I owe my success to the women in my life: Navjot Singh Sidhu | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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I owe my success to the women in my life: Navjot Singh Sidhu

Supporting act: Punjab tourism and culture minister also announces Rs 3 crore grant for Punjab Arts Council, of which Rs 2 crore will go to Punjab Kala Parishad and Rs 33 lakh to the three academies

punjab Updated: Nov 10, 2017 15:42 IST
Aneesha Bedi
(From left) Programme convener Simrat Sumaira, Punjab Sahit Akademi president Sarabjit Kaur Sohal, minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Punjab Arts Council chairman Surjit Patar and AIPC founder Lari Azad at the 17th All-India Poetess Conference at Punjab Kala Bhawan on Thursday.
(From left) Programme convener Simrat Sumaira, Punjab Sahit Akademi president Sarabjit Kaur Sohal, minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Punjab Arts Council chairman Surjit Patar and AIPC founder Lari Azad at the 17th All-India Poetess Conference at Punjab Kala Bhawan on Thursday. (SIKANDER SINGH/HT)

Punjab minister for cultural affairs and tourism Navjot Singh Sidhu left the audience in splits when he took the stage at the 17th All India Poetess Conference at Punjab Sahit Akademi on Thursday. The comedian in him shone through as he regaled female poets from across the country with his anecdotal humour.

“Yahaan par mohatarm kum hai, aur mohatarma zyada hai (There are less men and more women here),” said the televsion host-turned-politician, who was dressed in a bright yellow turban, royal blue kurta pyjama and traditional juttis.

Talking of tradition, Sidhu did not leave any stone unturned to promote the heritage of the state. He even interrupted Akademi president Sarbjeet Kaur Sohal when she said she will talk in Hindi for the benefit of all those who are visiting from other states. But Sidhu jovially told her that he will “make them understand, please speak in Punjabi”.

“My mother was a strict woman; she would ask me to read two newspapers daily and watch the news in the evening. I owe her a lot.”- Navjot Singh Sidhu

‘MOTHERS TODAY BUSY WITH KITTY PARTIES’

At a conference for female poets, Sidhu spoke strongly of women empowerment. Acknowledging the poets for organising the three-day event, the former India cricketer said he owed all the success in life to his mother, his sister and his wife — “the women in his life”.

He said, “My mother was a strict woman; she would ask me to read two newspapers daily and watch the news in the evening. I owe her a lot.”

However, he was not all too generous towards mothers today. He said today’s mothers were busy attending kitty parties. Recollecting fond memories of his mother and sister, who is 16 years older than him, he shared that his biggest lesson from them was to be humble.

“When in doubt, walk straight — this is something my mother always told me — and that men of power may be defeated but men of character will never be defeated. As I think on it, 40 years down the line, I’ve never faced defeat or felt defeated,” said Sidhu. He added that Punjab government will release `3 crore for the cultural activities of Punjab Arts Council, of which `2 crore will go to Punjab Kala Parishad and `33 lakh to the three academies, Punjab Sahit Akademi, Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi and Sangeet Natak Akademi.

Sidhu further said events such as these were a unifying force as people from diverse backgrounds shared their culture, traditions, art, literature, customs and history. They strengthened the idea of “unity in diversity”.

Throwing light on the culture and history of Punjab, the minister said the state has remained a shining beacon of secularism, communal harmony and peaceful coexistence, so perfectly symbolised during the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He added that secular principles were deeply rooted in Punjab’s people that had a profound effect on the literature originating here.

Punjab Arts Council chairman Surjit Patar was also present on the occasion.