Date: 30 Mar 2012


SHATTERED IMAGE OF INDIA DUE TO HER MALICE TOWARDS THE PUNJAB.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ 31 Mar 12. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ AN ESTEEMED CONTRIBUTION\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Dear Sir/Madam, \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ As the world looks at India with awe and envy at its economic growth, including its role in the BRIC countries and the rate at which new policies are being churned out, many have been taken by surprise by the current situation regarding Balwant Singh Rajoana. The case, apart from being controversial, has opened the proverbial can of worms. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ During my recent trip to the Punjab, I witnessed a semblance of stability and a much improved quality of life. In fact, I contemplated living there, my home-land. Furthermore, I saw a renewed consciousness among the people: they looked much more confident in their pursuits, more confident in their identity, faith and belief. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ I sighed relief as I thought peace at last had come to the people of Punjab who had suffered much pain for a generation. One could recall the wiping out of half a generation including innocent young men who were kidnapped as well as the “fake” encounters, torture cells and pogroms engineered by Congress Party officials the likes of Jagdish Tytler, Amitabh Bachan and others. This highlighted a sense of injustice and gross violation of human rights. It also reflected there was one law for the establishment figures and another for the victims. Implicitly, the Punjab, the ‘step son’ of India, has been subjected to abuse in the country’s judicial system, thereby creating a Sikh wounded psyche. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ When I came back to the UK, during a presentation comprising 13 senior school leaders, I spoke glowingly of India’s education and economic successes. I even reflected on President Obama’s assertion of scientific and technological advancement. During my stay in the Punjab, I made links with various educational institutions as well as an NGO, since my mission was to connect with young people involving a partnership between those of India and the UK. The idea was to learn from each other, in academic, spiritual, moral, social and educational terms. “Who knows”, I thought to myself, “these young people of (13 inner city schools) might one day end up working in India.” \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Yet only last week I learnt about Balwant Singh Rajoana’s dilemma that made the news. I read about his principles including his refusal of clemency. I thought this is the man who reflected Guru Gobind Singh’s doctrine of courage of steel, a principled position against all odds as well as a truth seeker and a ‘saint soldier’. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ I supported the universality of his mission- his letters bespeak for thousands who perished in the Bhopal Disaster as well as those Muslims killed in Gujarat. In effect he is a tireless spokesperson for the sacrosanct nature of human life irrespective of the individual. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Therefore, if life is, indeed, precious then why did Balwant Singh plan the assassination of Beant Singh, the Chief Minister of Punjab, at the time, 17 years ago? \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Beant Singh was a Joseph Kony ‘type’ of tyrant used by the Indian Government to flush acts of ‘terrorism’, (real or imagined). His job was made easy, since all young men were targets of terrorist atrocities hence they disappeared. Those officials who committed the most heinous of crimes were rewarded heavily with material largesse. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ It is a popular assertion by the people of Punjab that the murder of Beant Singh created the emergence of peace over time, with fear being lifted. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ The question is, as human beings of different religions or creeds, how human are we really? Should we execute a man who feels strongly about his moral duty, or ought we to deify him as a Hero? \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ 000000000 =