Poli-tics: It is as simple as that
- harcharan bains*
Poli-tics: It is as simple as that

When you lose in life, the first weakness you must --MUST -- resist is the temptation to blame it on everything except one's own mistakes or find excuses for one's own shortcomings. Every failure can always be traced back to something or the other we did wrong in life. There are no villains in failure except one's own inability to understand and deal with a challenge. This is the only way I know to be fair to life, to oneself and to one's rivals.
I have been sportsperson and in sports, you always respect your rival. If you lose, you must grant that you lost to a better player.
It saddens me these days to see some people blaming their failure in elections on the poor judgment of the people of Punjab. These are the very people for whom till yesterday we were claiming to fight, and the very people whom we were praising to the skies. I don't believe people are ever wrong . Its just that their judgement does not always tally with ours or it doesn't suit our personal prejudices and even interests. We must learn to respect the people in whose name we claim to be so fond of being in public life.
For us in the SAD, although we lost this election and lost it disgracefully, I would rather go back to the drawing board and look at where I was wrong and why we could not retain the confidence of the masses. Its certainly not fair - in fact, it is a sin - to blame our failure on the poor taste or mental caliber of the people as I see some friends doing these days on Facebook and elsewhere .
If people have rejected us, it is because they did not find us good for our job. And the only reason for that is that something was lacking in our effort. It is as simple as that.
I am satisfied that we did a lot of good work in the government and took Punjab to heights that no one had even imagined ten years ago. I am confident that this will be appreciated in retrospect. As Dr Manmohan Singh once said very beautifully," I hope history will be more kind to me than the present has been." He was right. And I think even we will be be vindicated. I am very confident that people will slowly begin to appreciate the good work we did. But that will not wash the stains of our failure to rise to their expectations. The causes of that failure lie in our own conduct and not in the judgement of the people.
Whatever the people have done is not only right but also perhaps the only thing that is good for Punjab in the long run. This is what Guru Gobind SIngh ji taughtus: the Sangat is always right and is always sovereign. He placed Sangat ( the people) above even the Gurus. This is a tough ideal to live up to. But the only period to test one's ability to do so is in times of failure. We in the SAD wish the new comers all success, and that what we must do if we love Punjab and not just our own opinions and interests. The new comers must be given time and chance to prove themselves. If they don't prove themselves good enough, then we can always trust the people to do the right thing towards them and bring somebody else in. If people find us good enough at that time, they will not hold this present failure against us. We in the opposition must prepare ourselves to be more worthy of the people's love and trust. I salute the decision of the people of Punjab even though at present it might hurt me or might seem very harsh to me. I think in the long run, its a good thing for everyone concerned.
I will continue to help the party in every possible way. There is a lot to recommend my party which a few mistakes will not be able to cloud forever. People may in their anger have punished the party but If we behave better, we will be treated better. As simple as that. People are never wrong.
My suggestion to my friends in all parties who have lost is: Love everyone, regardless of their opinion or political affiliation. We do not love Punjab if we are abusing the judgment and wisdom of Punjabis . The language which some of my NRI friends are using against Punjabis now is not in good taste at all. Please don't do it. Your opinion is valuable and we respect you for caring about us and about your state so much. But in the end, you must concede that only the people here know what is good for Punjab. Your opinion certainly cannot be wiser than the collective wisdom of the people of Punjab. Why must we think that it is not the people but we who know what is best for them. This is an arrogant and dictatorial mindset: my way or the highway. Please don't do this. We love you and we need you. We always will. You are so precious because you have seen better life, better culture, better everything. Have patience with us even when we are wrong. We are the Punjab which you love. Lets us keep working for a better tomorrow. Punjab will be the loser if Punjabis don't love and respect one another.
My sole justification for writing this seemingly political post is the large number of inboxes I have received, asking me to speak out my opinion on the current situation. Still , this is not a partisan post. This is not about Congress, AAP or Akalis. They are all Punjabis. In the end, if we love and respect Punjab, the only way to express it is through love for Punjabis and respect for their judgment and opinions. May Guru bless all of us with the light of wisdom that leads to happiness and peace.

* Advisor to Former Chief Minister Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal


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