Punjab election 2017, PM Narender Modi and BJP president Amit Shah exhorts people of Punjab to vote on the basis of ‘National security and safety.’ At first glance, this exhortation looked out of place and strange. While Punjab suffers from a serious crisis in both agriculture and industry, high unemployment, youth affected by drug menace, cultural degradation and above all hopelessness, talk of ‘national security’ seemed irrelevant and a usual cacophony. But two days later the bomb blast at Maur Mandi, targeting Harminder Jassi of Congress a relative of Dera Sacha Sauda Chief, brought many memories to mind. The blast had killed six, mostly children and injured nine, in a meeting where Jassi was departing after a speech with what is now popularly known as and whatever it means, the Z security. The IED blast could have been carried only with some expertise. The firing as initially reported, has yet to be confirmed.
Shall it be an isolated incidence?
If so what should it mean for Punjab?
All the three main contenders for power Akali-BJP, Congress and AAP jumped upon the opportunity, the first two blaming Kejriwal’s AAP for courting Sikh militants and bringing back militancy while Kejriwal pointed finger at Sukhbir Badal and demanded his arrest.
The elections are at the fag-end and the likelihood of the kind of violence that may happen can be on the day of polling, of or about, votes and booths.
Whatever, a point has been made, that Punjab must remain in fear,
militancy is there and so will be ‘national security’ and ‘police raj’.and attempts to continue to further polarise the badly fractured punjabi society and polity.
This highlights the duplicity of the established parties like
SAD-BJP and Congress to sweep the dark decades of Punjab especially the Blue Star operation, Delhi riots of the year 1984, killings of Hindus and extra-judicial murders of Sikh youth in fake encounterts under the carpet by asking Punjabi’s to forget and at the same time rake up the threat of militancy or threat to national security whenever it suits them.
This precisely is the reason these established parties have aborted the justice to the victims, are not interested in the closure of these issues and bury the demons. Keeping these festering wounds open has become their pivotal political interest. This comes handy whenever they are confronted with public rage over their policies and they conveniently invoke fears of militancy and insecurity giving police enormous powers such that Punjab has a Police raj and infested with mafias in every field of Punjab economy. They hold onto the stick of ‘national security’ a handy tool all these decades to derail and brow beat any grievance or protest of Punjab people.
The only solution to this unsavory situation is to raise an unequivocal demand for a 'Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission' broadly on the pattern of Post- Apartheid ‘ Truth and Reconciliation Commission' as was done in South Africa after end of Apartheid but with addition of Justice and some more provisions necessary for Punjab and for events related but happened outside Punjab.
The people of Punjab understood the game plan of these established political parties and hit them with double anti-incumbency in 2014 parliamentary elections by throwing their lot with AAP as an alternative and for relief from their woes.
Who now does not want the veil over Punjab wounds to be lifted?
First, it is AAP. Except for forming an SIT into 1984 riots in its first ‘avtaar’ in Delhi it has not raised demand for or promised any Commission a ‘Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission’ that may exhume the ghosts of the past and bury them after a proper ‘Bhog’. AAP instead has resorted to be on the hush-hush as regards the dark decades, harking only for ‘punishments’ for culprits of Be-adbi incidents. Under the noise and fury of banishing ‘Badals’ Kejriwal has tried brokering a deal with the Panthik organizations of various shades for SGPC elections in lieu of support in Vidhan Sabha elections and in the process has very smartly and conveniently forgot the whole list of perpetual injustices meted out and wounds inflicted in the body of Punjab while government of various hues at Delhi. He thus has relegated the serious issues of Punjab most importantly the issue of ownership of Punjab on its waters and hydel projects, to the back burner, bringing to the fore his own face ‘Chahata hai Punjab, Kejriwal’.
Four posers must be put to Kejriwal:
1. What steps he will take to decriminalize and de-politicize Punjab Police ?
2. Does he support Punjab Claim on its waters as per Riparian Priniciples ?
3. What steps will he take to make India a genuinely federal country both in letter and spirit?
4. Where does he stand on the demand for “A truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission” by an act of Parliament, to give a proper burial to the events and wounds, Punjab suffered from during years of the greatest post partition Turmoil, between 1978-1995.
Secondly, is it that, the clergy and members of SGPC who though in deep pain over ‘be-adbi’ and denigration of Sikh institutions by Shiromni Akali Dal, have a short-sighted view on Sikh issues and want to climb up the ladder to cash rich SGPC through this tie up.
Without going into whether it is an act of Omnission and commission, this opportunist tie up has helped AAP to gloss
this over the travails and tribulations of punjabis and bury the issues, faced by them
Mr. Kejriwal is duty-bound to tell the people of punjab as to what on the earth has he done, so as to earn"Chahta hai punjab Kejriwal "
Dr. Dharamvira Gandhi, MP
Feb 3 ,2017
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