Year 1984 Dorangla, a small border hamlet in the District Gurdaspur, Punjab : a kid of about four years had swallowed a ten Paisa coin, that coin had led to a family’s grind with the times they were in, the coin had to be flushed out of the child’s system either by force feeding roughage to him that would eventually flush out the foreign object with the normal bowel movement or else the child would have to be operated upon. The child’s father, himself a doctor, struggled to convince the child to eat as the four years old would only eat what he liked and the modest, reticent quintessential middle class surroundings hadn’t provided the child with choices of imagination, a homely, simple “banana” was all that he asked for.
Not much of a struggle buying some bananas for the child, isn’t it? read the “year” again, 1984, Operation Blue-star was on and entire punjab was barricaded, curfew imposed, none could move out and risk of being shot at by the security forces in this situation was pretty much justifiable. Man rode his picayune little Bajaj scooter to scout for “Bananas”, pleading and convincing the Security Forces at every check post but the market too was shut down. That being a small hamlet, people generally knew each other and certainly, the Senior Medical Officer was known in the area and it helped, he knocked some doors and was guided to the home of a local fruit vendor, he finally had in his possession those cherished “bananas”.
Those “bananas” won’t justifiably narrate the ordeal that every family in the state had to endure, there would have been people ailing, in need of medical treatment, pregnant and in need of medical attention and many situations one can’t imagine as a routine.
That wasn’t all, there were killings, selective killings of the innocent by militants, innocents in crossfire, militants and security forces in encounters, all our people, people of Punjab, citizens of India.
Being a non-partisan, wouldn’t get into the origin of the turmoil and how our “friendly” neighbor milked the situation which was in tune with its “bleed by thousand cuts” policy against India. All i know is any fight needs a “just cause” to fuel the fight by providing the valuable motivation and that just cause is either just there owing to prevailing circumstances or is manufactured/ tailored to fit to the fight.
One can stitch together some instances to make a “just cause” in the instant case however utmost that made to everyone’s ears was “1984”, that genocide against Sikhs in Delhi, undoubtedly heinous, dastardly and was irreversible damage to the integrity of the nation. That led to loss of faith of Sikhs in the very bedrock of our existence as a nation, the unity. Damage was done and each member of the mob involved in those killings owns the culpability of the damage, drugged by political vengeance and being shepherded by corrupt politicians, damage can’t be undone but justice could have been done in time, justice could have alleviated the pain a little.
Justice lingered! notwithstanding, Punjab saw the dawn of new era in early 90s, an era of newfound vitality, normalcy and growth. Militancy ended and that ended all attributable to the patriotism and the faith in democracy amongst the people. Yet again Punjab proved that it was vibrant, patriot and nationalistic.
Justice lingered! that generation which endured it all, died waiting to see the culprits on gallows and here is the next generation of gel fed paddy haired couch potatoes given a life at ease by the parents who did sweat for each penny earned. Quick to hop on to any nonsense trending on social media, their ears fed “racial pride” on a regimen by the Canada returned pop Punjabi singers. Cacophony of the word “jatt”, that word fills the lyrics of every second trending song, makes the title of majority of the movies and racial pride is fed all day without anyone paying much heed to the perils of it. The “Bhindranwala” stickers on cars is “pride” without even knowing what those dark times meant.
Rudderless ‘STATE’ of affairs and a view through the windscreen!Driven through Punjab lately? Always believed a road trip tells you about the society like nothing else and to my dismay,I learnt that my state doesn’t seem ushering into delightful future. That ain’t amusing to drive through cities draped in billboards calling people to the blue collared ghettos of the the west.
IELTS and some random exam a decent fifth grader can get across, fill the everyday starry eyed dreams of the youth, study in canada and be a blue collared lackey for life is the fine print on every hoarding. Youth ready to jump into any random boat to west, girls prepared to marry any nincompoop, CREDENTIAL-LESS peacock haired NRI.
Presence in Olympic squad has diminished, land holdings are squeezed and farms are under pressure for yield and so is urea and pesticides pumping bulk into the crop turning to poison, PRIDE?? we have a special cancer train running, thats unique to this land itself.
RUDDERLESS…yeah the youth defines where the state would head from here on and that youth in entirety is being shepherded to CANADA and the failure to make it to the wonderland, lack of growth in farming owing to pushed to the corner soil and limited holdings and a lack of industrialization generates apt candidates for drug addiction. Imagine a situation if countries like Canada too shut their doors to the brownskin, pretty likely the way right wing governments of west are thinking of saving their turf. To top it all the state has been nurturing low intensity conflict likelyhood by letting khalistani propaganda go unabated for years.
What does the sinister concoction of unemployment, lack of direction, organised drug peddling and abuse, over the brim racial pride and consistent radicalisation leads to, doesn’t take a brainer for guesses……you have a perfect breeding ground for militancy and chaos.
Its vibrant, its ripe and its up for takers, that is Punjab today. The “just cause” still exists, the ingrate “friendly” neighbor still exists empowered by the reach of social media on a cell phone network. Is there some one observing the gravity of the situation and the turn it could take with the Khalistani “referendum 2020” on the anvil. Its only upto the “elected” representatives to reach out to the youth and give them a fresh direction. Is there someone with intent????
well, this only a citizen’s concern, dump it if you feel so, consider if you can!