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Dear Youth of Punjab…

I know you are not well, thus I write to you as a well wisher. Unfortunately, unlike the politician I do not have a drug to prescribe and all I can offer is straight talk. If still interested, please read on. Khushwant Singh writes
None | By Khushwant Singh
UPDATED ON JUL 28, 2013 06:21 PM IST

I know you are not well, thus I write to you as a well wisher. Unfortunately, unlike the politician I do not have a drug to prescribe and all I can offer is straight talk. If still interested, please read on.

I am sure you are aware that you possess an energy that can change the course of your state and country, either way. In other words, if you empower yourself with education, dedication, hard work and will power, you can achieve the impossible. Punjab wich hi Dubai lag jaoo.

Now, contrast this with mass destruction weapons like illiteracy, fanaticism, complacency and frustration, and what you get is present Punjab. All around mayhem, teri bhen di–maa di and a young population ready to crush its own economy and people at the behest of political parties. Yes, pardon me for saying this, as a large chunk of you has been indulging more in hooliganism than contributing to the state’s growth. How else do you explain all the bandhs, arson, todh-phodh, which is enforced through the youth wings of political parties?

Instead of channelising your energy to make your Punjab prosper and script a new story, you have allowed yourself to be exploited by petty politicians and clergy, and stall the growth of your own state. As the youth, your job is to acquire the highest of education, play sports and empower yourself to face the world and not fritter away your time to petty attractions. Is a Bullet motorcycle, guns, drugs, alcohol, brawls, burrah, ghugoo atop a vehicle, or being able to shout ‘oye’ at the Thanedar your ultimate goal in life? My dear, you are the youth of Punjab and Punjab’s pride. On your shoulder lies the burden of nation building and your state’s progress. If you will not ensure, who will? The priest or the politician? LOL.

No, I am not blaming you, but it is imperative to bring to your notice how your agenda has been cleverly diverted from books to drugs and hooliganism.

Do you think the politician is interested in your development? You must be kidding. You are an asset only if you are illiterate, because then alone can you be exploited physically, mentally, socially, economically and religiously. An educated mind will always question. You should be aware that politics that operates at a religious-political plane would never allow you to grow wings. Religion is a controlling technology, whereas education enables you to exploit your potential fully.

Education is an atmosphere in which progress breeds like pigs. Religion as a means to achieve political goals only produces hatred and wastes time of a nation.

I know by now you must be saying it’s much easier said than done? Okay, here’s a simple question — since education and drugs both are available in Punjab, what stops you from choosing education over drugs? Ha, the quality of education. I know, it sucks. But let me inform you my friends that the quality of drugs you get in Punjab isn’t Ivy League either. The good stuff is sold in the Page 3 circuit of metros. Hence, your logic is busted right here. So, say no to drugs and pick up your books.

The combination of education and hard work will open unlimited opportunities for you. With drugs, no individual and society can rise; but with education and hard work 99% chances are that we will crack it. Education is akin to a Kanneda or an Amreeka visa. Trust me on this.

I know that the politician is laughing at how much print space the writer has wasted by putting such an impossible demand. So what Netaji?

If the politician can waste the energy of an entire generation, a few wasted column spaces hardly matter.

Rise my dear Punjabi youth. Take charge. Punjab needs you.

Yours sincerely

The columnist is a Punjab-based author and journalist.

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