bullet
RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS – Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience
LET'S KILL PAASH – Dr Sumail Singh Sidhu on the importance of Paash
A DOKLAM IN EVERY FIELD: Farmers not only produce food. They produce peace.
SURGICAL STRIKE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT: When Indian jawans killed everyone at Pak post
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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RELIGION, POLITICS & LAW
The Akali Dal's Defence & The Holes In That
15.12.17 - kanwar manjit singh
The Akali Dal's Defence & The Holes In That



THE AKALI DAL'S DEFENCE in the case filed by Balwant Singh Khera in the Delhi High Court falls back on the Election Commission's refusal to take action against the political party. 

While Prashant Bhushan argued that even on the SGPC's own website, an Akali had been described as "one who demands that the Sikh voice is accorded a special political importance and who further acclaims that politics must NOT be wholly divorced from the postulates of religion,” thus falling short of the Constitutional mandate for secularism, the efforts by Balwant Singh Khera to get the Election Commission of India to act have failed miserably.

In 2005, Khera had petitioned the EC and also wrote a series of letters to the Constitutional body mandated to carry out elections in India, claiming that the Akali Dal's position was riddled with illegality, unconstitutionality and violation of fundamental rights. He urged for the party's de-recognition by the EC. The Election Commission claimed that it had no powers to de-register/de-recognize a political party or to even to take up proceedings against a political party for violating terms under S29A (5) of the RP Act 1951, as held by the Supreme Court in Indian National Congress (I) v. Institute of Social Welfare AIR 2002, SC 2158.
 
Read Also Related Story:  Sukhbir is right – Panth Khatre Vich Hai.  

Prashant Bhushan contended that as per the Supreme Court judgment quoted by the Election Commission to refuse any relief to Balwant Singh Khera, the EC cannot review an order of registeration of a political party on the grounds that the party has violated the provisions of the Constitution or breached the undertaking given to the EC at the time of registration, but if a political party is found to have obtained the registration by practicing 'fraud' or 'forgery', then the EC surely could have acted. 
----------
The Gurdwara Election Commission had not even asked the SAD for a copy of its Constitution. The SAD sent the old copy lest anyone challenges the election on grounds that the Constitution of the party provided to EC makes it a secular party and debars it from contesting the SGPC polls.
----------
Balwant Singh Khera got the response from the EC dated September 20, 2004, and next year obtained the notings through the RTI Act 2005. In January 2007, Prashant Bhushan even went to the Supreme Court, filing a writ seeking a direction to the EC to de-recognise the Akali Dal in view of its violation of the undertaking it gave to the EC. While Bhushan was asked to withdraw that petition and was orally told to approach the EC, the EC issued a non-speaking order in January 2008, saying "the Commission does not find any ground for action as urged by Petitioner." It was only after exhausting this avenue that Khera chose to approach the Delhi High Court. 
 

Also Read:  Balwant Singh Khera - The frail man who could prove to be the nemesis of Akali Dal

But throughout this entire period, the Shiromani Akali Dal has conceded certain facts that have only helped Khera's case. In fact, Prashant Bhushan, in his August 3, 2007 missive to the Election Commission of India, (copy with Punjab Today) countered some of the contentions of the Akali Dal made before the EC, by saying that the Akali Dal has indeed admitted "that the SAD did have a second Constitution which they have termed as their earlier constitution adopted by the Working Committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal, that this Constitution did not fulfil the necessary condition as mandated by Section 29-A of the RP Act, 1951, and that this Constitution was sent by the SAD to the Gurdwara Election Commission on November 25, 2003." Further, it will confound anyone to see that the Akali Dal was sending the 1974 Constitution to the GEC in 2003 even when it had submitted a new Constitution to the EC years earlier. Also, the Akali Dal cannot and did not deny that it participates in the elections to the SGPC and DSGMC as a party, and in fact, defends such participation by invoking Articles 25-28 of the Constitution of India. Bhushan says such a defence is "erroneous", since while any citizen (if he is a Sikh) is free to participate in the Sikh Gurdwara elections, a political party vying for state power is not free to do so as this is not a secular activity.
 

Very interestingly, the 1974 Constitution of the Akali Dal (that the party was forced to change after the 1989 amendment in the RP Act, 1951) bore the name of Giani Ajmer Singh as Secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal as a publisher of the Constitution and was not signed by him. "It was actually authenticated by Parkash Singh Badal as President of the SAD," Bhushan contended before the EC.
---------
If the Constitution submitted to the Gurdwara Election Commission is valid, the SAD is in violation of the Representation of People Act, 1951 and cannot be registered as a political party and may face de-recognition by the EC.
---------
The reason for sending the 1974 version was quite obviously to qualify for the Gurdwara Elections as these can be contested only by Sikh organisations. "If an organization with membership of non-Sikhs were to contest these elections, that would clearly amount to interference by non-Sikhs in Sikh Gurdwara affairs, and it is not permissible under the SGPC & DSGMC Acts," Khera contends.
 

Most interestingly, the Gurdwara Election Commission had not even asked the Shiromani Akali Dal for a copy of its Constitution. The SAD sent the old copy lest anyone challenges the election on grounds that the Constitution of the party provided to EC makes it a secular party and debars it from contesting the SGPC polls.

Now, the Shiromani Akali Dal is in a cleftstick. If the Constitution with the EC is valid, the party cannot contest the SGPC elections. If the Constitution submitted to the Gurdwara Election Commission is valid, the party is in violation of the Representation of People Act, 1951 and cannot be registered as a political party and may face de-recognition by the EC.
----------------- 
  Read https://goo.gl/zuoCny for this explosive main story of
*Dangerous Liasions* Between Religion & Politics. 
 ----------------- 
 
 For a profile of Balwant Singh Khera, click https://goo.gl/ZNeqZb
 
 

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.

_______________________________________________________________
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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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STUCK IN SUKH VILAS MODE
Akali Dal – Abhi to party shuru huyee hai...
13.12.17 - NISCHAY PAL
Akali Dal – Abhi to party shuru huyee hai...



WITH CIVIC ELECTIONS LOOMING, and finding itself in a confrontationist posture, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has finally found an opportunity to hark back to its glorious history. Hence Sukhbir Singh Badal’s decision to observe the 97th anniversary of the Shiromani Akali Dal on December 14, 2017 at Diwan Hall, Gurudwara Manji Sahib, Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar.

Apart from the appropriateness of a political party choosing to observe its anniversary at a gurdwara, perilously close to violating the standing guidelines of the Supreme Court as well as the provisions of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951, the very fact that the exercise is being clearly seen in conjunction with the local bodies’ elections shows the SAD leadership tilts towards the panth only when its political hold is threatened.

The Badal duo is most fortunate in keeping a tight grip on the party since there hardly seems to be a second rung of leadership that has come up on its own. Virtually all senior leaders owe their position to the House of Badals, the Brahmpuras, Bhoonders, Dhindsas included.
----------
Normally, a defeat so massive would have either spurred the party into introspection, or at least a charade of introspection. A chintan-meeting in Shimla, or perhaps at Sukh Vilas. 
----------
That is the reason the Akali Dal has not undergone a churning and a phase of introspection even after the humiliating defeat in the 2017 elections when it came a poor third, winning even lesser seats than a ragtag AAP.

Normally, a defeat so massive would have either spurred the party into some introspection, or at least to enact a charade of introspection. Like all other political parties, Akali Dal also used to hold its chintan-meetings at one or the other hotel. Last time it was Shimla, next time it could be Sukh Vilas. But after the 2017 defeat, Sukhbir Singh Badal did not deem it necessary.

Clearly, he knows there’s no one in the party who could seriously question the leadership. So, Akali Dal simply failed to take cognisance of the fact that it got a bloody nose in the polls after ten years of vikas of super highways, airports, malls, air conditioned bus stands and sewa kenders. 

The father stopped having sangat darshans, and no one challenged the son to a leadership duel.

This is how the party now works:

The system of a core committee, a working committee, a political affairs committee or whatever else committee expressing full faith in the high command continues. Third rung comrades do not have the gumption to question why The Leader is selected and not elected. Being seen with The Leader on a stage is peddled as their achievement. For such a photo-op, the minions obediently gather around The Leader. Now, The Leader utters some inanity about a new comer opposition party. The third-rung hordes waiting at the gates chirp in unison. The Leader remains plastered on hoardings across Punjab. 
-------------
Clearly, Sukhbir knows there’s no one in the Akali Dal who could seriously question the leadership. So, the party simply did not take cognisance of the fact that it got a bloody nose in the polls after ten years of vikas of super highways, airports, malls, air conditioned bus stands and sewa kenders. 
-------------
The Leader stamps his authority by declaring that district commissioners and senior police officers still attend to his phone calls. The minions are awestruck by the omnipotence of their leader. The Leader sits on a dharna. The friendly ruler enacts a sham. The Leader declares victory. The minions are now convinced that The Leader is omnipotent. 

These minions have no ambition to matter in the scheme of things. They merely want to be able to pretend that they matter in the scheme of things. They are frequently reminded of their utter dependence for security and survival on The Leader. "Call me if anyone torments you,” The Leader tells them. Now that he was seen sitting on a dharna all through the night, and even declared victory (without achieving anything), the minions are convinced even more.
 
It is the same pattern that The Leader adopted during his years in power. He would pass the crumbs around, very carefully, making the minions first fight for it, and then be grateful when they get a morsel. For how else will the morsel look big if the minions do not fight for it? And the leader knows how to keep such fights going. Holding back the morsels is one way. Letting know that more morsels are on the way is another. 
 

Minion A becomes a halqa-incharge. Minion B is promised he will be made one if Minion A fails. Minion C hopes both pull each other down. All minions are also selected by The Leader. Lesser minions insert advertisements and put up flex hoardings to proclaim their direct link with Minion A or Minion B. 
-----------
The elder one stopped having sangat darshans, and no one challenged the younger one to a leadership duel.
-----------
The Leader, meanwhile, has many favours to bestow. Such as choosing to have a cup of tea with a wanna-be Minion C. This is projected by the house-trained media as a major political move. Dropping in on a marriage ceremony to bless the newlyweds is considered a hallmark of the humility of The Leader. 
 
The minions then emulate The Leader. Everyone has read the signal. Follow The Leader, follow The Leader's actions, follow his pretences, too. Follow his shams, his theatre, his Punch and Judy act through the maze of politics.

The Leader, meanwhile, practices the art of survival. He is hailed for being a survivor. But no one mentions that the survival is because of his immense capacity to shun principles.

The Leader calls his political alliance a Fraternal Alliance. The desperateness earlier used to take him to sundry havans, yagyas, aartis, poojas. He was routinely spotted at the darbar of one or the other satguru. Satgurus have massive and captive vote banks. 
-----------
The minions are awestruck by the omnipotence of their leader. The Leader sits on a dharna. The friendly ruler enacts a sham. The Leader declares victory. The minions are now convinced that The Leader is omnipotent. He wants 97th. Everyone gears up for 97th. No one asks why wasn’t there a 96th anniversary, or 95th, or 94th, or…?
-----------
The politics of The Leader becomes a game of clever formulations. Earlier, he talked about higher MSP of crops, international airports, thermal plants. Now, it is about river waters, Chandigarh, attack on SGPC, zulm on his minions. If things do not work out, The Leader may be forced to pull out the 1980s card: the Azad Hasti of the Sikhs! As it is, he is already with you on this momentous occasion of 97th anniversary of the great party. He knows there is no one in the party who will ask where everyone was when it was 96th anniversary, or 95th, or 94th, or…?
 
When the party of history came to power, it dumped the history. Forgot the legacy. Trashed its own struggle. Became the party of airports and Progressive Punjab summits and cheque distribution at Sangat Darshans and managing administration through halqa-incharges. Out of power, it merely wants to put up a show of being the opposition but basically wants to merely wait it out.
 
Minions, too, wait. And as they wait, they hail The Leader. The Leader is now too big. He is a monolith. He is such a burden and has to be propped up at all times. Because he cannot be allowed to fall. After all, he is the face and the body of the party. Down below and deep inside, there is nothing to the party. It is all hollow.
-----------
Once you shun ideology, the movement becomes a party. Then it becomes a mere electoral machine. So it has to ‘adjust’. Adjustment means compromises. It becomes acceptable language. 
-----------
The Leader faces little threat because he believes in nothing. He has not taught the minions to believe in anything, so they, too, cannot threaten. When you believe in nothing, there is nothing that you need to desist from doing if there is some advantage that could be accrued. Like gathering at Manji Sahib on 97th. 
 
The Leader is helped by others. By those outside his party. They, too, are chips of the same block. They, too, are leaders in the same league. "Baki vee sab same ne,” goes the argument. So why change?
 
"Can one leader be any different from the other? Does any leader live by any ideals?” Then why blame The Leader? Why blame a particular leader? The flaw is systemic. So we can live with The Leader.

No one mentions the "shrinking universe of morals.” The ideas and ideology for the attainment of which the party was founded no longer permeate or radiate into those who are outside the party or organisation, just as it no longer affects those who are inside it. 
 

Once you shun ideology, the movement becomes a party. Then it becomes a mere electoral machine. So it has to ‘adjust’. Adjustment means compromises. It becomes acceptable language. Even acceptable formulation. Soon, it is raised to the level of an ideology. 
-----------
When you believe in nothing, there is nothing that you need to desist from doing if there is some advantage that could be accrued. Like gathering at Manji Sahib on 97th. 
-----------
But the transformation doesn’t stop there. Indeed, it has just begun. For the character of the one who has wrested the top office, stamps itself on the entire organisation, on every level of the organisation. His very success legitimises ambition, greed, intrigue and double-dealing. 
 
It becomes imperative for The Leader that the only voices are the ones that hail him. So he ensures that all gatherings unanimously resolve to leave the choice of nominating all office-bearers to him. The party hierarchy comes to consist entirely of nominees of The Leader, and of those who, for the moment, have managed to insinuate themselves into the good books of The Leader.  
 
In reality, the stronger that The Leader and his circle appear, the weaker is the organisation. Power now flows solely from The Leader. Did he not tell you that even when out of power, top civil and police officers take his calls, kowtow to his diktats? Did he not force the mighty Maharaja to drop Section 307 from FIRs against party workers? 
-----------
 "Don’t worry, it is just a matter of time. Four years will pass quickly.” Basically, he was earlier a ruler, now he is waiting to be a ruler. He does not have time and energy for being a leader in the opposition.
-----------
People gave The Leader a new job, a job to be a leader in the opposition, is not the Leader of the Opposition. Has he shown up for it? He is not even saying he is the new Opposition. Soon after his defeat, he used to say he was still the ruler. ("DCs, SSPs take my calls!”) Now he says, "Don’t worry, it is just a matter of time. Four years will pass quickly.” Basically, he was earlier a ruler, now he is waiting to be a ruler. He does not have time and energy for being a leader in the opposition. 
 
Also Read: Angry public embarrasses Akali Dal leader Gulzar Ranikeforces him to lift blockade

Clearly, it is a job that people need to look after themselves. The Leader of the Opposition has too many battles to fight against a Bibi Jagir Kaur or a Rana Gurjit Singh. He has little time for real politics and issues. The Akali Dal is too focussed on coming back to power after four more years. 
 
What happens to your life in these four years is your own business. So step up to the plate please.

And that involves understanding 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, but one that is most respectable. This is the task that befalls a citizen when leaders fail a polity. 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. You do not have the option of not showing up for work. 
 
Also Read: DECONSTRUCTING NAVJOT SINGH SIDHUThis is a duel -- pistols drawn, hands on hip, 20 steps across, aim taken

The shenanigans are just a side show – for the 97th anniversary of the great party. They weren’t at Manji Sahib, Sri Darbar Sahib, for 96th. At worst, 97th is an extension of the dharna for the right of the party’s candidates to file nominations for polls to local bodies. At best, it is just timepass for another chance in 2022. Till then, the party only needs to count: 97th. 98th. 99th. 100, and hurray! Abhi to party shuru huyee hai…
 

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:

 

ELECTION IN PUNJAB: Here's How Congress, SAD, AAP have framed issues  


PUNJAB VIDHAN SABHA: They are publishing a new book, so please go read an old one

 

DECONSTRUCTING NAVJOT SINGH SIDHUThis is a duel -- pistols drawn, hands on hip, 20 steps across, aim taken


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WE WILL KILL 40-50  Haryana BJP, Govt calculated death toll before firing first bullet

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

LET'S KILL PAASH  Dr Sumail Singh Sidhu on the importance of Paash

A DOKLAM IN EVERY FIELD: Farmers not only produce food. They produce peace.

SURGICAL STRIKE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT: Indian jawans killed everyone at this forward post of Pakistan

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

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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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