Punjabi by nature: Sorry, Kulwinder, our culture killed you | punjab$regional-takes | Hindustan Times
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Punjabi by nature: Sorry, Kulwinder, our culture killed you

punjab Updated: Dec 11, 2016 12:36 IST
Khushwant Singh
Punjabi by nature

Kulwinder Kaur, the victim.(HT File Photo)

The recent incident of an allegedly drunk youth firing a celebratory shot in the air and killing dancer Kulwinder Kaur (right) at a wedding in Maur town near Bathinda, besides being gory, is shameful. Disgraceful and appalling enough, for the whole of Punjab to hang its head in shame, and make a resolve that such acts will not occur again. Yes, nothing short of a pledge will work because this nonsense of celebratory fire by drunk men, and now even women, at weddings is not us.

Anyone who disagrees should not read further as the following lines not only express contempt but utter contempt for such minds. Brains clouded in patriarchy, power, money and intoxicants, will see this incident with a different rationale, but the fact of the matter remains that these are feeble minds that seek recognition from disdainful behaviour rather than intellectual pursuits or hard work.


Unfortunately, their tribe is growing and patronisation from political quarters of such people is distorting the true Punjabi spirit. In fact, why limit the blame to political patronage. I am ready to take flak at the cost of saying that parents have equal culpability when the young see their culture through the prism of guns, uncouth behaviour, a sense of entitlement and view law as an object subservient to them. The law forbids carrying arms to marriage banquet halls. If this is the value system and attitude we want to impart to our children, then Waheguru also cannot save us from the perils such mindsets bring upon a state, which provides kisan and jawan (farmers and soldiers) to the country.

It is the worst model of upbringing, but regrettably, this model has quite a following in Punjab. And mind you, it’s prevalent even among the educated.

Obviously, throwing gyan through a column is easy, just like there is no perfect formula of parenting.


But then there is something called ‘decency’. Isn’t nurturing ‘decency’ as a human value by and large a good formula to follow while rearing a generation?

To simplify it further, let’s just call it tameez. Mind you tameez, is not mere mannerism, and limited to just a thank you or sorry. It is the overall demeanour of society, or, of an individual. When we take it away, what we get is the present. Bang, Bang! Folks who disagree with the tenor of this column still have a chance to stop reading it, because I am not going to buy the argument of whether girls should be dancing at weddings or not. Women have every right to follow a profession of their choice, and it is society’s responsibility to offer them a safe atmosphere. Sometimes, I wonder, who is more courageous, the women, who, to earn a livelihood choose to dance, or the drunk men firing Berettas in the air, lusting at their performances.

A friend of mine, who owns a marriage banquet in Hoshiarpur, often describes how disgracefully the eminent, especially the young, behave. And mind you Hoshiarpur people are considered sober by the rest of Punjab standards. According to him, the toughest is when its pack-up time for the orchestras. “At times, we have had to switch off the ‘main power’ to help girls get off the stage because drunk men keep threatening them with dire consequences,” he concedes. “But the worst is when these men run after their vehicles, shouting roko, roko (stop, stop!) and hurl abuses.”


Shameful indeed, if we start unravelling the dark underbelly of the big fat Punjabi weddings, which makes a good case for some khatir (hospitality, in sarcastic usage) of Punjab’s youth.

This column, obviously can’t do khatir Punjab Police style but it can certainly ask the youth the hard question: Aren’t you sorry for the kind of Punjab you are building? Moreover, you are ruining your lives for nothing. If you look at the Kulwinder Kaur’s death video carefully, the accused doesn’t even realise how his senseless act has taken a life. Of course, he has wrecked his own life and those of his near and dear ones, forever.

My dear young fellas, Punjabi spirit, and ethos, are not this. Let us resolve to better ourselves and say sorry to dancer Kulwinder’s family. Punjab owes them an apology.