How Punjabis can sustain Punjabiyat

IN the past 50 years, Punjab had been ahead of the rest of India in agriculture, economic growth and living standards. Unfortunately, now Punjab has taken a backstage. There is more empty noise about Punjabiyat and false pride on past achievements than forward-looking planning.

Biotechnology and information technology have bypassed Punjab. The land is becoming increasingly saline; the water-table has receded. Dengue fever has come into the state from changed ecology and environmental pollution, and new unknown viral diseases break out in big cities that are overpopulated. Most Punjab cities are dirty and filthy and have traffic jams with noise, and diesel fumes are the order of the day.

The needs of Punjab and the ethics of Punjabiyat are now miles apart. Punjabis have been let down by successive governments, each more corrupt than the previous one. Instead of focusing on socio-economic issues, there seems to be increasing emphasis on religious institutions and their role in politics. The politicians are too busy clamouring for power than striving for the good of Punjabis.




There is a flood of migrant labour, who share living space, sewerage, water, air, social facilities, buses, trains and schools and keep on lowering the average economic standard and hygiene. While there is need for cheap labour, the infrastructure to accommodate them is limited to jhugi-jhonpris. This is accompanied by filth, piles of garbage, stray cattle, petty crime, begging, and even defecation along the roads and footpaths (the Jagraon bridge in Ludhiana is a typical example). Encroachment by these poor migrants and beggars is common place in all the big and small cities in the state.

We Punjabis need to wake up to the reality if we want to sustain Punjabiyat!

DR B.S. AHLOOWALIA, Vienna, Austria

Aishwarya’s unique persona

By voting Aishwarya Rai as the Most Attractive Woman of 2003, the readers of the UK-based “Hello!” magazine have only affirmed what has long been well known worldwide — that she is the most beautiful and bewitching of them all (Jan 18).

There is something unique and distinctive in Aishwarya’s persona that singularly sets her apart from others and puts her on a much higher pedestal. In demeanour and deportment as indeed in preferences and priorities, she remains a paragon of dignity, modesty and virtue befitting a cultured, accomplished lady. A faint beatific smile forever adorning her face, she is coy yet cool; seemingly reticent yet expressively responsive; and, yes, perhaps a bit conventional yet eminently cosmopolitan.

Harmonising the best of the classical and the contemporary charm, Aishwarya epitomises the beauty of body and mind alike coupled with an unerring intellect. She reflects the lofty traditions of the Indian womanhood.

Wg-Cdr S.C. KAPOOR (retd), Noida

Stop at Sirhind

Railway Minister Nitish Kumar is requested to issue instructions to the officers concerned to stop all trains at Sirhind. This station leads to the place where two Sahibzadas of Shri Guru Gobind Singh were buried alive at Fatehgarh Sahib. For Muslims, it is Roza Shareef and for Jains, it is Chakreswari Devi Mandir. Sirhind, which borders Himachal Pradesh, also leads to Gurdwara Kiratpur Sahib.

The importance of Sirhind in the coming weeks can be gauged by the fact that the 500th birth anniversary of Shri Guru Angad Dev falls on April 18, 2004; the 400th anniversary of Parkash of Guru Granth Sahib at Amritsar falls on September 1, 2004; and the 300th Shaheedi Purab of Sahibzadas of Shri Guru Gobind Singh falls on December 25, 2004. As the Lok Sabha elections are also fast approaching, the people of Sirhind and Mandi Gobindgarh appeal to the authorities to stop all trains at Sirhind with immediate effect.


In the right direction

It is heartening to know that India and Pakistan are moving forward in the right direction. My Pakistani friends here in Oman and I used to talk often of how childishly our politicians behaved, blaming each other for any problem that occurred in our respective countries.

It is perhaps for the first time that the politicians have shown some maturity and agreed not to pass comments which can harm or hinder the current peace process. It would be better to talk to each other on the hotline instead of blaming each other in the media and creating ill-feelings all around. If both our countries can live peacefully like Canada and the US, there will surely be prosperity which we can all be proud of.

DEEP INDER, Lecturer in English, Majan College, Darsayt,

Sultanate of Oman Devoid of principles

This refers to the editorial “Sangma’s solo” (Jan 19). The position of former Lok Sabha Speaker P.A. Sangma is devoid of any principles. The only principle he is citing is his opposition to Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s leadership.

In the coming elections, the main issue is secularism. If the NDA comes out much stronger in the coming elections, it could do much harm to secularism. Even the NCP’s national convention highlighted this danger in its political resolution.

In this larger context, the fact that Mr Sangma has joined the NDA will help the BJP. The observation in the editorial that “nothing could be more pleasing for the BJP, which traditionally has not enjoyed any support in the region, than to have a piggyback ride, courtesy Mr Sangma’s brainchild”, is apt.


Only for the Family

If newspaper reports were to bear scrutiny, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi are all set to join the Congress. The century-old Congress has once again proved that it is only the “Family” that matters most in the party’s scheme of things. The Congress has become a party of bosses instead of masses.

M.P.S. RANDHAWA, Dhapai (Kapurthala)


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |