Punjabi by Nature: Mirror, mirror on the wall, what have I done to Punjab?

The politician from Punjab must look into the mirror and ask himself some tough questions on his role as a harbinger of change and prosperity, writes Khushwant Singh
Updated on Apr 03, 2016 11:54 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By Khushwant Singh

I am sure that every Punjab politician stands in front of the mirror every day to get ‘ticth’ before venturing out on his Gup expedition. Why ‘Gup’ needs no explanation but I’m intrigued that other than his vanity, what does he think about himself when he stands in front of the mirror on the wall? When he twirls that ‘mooch’ does he question, ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, what have my ilk and I done to Punjab?’

Does he feel proud of the answer he receives from the mirror? Or his big ego doesn’t let him think beyond the power and wealth he has acquired? Or is it that he has hacked into the mirror’s mind, which now only says what he wants to hear. ‘You are the best - Dabbi Chal.’

Since the politician’s mirror appears to have been programmed to suit him, it might be a good idea to show the politician the real mirror - a mirror that questions him and shows him the true picture of the Punjab that he has created.

The first question is very simple and requires a straightforward yes or no. If the West were to open its immigration to Punjabis for a day, would Punjab’s young still live in Punjab? If it’s yes, then the politician is only vouching for himself and his tribe as they have all the reasons not to leave.

Sadly, the youth if given this chance would take the next flight abroad. Punjab diyaan sadkan sunniyaan hojangiyaan.

However, if you (politician) insist on disagreeing, please take the next question. Name one institute of excellence in Punjab where you would want to send your child for higher studies? Isn’t it true that parents of growing children are constantly thinking about sending their lovely kids outside for their education?

Sorry for being this wicked mirror, as the next question for the Kurta-Pyjama clad clan is - please suggest one business idea a young fellow can follow in Punjab if he or she somehow manages to get qualified?

There hardly appears any opportunity and an atmosphere where one can build a business based on intellectual and educational pursuits. Try driving from Chandigarh to Hoshiarpur and if you manage to open a web page on your smartphone, the Scotch is on me. And if marriage palaces, sand mining, hotels, petrol pumps are Punjab’s idea of businesses, the youth are better off opting for a visa.

The mirror’s next question is as straightforward as the first one. If seriously indisposed, will the politician seek medical recourse in Punjab or head for ‘velayat’?

Usually, the main ones opt for the latter while the masses languish in desi hospitals, which sadly don’t even have a stand to hold up a glucose bottle. With what face can we call Punjab progressive?

The fourth question that this horrid mirror wants to ask - isn’t Punjab one of those states where schools and colleges shut down for a political rally in the area? I know it’s hitting below the belt, but just answer yes or no?

One wonders how the politician will answer the following question. Isn’t the land which you ruled or rule has milk that is adulterated, water that is contaminated, food that is carcinogenic and fruit that’s injected with chemicals? Yes or no?

Before you hurl a stone at the mirror and break it into pieces, ask yourself - How come you turned this land of the Green Revolution and hardworking people into drug addicts? Are you happy with this? If you were taken away from the Punjab scene would Punjab be a happier and a prosperous state? Dear politicians do look into the mirror. You just might get to see your soul. And it’s no Gup.

Email the writer at singhkhushwant @hotmail.com

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Wednesday, October 27, 2021