Chandigarh, June 20: This is a country where a person can be lynched for mere suspicion of keeping beef in the fridge but people don’t react to the cruelty towards tender hearts. The issue becomes all the more serious and sensitive when it is the state government that subjects the school students to cruelty betraying its ugly face. The issue here is the inhuman treatment being meted out by the government headed by ‘Fakhr-e-Qaum Panth Rattan’ and ‘Saint-Statesman’ Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to the school students who have been made to participate in the mega show on June 21. The government did not react when the report hit the headline in a major newspaper on the first day. What appeared in the paper the next day was still more shocking. Should the Badal government be so heartless in apparent attempt to appease Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is celebrating second annual Yoga (OR YOG?) Day here in City Beautiful on the morning ofJune 21?
In case those ruling the country has any sympathy towards these school kids who have to suffer at official functions to please the VVIPs, the government should enact a law more stringent that for the protection of cow (no lynching) to ban cruelty to the school students.
Some people made it a big issue as the picture of stray dog having been hung by a rope by some residents in Chandigarh hit the pages of a newspaper. There were processions and protests for two days. It seems the soul of these people did not even stir as pictures of school kids were frontpaged by the newspaper spending night in the bus as they were to be at the venue of Yoga Day show for rehearsal. The government had apparently not arranged for their night stay.
The newspaper highlighted the plight of about 200 students who were brought to Chandigarh to enable them participate in the rehearsal for yog day after spending the night in the bus itself. These students were told to gather at Polo Ground in Patiala by 7.00 pm. It was time for dinner but the managers did not bother. They left Patiala around 9 PM without food. They could have been served food packets arranged earlier. They were taken to Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib that is on the alternate route to Chandigarh from Patiala where they were served langar. Is Badal government so bankrupt that it can’t arrange food packets for 200 students? One fails to understand how Punjab being bankrupt is just a propaganda to malign the state as Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal would like people to believe in case it is unable to arrange food packets for 200 students.
The worst was yet to come. They were made to wait in the buses at Fatehgarh Sahib for about four hours. The gurdwara authorities would have made comfortable arrangements for few hours for their stay in case the facility had been sought. This is no problem at this big gurdwara visited by thousands of people every day. Ironically, only 50 of them were allowed entry for rehearsal. They returned to Patiala around 11.00 am.
A day earlier, a report had appeared about the poor condition in the schools in Mohali and Kharar where arrangements had been made for about 2000 boy and girl students for three days who had been brought here to participate in Yoga Day function. The arrangements left much to be desired.
The basic issue is why school students should be forced to participate in official functions. Earlier, students used to be made to welcome VIPs standing even under hot sun. But the kids of these VIPs don’t study in such schools whose students are subjected to such inhuman treatment. These students are after all human beings. One expected that the people who had protested against cruelty to a dog should have objected to cruelty to these 200 students too.
It is one’s personal choice to opt for aerobics or yogic exercises or any other. There is also the choice of enjoying the luxury of sound sleep in the morning. How a person lives is a private affair. The problem is that propagating Yog is now part of broader agenda of the saffron brigade.
Ramdev took up this agenda at a massive scale by turning his camps semi-political with propaganda unleashed against the UPA government. Now he can be counted among big business people in the country, such is the exponential rise of his business empire.
Not to digress from the main issue. The government, whether at the centre or in the states, must enact legislation to save school boys and girls from this cruelty by the government itself.