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Punjabi by nature: Dear youth of Punjab

My conversation in this letter is about a crucial topic the approaching Punjab assembly elections.

chandigarh Updated: Sep 20, 2015 12:38 IST
Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh
Hindustan Times
youth,Punjab assembly elections,politician


My conversation in this letter is about a crucial topic the approaching Punjab assembly elections.

Although the elections are still a year and a half away, the politician is already in election mode and so it becomes imperative for the voter to gear up well in advance. The question arises that how should the youth prepare since the politician is wily and shrewd. He is all set to bombard you with lies and promises and before you even realise he would have sucked you into his story. It’s time you become aware and turned around the narrative your way rather than the politician’s.

The best way to strike is by questioning the politician, since in her/his hand lies your future. Don’t forget that you are 65 per cent of the Punjab population and in you lies the force to change the politician. No point in venting your frustration later or when you are pressing the voting machine button. Please understand that, because no one questions and that is the reason that the politician is having a free run.

The politician is on Facebook and Twitter full of self-praise, so you can start the questioning right there. Also new innovative methods can be found of how to pose the questions. Ask these politicians what is their narrative besides blame game, religion, caste or sop politics. It is precisely the political narrative that has bogged down Punjab and only you can help the state to come out of it.

They need to be asked what steps have they taken in the field of education and research? When will Punjab produce a Nobel Laureate not in drugs or alcohol, but in economics or science? And if they tell you that a Rayat or a Lovely is going to throw up one, tell them for God’s sake stop fooling people.

Read:Private universities of Punjab: Bend it like Badal

Question them about their archaic education policy and how they plan to sync it with the 21st century even though we are fifteen years into it. The education they are providing is not even capable of employment in Punjab, imagine your chance internationally. What is their strategy to turn Punjab into a global destination for information and technology, which is the way forward?

How do they intend to make Punjab an important enough state to attract the likes of Microsoft, an Apple or a Samsung? And if they blurt out big names, ask them to organise a tour. But beware that it doesn’t turn out into one ‘Khosla ka Ghosla trip’.

What sort of an environment are they providing to the youth to hone its proverbial entrepreneurial spirit? Why is it that a Punjabi cannot invent a path-breaking company while sitting in Punjab? Why does he have to leave his homeland just because he has aspirations?

Don’t forget to challenge them on their views on matters of governance. That why is the system so geared up for the powerful and so slow to respond to normal citizen needs. Why is it focused on fulfilling the aspirations of those in power and not the common man? I am not against the politician because he is one of us. However, it’s time that we stopped bending our spine and looked straight into the eyes of the politician and put forward our queries. And before I sign off, I request that please ask these questions not rudely but firmly.

Yours sincerely

First Published: Sep 20, 2015 12:30 IST