OPINION
Sucha Singh Langah — Kamaal Jaari Hai...
- Agiyani Pal
Sucha Singh Langah — Kamaal Jaari Hai...



THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH Texas President tried, without success, to cancel a speech by Donald Trump Jr. slated for October.  
 
"I am trying to stop it, but it isn’t an easy thing,” Neal Smatresk, president of the university in Denton, Texas, said in an email to a professor. A 1,000 pages of email exchanges have now gone public.
 
Smatresk said he was "not enthused” about the fact that the younger Trump would be a keynote speaker in a lecture series organized, funded by major donors. The speech reportedly carried a $100,000 price tag. 
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This is the problem with pretence. It never ends. The excommunication of Langah is an action of the same variety that made him an MLA, a minister, an SGPC member.
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In an open letter, 87 faculty members had asked the university to withdraw the invitation to Trump, citing as a main concern a much-scrutinized 2016 meeting between him and a group of Russians. Trump is being investigated by a federal prosecutor for that meeting.

Now, how many university professors, former vice chancellors, men of letters, Punjab's intellectuals, writers, poets will come forward to say that top leaders of Akali Dal who were well aware of the doings of Sucha Singh Langah be barred from speaking on campuses till they explain why they had remained moot witnesses to what Langah was doing. And we are not even talking about the latest charge of rape.
 
Not only was Sucha Singh Langah a known "history-sheeter,” his photograph graced the notice board of Gurdaspur’s Sadar police station for decades, explained a report in The Tribune. It quoted senior journalist Jagtar Singh, who covered the region during the crucial militancy years, to say that Langah was known for grabbing land and having links with smugglers.
 
Langah faced allegations of land grab, was refused a passport by RPO, Jalandhar, but later obtained the same from Chandigarh by "concocting facts,’’ as the Vigilance Bureau found in 2002. 
 
A Mohali court sent him to three years in jail in a disproportionate assets case, an Indian euphemism for corruption, bribery and loot money, but he remained a serious candidate for SGPC presidentship. 
 
So forget the rape case (and please do not forget the rape case, we are merely making an argument), and then think what kind of characters find favour with our senior politicians who are apparently respectable, veteran, sober people? 
 
The hue and cry after the rape charge is understandable, but how does one understand even the absence of demand that such a man cannot be acceptable in political circles, that he cannot be on the same stage as a CM or a Deputy CM, that he cannot be an MLA, that he cannot be an SGPC member? 
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If you think top SAD leaders will no more be welcome on university campuses, lawyers' or doctors' conferences, raise your hand. None?
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Instead, the politics proceeds in a spasmodic fashion, and a political party seriously claims it has nothing to do with a rape accused simply because he has been expelled from the party. Soon, the SGPC also finds that it should procure Langah's resignation. And the clergy now finds it appropriate that it should excommunicate the man from religion. Really? When he probably needs God more than he ever did? 
 
So, will the SGPC now excommunicate any Sikh man convicted for rape in any Indian court? (Langah is yet to be convicted. He has not even been tried so far.) Or is he being seen as a special type of rapist? 
 
This is the problem with pretence. It never ends. The excommunication of Langah is an action of the same variety that made him an MLA, a minister, an SGPC member. It is the lack of sincerity even in a case most solemn. You know who understands it? A man called Sucha Singh Langah. 
 
P.S. Trump Jr made that speech, and walked away with the cheque. Langah would not know much about the Trump-Russia links, but he can draw hope. 
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