Former British Columbia premier Ujjal Dosanjh on Tuesday said that political parties in Punjab, like the rest of the country, were in a sad state of affairs and nothing but total change can help pave the way for a better course for the people.
He said that the emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the space it was gaining in Punjab had raised hopes among the Punjabis in Canada just as when Manpreet Singh Badal had formed the People’s Party of Punjab (PPP). However, the hopes were futile as no effective leadership was emerging. He said many NRIs were still supporting the AAP.
In an interview, preceding the launch of his autobiography, ‘Journey After Midnight’, here on Tuesday, Dosanjh said that NRIs wished to see a better course for Punjab and India. “What we need today are giants as leaders, the kind that emerged during the national freedom movement but they are nowhere in sight,” he said.
On the Anna Hazare movement, he said that it started well but focused only on the Lokpal Bill. “Bills do not change the political fabric of a country. What is required is a revolution,” he said.
However, he dismissed allegations that AAP was receiving support and funds from radical Sikh groups in Canada. “There may be some support from individuals but not any group. The day of such radical groups is long past though we lived through the misery,” he said. He recounted the murderous attack on him in Vancouver and also on Punjabi poet Gurcharan Rampuri for not towing the separatist line.
On the Congress and Akali slogans against the AAP that Punjabis will not take leadership of ‘outsiders’, considering he had migrated from India and played a significant role in Canadian mainstream politics, Dosanjh said, “There is a difference because I made Canada my home and assumed leadership after that. If (Delhi chief minister) Arvind Kejriwal wants to assume leadership of Punjab, he must first make it his home.”