On Diwali, the Supreme Court has imposed a ban on bursting of crackers in the National Capital Region, a ban that has prompted many bans at the state level. In Punjab also, the pataka spirit has been dampened. In Chandigarh, where the Badals and the Amarinders play their political games, the administration has discouraged patake-baazi by restricting sales.
BUT we at PUNJAB TODAY are all for PATAKKAS – what’s a festival without some loud crackers? So, here are some real PATAKKA points we offer to two of our top political leaders. They can burst all these crackers which will make a loud thunderous sound and shed immense light on past and contemporary history of Punjab.
Happy Diwali from Punjab Today.
Captain Amarinder Singh can burst the following crackers:
1. He should educate Rahul Gandhi why it is very important for the morale of the Indian Army that the Major who tied a Kashmiri young man to the bonnet of a jeep and paraded him around as a human shield should be awarded the medal of bravery. He should send a copy of his article on the subject to Rahul Gandhi and insist that it be put up on the AICC website for the party to discuss.
2. In the interest of transparency, he can put up all the details of the ED case against him online, along with all the news stories that have appeared in this regard so that people can judge how he and his family is being hounded by the BJP government.
3. Amarinder also needs to release the massive details of his impressive work as Deputy Leader of the Opposition for months in Lok Sabha. For some reasons, these details are a little sketchy and the electorate would really like to assess Amarinder Singh’s sharp skills as a law maker and articulator of the people’s concern in the house of elected representatives of India.
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4. Amarinder Singh needs to underline his touching faith in the innocence of Rana Gurjit Singh, and both should go together to Sri Darbar Sahib and state it on oath that they believe in each other’s innocence. This will convince any cynic like Sukhpal Singh Khaira and end the debate about sand mines scam.
5. Every morning, Amarinder Singh should start releasing a list of people who got jobs under his watch. When it becomes unwieldy, his MLAs can take over the job in their respective seats. Since the list is currently small – a bunch of advisors and OSDs, and people in the extended family of late Beant Singh – the CM can even afford to read it out aloud from the ramparts of the Moti Bagh Palace.
6. Amarinder should explain the wisdom behind never ever, not even once, speaking his mind on the issue of hyper nationalism, Jan Gan Man in cinema houses, Ghar Wapsi, Love Jihad, Akhlaq to Pehlu Khan, the killing of Junaid, the disappearance of Najeeb, the ban on books, theatre, paintings, movies; anything that can perturb his party’s sworn rival, the BJP.
7. Amarinder has never ever even uttered the word "RSS”. He should either explain that his views are exactly the views expressed by Rahul Gandhi, or that he does not agree with Rahul Gandhi, or that his views are somewhat at variance with the views of Rahul Gandhi, in which case he needs to elaborate.
8. Amarinder Singh must explain his views on the issue of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat.
9. Amarinder Singh should explain if his good friend Harminder Jassi had any inkling of the criminal activities taking place in the dera at Sirsa. After all, Jassi had access to the man currently in jail for rape and Amarinder had immense access to Jassi. It is difficult to assume the friends were not keeping each other informed.
10. Amarinder Singh should put up online the letter signed by 40 MLAs, and explain why they are right, or why they are wrong, and what is he doing about their demand. After all, if 40 MLAs sign on a written piece of paper, it is an important document, and a very official one, even if it says Happy B’Day. Rumours are that it said stuff far more unpalatable.
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Parkash Singh Badal can burst the following crackers and enhance his stature as a veteran statesman who wants politics to be a business about truth and nothing but the truth
1. He should tell the Sikh community why he stopped cutting the word "Sikh” mentioned in Article 25 (b) from copies of the Constitution as he did at one point in time.
2. He should pick up the phone and dial Nagpur (or Mohan Bhagwat) and tell them that Sikhs are a "Vakhri Quom” and that no one should dare club them with Hindus. In case he wants to aim low, he can call Sambit Patra.
3. He should say whether he agrees to the Akal Takht diktat that RSS is the Number 1 enemy of the Sikhs, or he has a different number?
4. He should say whether he wants more funds and community support for the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, or he wants a ban on its activities?
5. Parkash Singh Badal should explain whether India is a "commonwealth of autonomous states" or a "union of sovereign states" and also if he wants Punjab as an "independent and sovereign state for Sikhs"? All statements have been duly made by him and reported in the media. Alongside his claim that India had a retrograde political system and structure, also duly reported.
6. On January 11, 1988, Parkash Singh Badal demanded special status for Sikhs. Badal, who was heading Unified Akali Dal, which was formed after amalgamating various Akali factions, said, "Granting of a special status would alone help solve the Punjab problem." Has he now discovered that his assessment was slightly off the mark and as CM, he learnt that solutions to problems can be found without such special status to a religious community?
7. The Times of India reported on January 12, 1988, quoting Badal as charging the Union government of backing out of commitments made to Sikhs during various All India Congress Committee sessions. Has that anomaly been rectified? Or does he plan to take it up with his good friend, Mr Narendra Modi?
8. On April 23, 1991 while announcing his split from IPS officer-turned-politician Simranjit Singh Mann — whose supremacy Badal had accepted after his Akali faction was reduced to irrelevance in the 1989 parliamentary elections — and reviving his own outfit, Badal asserted, "His party was bound by the resolution adapted at Damdama Sahib on Baisakhi Day demanding the right to self-determination for Sikhs, since the resolution was moved with our consent." The Times of India report titled, "Badal breaks away from Mann group," on April 24 mentioned that when he was asked about his stand on the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, Badal said, "We have now gone beyond the resolution, the country should be union of sovereign states."
Mr Badal can burst some crackers by explaining if and when his party plans to move a resolution in this regard in the Parliament.
9. In April 1992, Badal along with Simranjit Singh Mann and late Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra signed a memorandum that was to be submitted to UN secretary general Boutros Boutros Ghali who was visiting New Delhi on April 22, 1992. The memorandum demanded UN intervention in Punjab and also demanded "independence." However, they were arrested by police in Delhi at the gate of Gurdwara Rakabganj. Does Mr Badal now feel that there is enough independence or does he plan to wipe the slate clean by conceding that it was mere showmanship?
10. Mr Badal can actually burst the biggest cracker by demanding from the friendly Central government a judge-monitored CBI inquiry into any corruption during his regime in Punjab so that the good name of the House of Badals and his government is not besmirched.
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