OPINION

Monthly Archives: MARCH 2019


Jacinda Ardern's New Zealand, Modi's India, We in Punjab
27.03.19 - S Pal
Jacinda Ardern's New Zealand, Modi's India, We in Punjab



THE BRAVE NEW India of Narendra Modi was so pissed off with repeated acts of terror, carried out by elements in Pakistan or those backed by them, that when an Indian youth rammed a car-full of explosives into the CRPF caravan in Pulwama and killed 40 plus of uniformed men, it got the entire country very, very angry.

Such was the extent of this seething rage that some public figures even offered to tie explosives around their girth, turn themselves into border-crossing human bombs and storm into Pakistani cities and explode, if required.

The patriotic fervour saw crowds spilling into the streets, bashing up a Kashmiri here, a Muslim there. At the national level, the government claimed it got its armed forces to carry out air strikes deep into Pakistan and killed terrorists whose numbers were known only to certain people who were at liberty to announce these in rallies while armed forces said they never counted the enemy casualties.  
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Within minutes of the murder of 50 Muslims, Ardern appeared before the media, called the shootings a ‘terrorist act’ and announced of the victims that "They are us.” 
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Now, Indians were being taught how exactly should governments and leaders react when a terror attack takes place. But when a terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, 13,080 kilometres away from Pulwama, took place, a lot of these Indians must have been very confused with the reaction of the government there. 

A xenophobic young man, armed with multiple guns and a liberal supply of ammunition, stormed into two separate mosques and mowed down 50 people, leaving a peaceful nation shell-shocked.

New Zealand's leadership knew its reaction was being watched around the world. After all, it was an act of mass slaughter by an Islamophobe who had planned it for months, perhaps years; had arrived in the country for this specific purpose; had a worked out theoretical framework in the form of a 73-page manifesto. Also, the victims belonged to a community whose more radical members were being blamed in scores of countries around the world for carrying out acts of terror. 

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern seemed set not to lose her cool. Within minutes of the murder of 50 Muslims, Ardern appeared before the media, called the shootings a ‘terrorist act’ and announced of the victims that "They are us.” 

"This is one of New Zealand's darkest days," she said. When was the last time a country declared that a day on which several Muslims died in a terror act was a dark day?

She mourned with the victims’ families, declared a ban on the semi-automatic machine guns the killer used, and went far further than what even the victim community could have imagined. She said although the killer came from Australia and imbibed his ideology overseas, his views weren’t alien to New Zealanders.

Here was a prime minister not losing even hours before asking the country that it must start the process of national self-scrutiny.

There is no end to the hate that US President Donald Trump has spewed towards immigrants and/or Muslims, and a number of voices among rightwing Indian political sphere have made fairly hate-laced and often vulgar references to them.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote to his Kiwi counterpart, telling Ardern of his "deep shock and sadness" and sticking to the sterile diplomatic verbosity, stressing "India's strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations."

Modi also reiterated that hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies, a fact he does not reiterate for days even after incidents of mob lynching when India's liberal sections are clamouring for such a signal.

Narendra Modi then, and till date, has not found the time to mention the names of a single Muslim from India who were killed in the attack. Ansi Alibava, an agro-engineering student who migrated with her husband last year from Kerala; Ramiz Vora and his father Asif, an insurance agent; Mohammed Imran Khan; and Farhaj Ahsan, an electrical engineer from Hyderabad, were the Indians who were killed by the white supremacist killer. 

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The idea of a caring, welfare state standing by the aggrieved community no more carries any political weight in India. 
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Modi did not mention their names, did not mourn with their families, did not hold a press conference. Sushma Swaraj's mindspace was taken up by the conversion row in Pakistan. 

The job of providing moral leadership to the world was left to Jacinda Ardern. 

She donned a black scarf and embraced the Muslim community members, met the women and was seen consoling them, extending her condolences, her body language telling the world that she felt one with them. The world felt the power of #YouAreUs. 

Ardern, too, is the leader of a country that has a painful history of white settler violence against the indigenous Maori people. It has witnessed voices of racism against immigrants. But she did not keel over in a time of crisis. Instead, she sparked a conversation picked up around the globe.

The Muslims around the world heard her loud and clear: "New Zealand mourns with you."

Hers were not just words. She was taking action. Gun law reforms kicked in almost immediately, unlike in the United States where a string of mass shootings have failed to trigger the leadership into action.

As the New York Times heaped praise and editorially said 'America Deserves a Leader as Good as Jacinda Ardern', it was hardly noticed in the surfeit of love and compassion that New Zealanders showed towards their Muslim residents. The mountains of flowers at the gates of mosques were the strong response of a nation determined not to give space to xenophobia.

Compare that to India where Congress leaders have failed to put up any pretence of sharing the pain of the Sikh community in the wake of 1984 mass killings of Sikhs in Delhi and elsewhere. It's true that many in the Sikh circles and political sphere blame top Congress leadership of even an active hand in the massacres, but that was no reason for a key political party of India to stop condoling the deaths of thousands of Sikhs in such a gory manner.

Similarly, the BJP leadership does not condole the deaths of Muslims in the 2002 Gujarat riots. 

In fact, both parties fish out "the other riot" card when confronted about their duplicity.

The idea of a caring, welfare state standing by the aggrieved community no more carries any political weight in India. Even in a case as soul-tearing as the Kathua girl child rape and murder, we saw vast sections of Indian people and top leadership of the ruling dispensation wanting in words and actions that could send a message of compassion.
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In election season, our senses are numbed further. 
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Clearly, something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and our hearts and minds have become this rotten Denmark. As a people, we have failed to step out and tell the victims that "you are us."

We love a Jacinda Ardern telling the world that the immigrants were welcome. We like Justin Trudeau as he tries bhangra steps, or visits gurdwaras. That's because the children of Punjabis long to go to New Zealand or Canada. But our own attitude towards immigrants is far different.

How compassionate have we really been towards our internal immigrants, the ones we call migrants from Uttar Pradesh or Bihar? What are terms we use for them? What was our reaction to demands that they be stripped of their voting rights in Punjab? 

Eager to become immigrants in an alien country, Punjabis were happy discriminating against migrants from poorer Indian states. 

India's Dalits are still waiting for an indigenous male of female Jacinda Ardern who steps out and announces that "you are us" and that he or she will not tolerate a single of discrimination. Right now, we have liberal sections who are afraid of recalling the suicide of Rohith Vemula lest it angers the caste Hindu voters.

In election season, our senses are numbed further. Akali Dal cheekily thanks the alliance partner BJP's leadership for giving justice to 1984 victims, while not uttering a word about Muslim victims of communal violence in Gujarat. The Congress leaders in Gujarat no more recall the Gujarat riots. 

We have found new solidarity in being blind to the pain of others.

New Zealand has found a sense of solidarity in the pain inflicted on it by xenophobia. 

Something is very seriously rotten in the state of of our minds.
 

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:
 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

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

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

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

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

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

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

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

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

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

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

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

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

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL

 

_______________________________________________________________


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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Why Sukhbir Badal, Sunil Jakhar must go to Dera Sirsa followers and seek their votes? Or they should be arrested.
21.03.19 - S Pal
Why Sukhbir Badal, Sunil Jakhar must go to Dera Sirsa followers and seek their votes? Or they should be arrested.



#Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar has said his party will not seek votes of Dera Sirsa.
 

#Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal has said his party will not be seeking the support of Dera Sirsa.
 
 
IF WE HAD BEEN living in different times, somewhat better times, we would have been shocked at these statements. Now, these seem to be not just acceptable, but even appropriate. These seem normal. To many, these even seem politically correct.

No one has been arrested for uttering these. Sunil Jakhar is facing no imminent threat of being hauled up before a court of law, and Sukhbir Badal has, in fact, felt better after saying what he did.

But what's the problem with declaring that the political party will not seek the support of a dera that was clearly headed by a man who has been proven to be scum? Gurmit Ram Rahim is a convicted rapist, killer and a threat to humanity, and is in jail where he deservingly belongs. So what's the problem in saying that a political party married to higher ideals will not seek the support of his dera?

Surely, people will not like it if leaders of a political party go and court the leadership of a dera and seek votes if that leadership is tainted with criminal charges and involvement in abominable criminal acts. Messers Jakhar and Badal are right in their understanding that they must make clear their distance from such people.

But listen to what the Sunil Jakhars and Sukhbir Badals of the political world are NOT saying. They are not saying that going to deras and cults and sects and sundry forms of people bunched under the leadership of a baba or a sadhu or a guru to seek votes is wrong. No, they are not saying it. They are saying they will not go to seek votes from Sirsa dera.

In fact, they are saying that it will be wrong to go and seek votes from such a dera THIS TIME. They are not saying it was wrong all along, because both sides have actively courted the Sirsa dera and its head Gurmit Ram Rahim in the past.

How does the system of seeking votes through the leadership of any dera actually work? The dera head becomes a repository of the interests of his or her followers. It also becomes the repository of the collective value of votes that its followers have. Now, those followers, who are not capable of exercising the political power of their individual votes want to see their leader extracting the maximum benefit from the political leadership by trading their collective votes in lieu of certain favours and promises.

So a political leader goes to a dera. The dera demands a piece of land, clearances for a project, favours for some selected people, and in lieu promises support. The message is conveyed to the followers surreptitiously. 
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The dera leadership is into wholesale trading of votes for favours and assurances.
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A political leader would have to work too hard to reach out to millions of followers of the dera, address their grievances, lay out his agenda and seek their votes. That's retail business. Instead, he goes for bulk buying. The dera leadership is into wholesale trading of votes for favours and assurances.

This makes deras the attractive trading space for electoral favours in democracy. It matters little if the dera leadership is known as usurpur of public lands. It hardly bothers the politician if the dera spreads unscientific ideas and voodoo science. It matters little even if the dera leaders are named in murder cases or have been accused by multiple women of harassment and even rape.

The politician has no sense of shame, not even a pretense of hesitation. He continues to do business with the dera. It is only when the leader is finally convicted that the neta finds it prudent to say that it will now not seek the votes from the dera.

That's a sick politics. It was a sick politics when the leader was going to the dera to seek votes. It is even worse now that he says he will not go to seek votes.

In fact, now is the time to go back to the dera. Do not go to the dera leadership that has been found involved in henuious crimes. But go to the followers. Our politics needs to understand why millions of people chose to trade their voting power through the conduit of a rank criminal? Our politician must debate why so many continue to follow a man thrown into jail for score plus years for raping and harassing multiple women and has been involved in murder and worse?

Why and how did so many from the Dalit section in Punjab landed up at Dera Sirsa? Why did our religious leadership and political elite fail entire communities?

You have to go to the dera and its followers and grapple with these questions. The politician is not just saying he will not seek votes from the leadership of the dera. He is diluting the identity of the followers of the dera as citizens. The followers of the dera are citizens with full constitutional rights, including the right of a vote. Any political leadership that says it will not even court the votes of a major chunk of population is indulging in virtual hate speech. How will the law kick in if a leader were to say he will not seek votes of Sikhs? Or Hindus? Or Muslims?
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Why and how did so many from the Dalit section in Punjab landed up at Dera Sirsa? Why did our religious leadership and political elite fail entire communities?
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Some of the recent statements are alienating a weaker section of the society that was trying to deal with its marginalisation by engaging with politics through the collectivising of its voting power, a deal it was making through its dera head. Jakhar and Badal are telling that same marginalised section that you have become political deadweight and we shall not come to get you. 

This will only result in solidifying the gap between power levers and marginalised sections. 

In Punjab, the Sikh community needs to introspect why these wide sections of Dalits were not impressed by such an egalitarian religion as Sikhism, and instead opted to become followers of not just this dera, but also of many others?

Wherever Guru Nanak went, people became his followers, for such was the force of his message of oneness, of Sarbat Da Bhala, of knowledge, of light, of decency, of everything that's good and pure in the hearts of the humans, a message that was in resonance with the purpose of life itself. Now, you see millions of migrants coming from poor, backward villages of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, eking out their living here, but they aren't rushing to become Sikhs. 

That's because they do not encounter a community opening its arms to embrace and protect the weak. You can write scholarly works about the grand values of casteless society and the tradition of langar that mandates equality, but then, the poor have eyes, and common sense. They see what's happening on the ground, and it's not particularly attractive. So they are not rushing to become Sikhs.

There's a reason that dalits in big numbers followed the dera: they did not find the followers of an ostensibly egalitarian religion welcoming them with open arms. A number of Sikhs labelled as belonging to lowered castes follow these deras, a clear message to the Sikh community elite that they have not lived up to the ideals of the Guru.
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Also, remember that they have not said they will not go to any dera to seek votes. They are open to wholesale bulk-buying of votes in other market places. They are just avoiding a particular commission agent.
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It's time for the Sikhs, for Hindus, for all, for political parties, for the likes of Jakhar and Sukhbir Badal to open that dialogue. This is the time to seek their votes. But by talking to them, not by striking deals with dera leadership to buy their votes in bulk.
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As things stand, a Congressman only has to record the video of an Akali Dal-affiliated sarpanch going to the house of a dera follower in his village to seek votes for the Akali Dal candidate, and put it on social media. A chorus of voices will burnish through the facebook and whatsapp platforms: Akalis seeking dera votes. Ditto for Congress.
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Any politics that pursues, incentivises or endorses the politics of alienating entire sections of citizenry is a politics of hate.
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We are building an atmosphere of hate for a section of our populace. We did this earlier with Nirankaris. We used the highest seats of temporal power to issue edicts asking even the unborn children of Sikhs not to have any relationship with the unborn children of followers of the Nirankari sect. That edict stands even today, and it was issued in the name of our Guru.

Do you think the Guru would have said so? That the unborn must have hatred for the unborn?

Any politics that pursues, incentivises or endorses the politics of alienating entire sections of citizenry is a politics of hate. And politicians need to be arrested for spreading hate.
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It's a pity that Sunil Kumar Jakhar has not been arrested so far, and Sukhbir Singh Badal is still roaming free.

Also, remember that they have not said they will not go to any dera to seek votes. They are open to wholesale bulk-buying of votes in other market places. They are just avoiding a particular commission agent.

Otherwise it's business as usual.

It's only you whose picture of offering a glass of water to a Dera Sirsa follower can get you ostracised or even killed because of the hatred that our elected politicians are spreading. All because they are being so "nice" and "decent" that they won't even go to seek votes of a dera.

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:
 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

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

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

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

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

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

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

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

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

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

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

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

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

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL

 

_______________________________________________________________


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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KHADOOR SAHIB - TO BECOME THE CYNOSURE OF PANJAB
O Nanak! Our own seek to undo us
13.03.19 - AMANDEEP SANDHU
O Nanak! Our own seek to undo us



WHATEVER HAPPENS in India in the 2019 elections, an unlikely constituency - Khadoor Sahib - is slated to become the cynosure of Panjab. In Khadoor Sahib a democratic electoral process has pitted two radically different Sikh ideologies against each other.

The town Sultanpur Lodhi, associated with Guru Nanak, is located in the Khadoor Sahib constituency. In 1475 AD the elder sister of Guru Nanak, Bibi Nanki was married to Shri Jai Ram of Sultanpur Lodhi. In 1483 Guru’s father sent Guru Nanak to the custody of Shri Jai Ram. Guru Nanak was employed as the in-charge of the civil supplies store. In June 1488, Guru Nanak married Bibi Sulkhani and begot two sons Shri Chand and Lakmi Chand in this town. In those years and later Guru Nanak also spent 14 years, 9 months and 13 days meditating under a Jujube (Ber) tree next to the rivulet Kali Bein. In 1497 Guru Nanak disappeared in the Kali Bein. He reappeared after three days and his first sermon was: Na koi Hindu, na koi Musalmaan (no one is Hindu, no one is Muslim). This sermon led to the birth of the Sikh religion. Thereafter Guru Nanak started his first of four Udasis (long journeys).
 
2019 General Elections

Earlier a breakaway group from SAD (Badal) called SAD (Taksali) had nominated retired Army chief General JJ Singh from Khadoor Sahib. On Tuesday, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) announced their candidate for the Khadoor Sahib seat: Bibi Jagir Kaur.

Twice Bibi Jagir Kaur has headed the Sikh apex body Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee - the only times a woman has occupied the high seat. Once she has been MLA and part of the SAD (Badal) cabinet. However, first time in her stint with SGPC, she had to step down following the unnatural death of her daughter Harpreet Kaur - considered an honour killing. Bibi Jagir Kaur was an accused. The matter was investigated by Central Bureau of Investigation who sentenced her and she had to step down from being SAD (Badal) minister in 2012-13. Later the Panjab and Haryana High Court absolved her of the crime. Yet the stigma of kudimar (girl killer) stays. I heard her speech today, it was full of praise for Parkash Singh Badal and Narendra Modi. Besides that, she accused Congress of everything from Operation Blue Star to current woes - farmer loans, drugs etc.

Her rival is a consensus candidate from six small political parties who have come together under the banner of Panjab Democratic Alliance: Bibi Paramjit Kaur. Bibi Paramjit Kaur is the widow of Panjab's legendary Human Rights activist Shaheed Jaswant Singh Khalra.

During militancy in Panjab 1978-1993, Khalra was a bank director in Amritsar. In those days, under President's rule for 5 long years and collapse of democracy, the police had empowered themselves to detain suspects for any reason, ostensibly as suspected militants. Police killed unarmed suspects in staged shootouts and cremated thousands of dead bodies to cover up the murders. Seeing that many of his friends and colleagues had gone missing, Khalra researched information which eventually led him to find files from the municipal corporation of Amritsar which had information containing the names, age and addresses of thousands of Sikhs and some Hindus who had been killed and illegally cremated by the Punjab Police. Later under the remit of the Supreme Court, the National Human Rights Commission conducted an inquiry into the circumstances leading to the cremations. The NHRC found 2097 dead bodies as unclaimed/unidentified in the police districts of Amritsar, Majitha and Tarn Taran between June 1984 to December 1994. Khalra asserted that many thousands of forced disappearances and fake encounters had taken place.
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I am amazed by how in a bid for political power the SAD (Badal) is willing to overlook the deep concern of Panjab's people and their experiences.
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On 6 September 1995, while washing his car in front of his house in Amritsar, Khalra was abducted by the Punjab Police and taken to Jhabal police station. Although witnesses gave statements implicating the police and have named former police chief Kanwar Pal Singh Gill as a conspirator, police denied having ever arrested or detained him, and claimed to have no knowledge of his whereabouts. In 1996, the CBI found evidence that Khalra was held at a police station in Tarn Taran and recommended the prosecution of nine Punjab police officials for murder and kidnapping. Those accused of his murder were not charged for ten years. On 18 November 2005, six Punjab police officials were convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment for Khalra's abduction and murder. On 16 October 2007 a division bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court, extended the sentence to life imprisonment for four accused. All through these years Bibi Pramjit Kaur kept pursuing the cases. In 2017 the Punjab Documentation and Advocacy Project (PDAP), following a 7 year investigation, concluded that 8257 cases of enforced disappearances and fake encounters had taken place from 1984 to 1995. This is Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra's and Panjab's legacy.

That is why I am stunned that in Khadoor Sahib Bibi Jagir Kaur from SAD (Badal) and General JJ Singh from Akali Dal (Taksali) are even challenging Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra from PDA.

SAD (Badal) calls itself a panthic party. It supposedly represents the concerns of Sikhs and Panjab. As seen in results of the 2017 assembly elections when it was relegated to third place, SAD lost significant ground after a decade of anti-incumbency, the incidents of sacrilege and police firing on unarmed protesters, and pardon to Godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim (now in a long jail term over rapes and murders). SAD has now projected Bibi Jagir Kaur - who at best has a dubious record - to challenge Bibi Paramjit Kaur's candidature. Bibi Paramjit Kaur's family has championed Human Rights by challenging the impunity for the uniform and its excesses which remain a central theme of Panjab because until date the unbridled police power remain responsible for the breakdown of democracy and social systems. Then there is General JJ Singh who is really a non-contestant because neither has he expressed a coherent argument nor has he projected a real fight ever since he started contesting elections in 2017.

I am amazed by how in a bid for political power the SAD (Badal) is willing to overlook the deep concern of Panjab's people and their experiences. SAD is unable to see that by seeking to contest, by seeking to become Member of Parliament, Bibi Paramjit Kaur is indicating that despite the loss of her husband to the police, despite the loss of who her husband was searching for - but were lost to state forces - she still believes in democracy, in the Constitution, in the Parliament.

Is this even a contest?

Yet, the reality is what it is and it shows both: SAD's greed and a vertical split in the Sikh community. I feel anyone who is interested in justice should just withdraw from contest and support Bibi Paramjit Kaur. If she wins, Bibi Paramjit Kaur is the people's best chance to send a representative to Parliament who can question the state's structural impunity for police and armed forces. Beyond Panjab, this is in the interest of North East, Kashmir, Bastar, now Uttar Pradesh and any other region where the state unleashes violence. That is why SAD wants to defeat her. If now Congress and AAP enter the fray, it shows us in how many ways Panjab is divided.

I just heard Bibi Paramjit Kaur speak today. She is a study in grace and poise. She talked about Khadoor Sahib which is a traditional SAD bastion. Referring to Bibi Jagir Kaur and herself, she said, 'This is the panth's seat and it will go to the panth. But we will be able to tell the world who is the real panth.' She further added, 'If this seat comes to us, the world will know we won it on the agenda of human rights.' 

It is once again up to the people of Khadoor Sahib to stand up for human rights and signal the Sikh panth.
 
 

Amandeep Sandhu is working on non-fiction 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:
 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

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

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

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

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

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

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

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

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

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

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

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

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

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL

 

_______________________________________________________________


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.

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Comment by: Kanwal jit Singh Gill

Punjab voters who are against innocent killings must vote for Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra wife of Shaheed Jaswant Singh Khalra who sacrificed his life while raising voice against thousands of innocents killed in fake encounters and police atrocities by Punjab government and police in 1980-90's. Voters must pay for the great sacrifice of Shaheed Khalra.

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Are you interested to selling one of your k1dney for a good amount of $800,000 USD in India pls kindly Contact us now on our email: as we are looking for k1dney donor, Very urgently who are group B,group A ,O ve and 0 ve. Interested person should contact us now.

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contact us:+919205206332

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DISSENT IN CRISIS
It is precisely during a crisis that the truth should be told
09.03.19 - A. G. NOORANI
It is precisely during a crisis that the truth should be told



"WHAT is constantly said is that that you must not attack the government because it will endanger the country. There are times when the only safety of the country is attack upon the government, and it will be a grave dereliction of duty on the part of the members of this house if, being honestly convinced that it is necessary to challenge the issue, they take no steps to do it.” These words apply to Prime Minister Modi’s slander against the opposition.
 
When Stafford Cripps spoke thus in the House of Commons in 1940, his country was in mortal peril. Nazi Germany rained bombs on London. On much less, Kargil, we had two former foreign secretaries, and former senior bureaucrat K. Subrahmanyam, who later became head of the bogus Kargil Inquiry Committee, issue a joint statement in June 1999 pathetically pleading that it was essential for all to "suspend for the time being any focus on the inadequacies and failures that have led to the crisis”.

After the crisis, distinguished journalists Pamela Constable and Sankarshan Thakur published a collection of essays, Guns and Yellow Roses, on the lack of truthful reportage and comment during the war. A BBC journalist remarked, "With luck, this collection of essays is the beginning of India’s honest introspection about Kargil.”
 
He was proved wrong. The truth was unceremoniously buried. So will it be about Pulwama and much else if citizens do not hold the Modi government accountable. Two of them spoke up bravely. On Feb 18, Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee asked pointed questions on the government’s culpability for sheer neglect. She had kept quiet, but Modi’s "regularly politicising” of Pulwama, in company with his political valet Amit Shah, forced her to speak up.

At a rally in Mumbai on Feb 23, president of the All-India Majlis-i-Ittehadul Muslimeen, MP Asaduddin Owaisi, asked, "About 200 kilograms of RDX was used for the blast in Pulwama” — which he strongly condemned — "Was the intelligence department sleeping?” A member of Modi’s cabinet impugned the loyalty of critics.
---------
There is no conflict between condemnation of the Pulwama killings and accountability for New Delhi’s neglect. No conflict either between commitment to the truth and loyalty to the country.
---------
Half a century’s life as free citizens has not sufficed to train some in the duties of citizenship. It is time we realised that if dissent had not been stifled on Kashmir and the boundary dispute with China, New Delhi might not have gone to the brink. Popular opinion in Kashmir was misrepresented. Maps that showed the boundary in the Aksai Chin as ‘undefined’ were taken out of circulation.

There is no conflict between condemnation of the Pulwama killings and accountability for New Delhi’s neglect. No conflict either between commitment to the truth and loyalty to the country. On the contrary, it is precisely during a crisis that the truth should be told, and the government asked to account for its lapses.

Britain showed prime minister Neville Chamberlain the door during the Second World War. His successor, Winston Churchill, faced a motion of no-confidence when Rommel’s army was at the gates of Cairo and Alexandria, and Singapore had fallen. There was demand for a royal commission on the debacle. During the Korean War, the US Senate armed services and foreign relations committees held joint hearings in which all the top guns testified, including the secretaries of state and defence, and the army chief.

The 1942 no-confidence motion against Churchill read: "That this house, while paying tribute to the heroism and endurance of the armed forces … has no confidence in the central direction of the war.” The mover, John Wardlaw-Milne, offered to withdraw it. Churchill refused. It was a serious challenge, supported by Churchill’s friend, admiral of the fleet Roger Keyes, and former secretary of state for war Leslie Hore-Beli­sha, who asked, "How can one place reliance in judgements that have so repeatedly turned out to be misgui­ded?” The motion was defeated.

During the First World War, Churchill (pic) had to leave the cabinet over his role in the Gallipoli debacle, on which an inquiry was set up. Dissent was voiced freely during the Boer and Falklands wars.

The American press covered itself with disgrace on the Iraq War. Paul Krugman wrote in 2004, "[W]hy did the press credit Bush with virtues that reporters knew he didn’t possess? One answer is misplaced patriotism. After 9/11, much of the press seemed to reach a collective decision that it was necessary, in the interests of national unity, to suppress criticism of the commander in chief.”

Margaret Thatcher (pic) revealed the mindset of governments when she sneered at the BBC in 1982: "It seems that we and the Argentines are being treated almost as equals and almost on a neutral basis.” Retort to the suggestion that the media must be the publicity arm of the state was swift. Richard Francis, managing director of BBC Radio, said "The widow of Portsmouth is no different from the widow of Buenos Aires. The BBC needs no lesson in patriotism.” This is the retort that upstarts in power deserve.

 
The writer is an author and a lawyer based in Mumbai. Courtesy: Dawn.com



 
 

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:
 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

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

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

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

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

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

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL

 

_______________________________________________________________


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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Politicians, pl pause! Let the security forces do their job.
09.03.19 - VIPIN PUBBY
Politicians, pl pause! Let the security forces do their job.



WHILE VARIOUS political parties had declared that the Indian Air Force attack on Jaish hideouts, and the subsequent air dual when Pakistani jets entered Indian territory, would not be politicised, it did not take much time for almost all these parties to do exactly the same.

While it is understandable that the general elections are within sight and political parties would be desperate to score brownie points, dragging in the armed forces into a controversy is the worst the political parties could have done. These parties must realise the damage they are doing to the morale of the forces. 

Blame must be shared by the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party as well as the opposition Congress together with their alliance partners. While prime minister has every right to back the strikes inside Pakistan and laud the courage and valour of armed forces personnel, his propensity to bring in politics by saying the Congress governments could not do what his government has achieved, injects politics into the issue.

His boast that it was a ‘new India’ which would get into the enemy’s home (ghar mein ghuskar marenge), and indications that the first air strike was "just a trailer” are not mature comments worthy of a statesman. There is no doubt that it is the first time since 1971 that our fighter jets had entered Pakistan and made a resounding statement that we mean business, what is required is less political posturing.
-----------
The continued focus on the issue has unfortunately put the other burning issues on the back burner. Suddenly no one taking about the progress and development during the past five years or the demonetisation or the roll out of GST or even the unemployment issue.
-----------
He also appears to have forgotten that it was the Congress Government which had planned and given to ahead division of Pakistan in two parts. If anything, no body can doubt the patriotism of the Congress or its leaders. Yet Modi and his colleagues have launched a campaign claiming that the Congress was "deliberately trying to weaken the security forces” of the country.

Congress also does not come out too clean on the issue. Some of its leaders had been demanding "evidence” of the damage done across the border and questioning the effectiveness of the strike. Their demanding details of the strike was also uncalled for. Our Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa has rightly said that it was not their job to count bodies but to strike the intended targets which they have accomplished.

Since fairly senior leaders of the party had come out with such irresponsible statements, and there was no rebuttal from leadership of the party, it can be presumed that they had got the go-ahead to speak from the top leadership. The Congress must rein in its leaders who have been raising questions on the effectiveness of the strikes inside Pakistan.

Whipping up sentiments and asking for a war to settle the issues once for all is something that all political parties and media must refrain from doing. War is not a solution  though reacting to extreme circumstances, like we did in retaliation to Pulwama, is understandable and may be desirable. The enemy must be hit where it is hurts the most. It needs to be paid back in the same coin but certainly a full fledged war is not an option in the given circumstances and our senior political leaders from across party lines must exercise restraint and let the security forces do their job.

The continued focus on the issue has unfortunately put the other burning issues on the back burner. Suddenly no one taking about the progress and development during the past five years or the demonetisation or the roll out of GST or even the unemployment issue. While the conflict with Pakistan is currently dominating the public mind, it is important to talk responsibly and also not to forget the other issues affecting the citizens.
 
 

(The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career.)

 

 

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:
 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

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

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

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

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

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

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL

 

_______________________________________________________________


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




[home] 1-5 of 5


Comment by: jessy johnson

Are you interested to selling one of your k1dney for a good amount of $800,000 USD in India pls kindly Contact us now on our email: as we are looking for k1dney donor, Very urgently who are group B,group A ,O ve and 0 ve. Interested person should contact us now.

DR JESSY JOHNSON

WhatsApp:+919667270992

contact us:+919205206332

WhatsApp:+919667270992

SDGISJGIJ

reply


Comment

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comments*
You may use these HTML tags:<p> <u> <i> <b> <strong> <del> <code> <hr> <em> <ul> <li> <ol> <span> <div>

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