By Jagtar Singh | PUNJAB UPDATE |
Chandigarh (22 Oct 2018): Certain issues that emerged during 2-day deliberations at Amritsar under the banner of Panthak Assembly, an experiment first of its kind in Punjab, call for long term focus. These were not the routine ones that are often raised at non-Akali Sikh platforms.
The first priority of the Sikh youth, both boys and girls, for more than a decade, is to look for green pastures in foreign countries as Punjab entered what can be called as era socio-economic collapse with no hope in sight. Unlike those migrating from South India, many of the Punjabi youth end up as truck driver. Why not focus on their empowerment?
This was one of the dimensions that emerged at these deliberations and the person who focussed on this vital aspect that would impact the Sikhs in the long run was Baba Sewa Singh who heads the parallel Sant Samaj, the other Sant Samaj being headed by Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhumma.
It is pertinent to mention that despite being the most persecuted people, the Jews at one stage resolved to empower themselves. They controlled the capital and they rose in the field of science and art. The list of Noble prize winners must be studied in this respect.
The Sikh institutions on the other hand have failed to focus on such issues as the leaders lack long term vision and political power is just like any other business for the people who control political levers.
Closely associated with this aspect is the need that is being felt for alternate platform in the wake of failure of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to articulate the Sikhs concerns. Sikhs outside Punjab and in other countries at one time looked up to these bodies when in trouble.
Many of these representatives from outside Punjab talked of increasing insecurity. The Sikhs in Kashmir are apprehending threat from Islamisation and not from Kashmiri radicals as they too support their political concerns.
It is pertinent to mention in this context that out of 117 participants, about 25 were from other states and they focussed on the problems they face and the lack of concern by the main Sikh institutions in Punjab.
Panthak Assembly, conceived on the pattern of Punjab Legislative Assembly that has 117 members, was essentially convened on the issue of sacrilege but many other issues cropped up that crave indulgence.
This Assembly emerged as a platform for almost every shade but dominated by moderates. This is important as one of the organisers was Dal Khalsa that is known as the radical organisation.
The effort was to enter the democratic space.
Jagtar Singh is the Editor-In-Chief of Punjab Today. To read the full story, Issue of socio-economic empowerment of Sikhs like Jews emerge at Panthic Assembly, go here.
* This is the opinion of the writer, organisation or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.
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