America will be going through its elections, and soon will Punjab. Even though comparisons are odious, the common factor in both the elections is the low-class political narrative that we’ve had to cope up with.
Not that Punjab’s political narrative was ever up there, but Americans turning Punjabi by nature is a rather baffling development. More than just baffling, what is worrisome is the sway the Americans hold over the world in setting trends.
Levis, Nike, Wrigley, Apple, are a few examples.
In 2016, whether it is the Punjab politician who has influenced Trump’s campaign or he’s just a born desi is a matter of debate for another day; but America’s present low politics has indeed vindicated the Punjab’s politician’s stance what politics always stood for: To keep people involved in Tu-Tu-mey-mey, and completely ignore important issues. In other words, America’s political discourse is serving as an encouragement and reminder to our Punjabi brethren that lower the politics, higher the gain.
“Bro, America vich vi ehi haal hai,” remarked a senior Punjab politician when I pointed out the nonsense political discourse in the state. Even though the point I was trying to put across was exactly the opposite by invoking Michelle Obama’s quote, “When they go low, we go high.” Her statement is to live by and perhaps the only energizing quote to emerge in the war for power whether in America or Punjab.
One wonders if someone in Punjab will take a cue, which takes us to the question that is Punjab even close to a high-grade political narrative? Other than the chitta, of course! How the state’s obsession has shifted from gora to chitta. Phew!
If you browse through Punjab’s 21st-century political story, it’s nothing but just sops and even more sops. More atta-dal and now even tea leaves. Unfortunately, I’m a coffee drinker, and I’ll vote who can help me get more money in the purse to buy Arabica beans.
The point I am trying to make is that has any politician even remotely questioned that the increase in so many coloured cards is not an achievement by any means? It’s an outright failure of a system, whose sole objective should be to uplift and empower its citizens, rather than turn it into a freebie addict.
Shhh! “It’s political hara-kiri even to utter this,” I’m told, however, much I want to dispute this narrative. Because on any given day, there would be more buyers for the political thought, which, will strive to alleviate poverty and render these cards useless. Obviously, not by distorting statistics, but through sound policies.
“Sir, what are political parties offering the young who do not need sops, but infrastructure and a climate to do business?” asked a young fellow during one of my interactions in Punjab colleges. A joke indeed, because the politician is not even remotely interested in your type. His focus at the moment is to get votes on the phrases ‘jail bhej dayangey, ral gaye or alag ho gaye’. Yes, my dear boy, this is the story of Punjab.
“Where can I send my children for higher education in Punjab? Name one centre for excellence,” asked a father who was trying to figure out higher studies for his son. Well, if any of you have an answer, please email it to me.
“Sir, I am an educated young girl and want to start my e-commerce company in Hoshiarpur. No one seems to be talking about developing an ecosystem for businesses in small cities.”
“Shun this intellectual talk,” I retorted. Exactly, in the same manner, the politician rubbishes a conversation when asked such questions. This is the new fad, trash any mind that questions.
It either suits the politician to keep the narrative tired, regressive and archaic, or we have not anyone with enough courage to enthuse it. Whatever the cause, one hopes this Diwali blesses them with a bonanza of ideas and energy. Otherwise, it’s a phus pataka Diwali all the way.