Amritsar, 16 February (2022) When a wide spectrum of politicians including the Akali Dal (SAD), former Punjab Chief Minister Amrinder Singh toeing the ultra-nationalist line opposed the opening of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor, Navjot Singh Sidhu withstanding the ruling elite’s pressure stood for the corridor and better relations with Pakistan in November 2019.
It is pertinent to note that in 1961 the Indian government had given 12 border villages in exchange to Pakistan to secure the latter’s land in the border area where the bodies of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his companions were cremated. But neither SAD nor the Sikh gurdwara body, SGPC took a cue from that development and never fought for the opening of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor. They did not bother that since the Partition, the Sikhs have been praying daily for unrestricted ‘darshan’ of gurdwaras left in Pakistan and Kartarpur Sahib, the fountainhead of Sikhism where Baba Nanak lived for 17 years till his end and developed and practiced Sikh tenets and principles.
It may be recalled that the politics of hyper-nationalism thriving on religious and communal vulnerabilities of different communities had divided Punjab in 1947 which destroyed one million lives and uprooted another eight million Punjabis on both sides of the Redcliffe borderline drawn in haste. That seven-decade-old communally laced “‘Rashtrawadi” politics is still being advocated and practiced by all those parties which are opposing Navjot seeking election to the Punjab assembly from Amritsar (east). The Punjabis should not be oblivious that it was that politics characterized as ‘Hindutva’ which had already polarised the Punjabi society in the 1980s causing heavy bloodshed while rendering the Sikhs as the target of genocidal attacks in several parts of the country.
Secondly, the Hindutva politics have all along been portraying Pakistan as an inimical neighbor and fenced the borders falling in Punjab to whip up a communal frenzy and to consolidate the Hindu majority support for it. But this politics has ruined the Punjab economy by closing centuries-old trade with Pakistan up to Central Asia.
Punjab’s economy could only be regenerated if Wahgha and Hussainiwala border passages be opened to boost trade with Pakistan and beyond. And only Navjot is openly fighting for opening the trade routes to enable Punjabis to sell their surplus crops and perishable commodities like vegetables and fruits in Pakistan and Central Asia markets.
Navjot should be supported by all well-meaning Punjabis as mafias controlling drugs/ narcotics, liquor, and sand mining business in the states have formed a coalition to defeat him at every cost. These mafias patronized by heavyweight SAD and Congress leaders have destroyed Punjab resulting in an unannounced exodus of the youth from the debt-ridden and pauperized Punjab.
Besides that, Navjot upstaged the 25-year old dynastic rule of two families in land-locked Punjab by his sustained fight against their collusive grip which was aided and abetted by the New Delhi rulers. Capt Amrinder Singh has now been reduced to a political non-entity. And Navjot has not deviated an inch from his “Punjab Agenda” implementation which could bring far-reaching changes in the governance of Punjab while all other parties including his own party leaders are interested only in superficial reforms.
Keeping all this in mind, all well-wishers of Punjab particularly the voters of his constituency must support Navjot to end the mafia rule and save Punjabis from smugglers whose lust has turned Punjabis into drug addicts and ruined the future generation.
Participants in the meeting included: Prof Sham Singh, Senior journalist Jaspal Singh Sidhu, Er. Gurpal Singh Sidhu, Gurbachan Singh Editor Des Punjab, Surinder Singh Kishanpur, Rajwinder Singh Rahi, Er. Sunider Singh and Navtej Singh.
Issued: Khushhal Singh, General Secretary Kendri Sri Guru Singh Sabha
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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