PUNJAB, THAT STRETCHED FROM ATTOCK TO GURGAON, WAS COMPARED TO A ROSE AMONG THE FLOWERS IN A GARDEN.
FIRST THE MUSLIMS CAME IN, AND THEN BANDIT NEHRU FINISHED OFF THE JOB.
WEST PUNJAB FOLLOWED MU'D ALI JINN AND EAST PUNJAB FOLLOWED MK GANDHI. BOTH WERE BORN IN GUJARAT.
PUNJAB SHOULD HAVE FOLLOWED NETAJI SUBHASH CHANDRA BOSE, IF NOT GURU GOBIND SINGH.
IN THE EVENT, BOTH BENGAL AND PUNJAB WERE LEFT PARTITIONED, DIVIDED, RAPED AND BLEEDING. A TERRIBLE PUNISHMENT TO THE DAMN FOOLS FOR DUMPING GOBIND AND NETAJI.
.........Where did we lose that proud Punjabi spirit?
....................... Chandra Mohan
Ever since I was born in Lahore in 1932, one thought was repeatedly grilled into me by my parents; teachers, friends and the entire community: we were the inheritors of a proud, courageous and fun-loving clan which drove hard. And, it was at both work and play. Schooling and college in Ferozepur drilled this conviction deeper.Punjabis fought through the roughest of situations with a smile and conquered. Defeat was not in their book.
Partition was a living proof of this great inheritance.
(NB: NOTE THE DETACHED VIEW OF PARTITION. THERE IS NO SIGN OF HUMILIATION THROUGH DEFEATS AND SURRENDERS, THERE IS NO WISH TO FIND OUT AND PUNISH THE CRIMINALS, THERE IS NO ANGER AT THE LOSS OF LAHORE. THERE IS NO COMMENT ON THE LOYALTY OF MUSLIMS THEN OR NOW. HINDUS AND SIKHS ARE SUCH COWS EVEN TODAY. THEY SIMPLY DO NOT RELATE TO TERRITORY AND LIKE THE CATTLE CAN BE DRIVEN FROM ONE PASTURE, E.G., WEST PUNJAB TO ANOTHER, I.E., EAST PUNJAB. DISPLACE ONE PALESTINIAN AND SEE HIM FIGHTING TO GET BACK. DISPLACE FIFTEEN MILLION HINDUS AND NOT ONE ASPIRES TO SEE RAWALPINDI OR MULTAN AGAIN. NO WONDER IT IS SO EASY FOR THE NON HINDUS, E.G., SONIA KHAN, TO RIDE THEM FOR EVER.)
Vivid is still the image of the smiles and sky-rending "jaykaras" of Bharatmata Ki Jai" of carawans of five million refugees which we received at the Hussainiwala border in 1947. They had lost every material possession. Families of many, had been wiped out. Graduates plied rickshaws, sold vegetables and did shoe-shining to earn enough to spare for the evening classes. Never a whimper. No begging. Whatever the vocation, the evening was full of loud laughter and songs. Within a couple of years, everyone had begun a new life. In a few years, the entire community, wherever it had migrated to, had become a prosperous and valued component of their new communities; language, food, religion no bar.
Lesson from those experiences became part of the sub-conscious mechanisms of my mind. Self-reliance. Self-confidence. Never say die. Readiness for fun. That spirit only grew deeper over the years.
The main reason of my leaving a smooth and prestigious career in the Railways in 1965 was in that same mould. Their inaction on the implementation of my research during my spell with the RDSO. Had they moved ahead on the improvement solutions proved in prototype trials, high-speed Shatabadis would have come at least a decade earlier and the riding quality of Indian coaches would have matched that of European TGV. We would have saved the fancy monies that we shelled for LHB coach-technology to the European consortium a few years ago. And, the pity is that despite fancy prices, a ride in the new LHB coaches is nowhere as promised. In many ways, it is poorer than our 50-year-old horse.
In 1970, the same never-say-die spirit again breathed life into Swaraj and gave birth to PTL. Swaraj had been rejected at the highest level of the land in New Delhi: still in prototype-stage; unproven; not a chance of survival against global names. PTL not only survived, but grew in the face of competition of every hue and colour. It rose into a blue-chip and outshone the best.
A wider exposure to the real-world in the three decades of PTL only steeled my conviction that in today's world of brutal competition, social and political clout was totally dependent upon technological and economic might. and this held true, whether it was a nation or business. There are no free lunches and beggars can never be choosers. Recounting past glories and sermonising is hollow and deluding yourself. Nobody cares a damn. The world just laughs you away. You soon become a forgotten non-entity.
If such indomitable spirit was our inheritance, I was hurt to the core when we turned into beggars a few years ago. Wild profigacy. Freebies galore and on an unending run. Begging did not stop at one round. The moment "kamandal" Round 1 got filled, out began Round 2. A new cause, a new style. The chain became endless. To the begging run was added borrowing through every possible avenue. Cost or damage was no consideration. Junk bonds is the name for such borrowing in financial parlance. In a matter of a few years, not only our own, but the future of our great grandchildren had even been purloined.
And pray, what for? Just for today's pleasure and lifestyle for a privileged few. A once proud and affluent community has been brought down to its knees. It is left with no choice but to beg for lunch. State income does not even cover Revenue expenses; forget spare cash for investment for a better future.
As a Punjabi of the old school, I would not relish making the souls of my forefathers hang their heads in shame. They will never forgive us.
Time to get onto the recovery trail is still available. It is time we all wake up to rebuild Punjab as a collective enterprise in the heritage of our forefathers. Sacrifice of today's pleasures is an essential ingredient of this rebuilding.
But then, just vision the smiles that our endeavours will bring to our children and then, their children. they will bless us for the legacy of the happier world that we leave behind. What greater reward can a man seek?
The writer is a former Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Punjab Tractors Ltd.
Editorial, The Tribune, Chandigarh.
.. 6 March 2002
TODAY THE PUNJABIS, LIKE THE REST OF ENSLAVED HINDUSTAN, ARE UNDER THE FOOT OF SONIA KHAN, AND ARE ABOUT TO GO UNDER THE FOOT OF A NEW RASHTRAPATI DR. MOHAMMED ABDUL KALAM, A MOHAMMEDAN THROUGH AND THROUGH.
TO SUGGEST TO HIM TO EMBRACE HINDUISM IS TO GET A SPIT IN YOUR FACE. TO ALL THOSE HINDUS PRAISING HIS SECULARISM, JUST TRY IT! ALL THE CONCESSIONS BY THE DEFEATED AND DEMORALISED NATION OF HINDUS ARE ONLY ONE WAY.