I WOULD wish to plead with Capt. Amarinder Singh CM of Punjab that personal prejudices must be kept aside while addressing bigger issues concerning the community and the Nation. Canada enjoys very special status among the comity of Nations, which have made tremendous contribution to accommodate Punjabi Diasporas suitably and honorably as the host country.
Every single family of Punjab is connected with its family members, relations and friends settled in Canada or are in a process to settle in Canada. Canada being multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual country of Commonwealth has provided huge occupational opportunities to the Punjabi's in terms of business and gainful employment.
Therefore I would wish that Amarinder Singh as CM of Punjab should address this delicate issue differently in the larger interest of Punjab. The exalted positions occupied by Punjabi's and the Sikhs in the council of Minister led by Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister has a delicate emotional connect with the psyche of the people of Punjab back home.
Therefore in the backdrop of the entirety of the issue and emotions of the Sikh community Capt. Amarinder Singh must show some resilience in his hardened tough stand on not meeting Harjit Singh Sajjan the Defense Minister of Canada visiting Punjab. I also wish to caution the Chief Minister and the Congress party that the issue in discussion has the volatile potential to completely isolate Amarinder Singh in person and Congress as a political organization.
Though I'm not big fan of Narinder Modi but I would like to mention here a pertinent point; Modi was denied Visa to visit US for so many years as Chief Minister of Gujarat by the US administration, but when he became Prime Minister and visited USA as Prime Minister of India, he never allowed the previous cussedness to reflect, even remotely , anywhere during his entire official visit to US.
When you occupy higher constitutional positions of public responsibilities, than you are certainly expected to think and behave differently , no personnel grudge be allowed to eclipse your wisdom of judgment. Still there is time for course correction; Capt. Amarinder Singh as Chief Minister Punjab must revisit his egotistical stance and show grace and magnanimity to the visiting dignitary Harjit Singh Sajjan Defence Minister of Canada in the larger interest of Punjab and Punjabis, particularly the Sikh community. His present posture of repeatedly making discourteous, unfounded accusations against the Cabinet Ministers of Justin Trudeau government would leave indelible scar on the delicate nuances of Indo-Canadian relationship and would continue to fireball unseemly controversies for long time to come.
Therefore I only beseech that wisdom should take precedence over pettiness; cordiality and warmth must follow the action process in the matter.
(Bir Devinder Singh is Former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha)