Punjab’s new leader of opposition, Charanjit Singh Channi, may have “passed” with flying colours in politics but he failed to appear for his political science examination. Unfortunately for the Congress legislator, the appointment seems to have come at a wrong time.
Pursuing his third academic degree — after completing bachelor of law (LLB) and master’s in business administration (MBA) — Channi was due to appear for the third-semester examination for master’s degree in political science from Panjab University from December 14. However, just two days before the test was to start, he was named new state Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader on December 11.
Not that Channi, who admits to seeking academic degrees to major in politics, could concentrate on his preparations for the examination. He was lobbying for the post and stood a good chance of bagging it, not so much owing to his degrees but as a young Dalit leader from a dominant Scheduled Caste (SC) community from the politically-important Malwa belt. Once appointed, he was caught in the whirlwind of congratulatory telephone calls and visits, and was quick to register his presence in protests — enough work to miss the entire-semester examinations.
Now, he would have to appear for four papers of this semester and another four of the final semester next year. But Channi is not complaining.
“I may have failed in the four papers due to my inability to appear for the examinations but I could not have ignored my duties as CLP leader. It was important to meet poor Dalit families who have suffered at the hands of power-drunk Akali leaders, be it Gurjant Singh, survivor of the Abohar incident in which supporters of Akali leader and liquor baron Shiv Lal Doda chopped off the limbs of two men at his farmhouse, or the family of the 12-year-old girl crushed under wheels of a New Deep company bus of an Akali leader near Makhu in Ferozepur district. The degree in political science can wait till next year,” said the Chamkaur Sahib MLA.