“Sir, common Singh has come to see you. Shall I usher him in, since you are over with writing your book now?” asked my house help.
“Please do, but why is he here? The counting of votes is still more than a week away,” I replied, wondering what could be the matter.
Common Singh: Sat Sri Akal, sirji. Big panga about Gurmehar Kaur. She is from our neighboring town, Jalandhar.
Me: Why, what happened?
Common Singh: Sirji, don’t you know? She is being hounded for asking peace between India and Pakistan. For something that she had conveyed last year on Ju tube via 36 slides.
Me: She must be crazy to be asking for peace. She should have called for war. And I’m surprised she didn’t realise that her message could be blown out of context. She’s all of 20, thus immature. She doesn’t know a thing about the limits of freedom of expression. So what if you are a martyr’s daughter. No one cares. Even a minister didn’t agree with her view on peace.
Common Singh: Sirji, you also, na. Why should she call for war? In fact, that’s the panga. She claims that it was the war that snatched her father from her and not Pakistan. What’s wrong in that? My great grandfather died in Word War 1. Who killed him?
Me: She is not crazy, but super crazy. How can she make such a blasphemous statement? Even the theft you had in your village is suspected to be a handiwork of a foreign hand. It was certainly Pakistan and not ladai that killed her father. Ladai doesn’t kill anybody. Moreover, don’t you follow Sehwag on Twitter?
Common Singh: Sir ji that chaukey-chikkey wala.
Me: Yes. The same guy. I believe every word, he says. After all he has been the most cerebral cricketer of India. And you also must follow actor Hooda. My dear, Common Singh, there are people other than Bhagwant Mann to be followed on Twitter.
Common Singh: Sirji no mazaak, but wasn’t it better when his bat did the talking?
Me: Try telling Shewag that. He drinks a buffalo’s milk- the secret of his energy.
Common Singh: Sirji, again joking. The reason I came to you was that writers like you should stand up for Gurmehar.
Me: Am I mad. And why only writers? What about the handle bar valey, ex Faujis?
Common Singh: Sirji, she is apni kudi from Jalandhar. If we will not stand up for her, who will?
Me: Common Singh, you do what you want. If I stand up for her they will say I’m a ‘foreign hand’ and set up by the opposition to destabilise the nation. Agenda and all that. I’m happy with my coffee and scotch.
Common Singh: Sirji, this is what we need to change- this agenda of witch-hunting for motives against anyone, who tries to stand up for the right.
Me: Ok Common Singh, since you are pressurising me, I’m saying this only because of you.
Me: You folks stop bullying Gurmehar and young students. Have some shame. You can surely disagree with her because freedom of expression is your equal right too, but do it with decency. If you can’t show civility to a young 20 –year-old girl, and a martyr’s daughter, what sort of a nation rakhwalas are you? And what’s wrong in her asking for peace, and even her that message has been distorted.
Sorry folks, you are doing more harm to your country, because a nation is built when its youth creates and not breaks. And by the way, she is not apni kudi as a lot of jathebandis would want to claim. She is daughter of the entire nation. It’s not Punjab versus others. It’s the right versus wrong. Smile, please.