Vol. 6 | Issue 4 |July 2012
From the Editor
MY first interaction with Punjab, Sikhism, and terrorism was in the year 1986 when I was covering the state for Ananda Bazar Patrika in the turbulent period. There used to be pin-drop silence on the roads of Punjab at night in the chilly winters during the years 1986 to 1989. Police stations on the highway used to block their main gates with big drums at night as protection from terrorist attacks. I travelled to all corners of Punjab during those days, by all possible modes of transport. The brave cop, K P S Gill, who was stationed at Amritsar at that time, used to search for terrorists at night on the banks of River Beas near Taran Taran. I witnessed scuffles among Sikhs at Anandpur Sahib and Teja Singh Samundari Hall at Amritsar. It was a situation which nobody imagined that the Sikhs could get trapped into, but politicians can plan every possible crime without bothering about who pays the price. The Sikhs paid heavily and it truly was a dark phase in the life of Sikhs and Punjab.
Our cover story ‘Raj Karega Khalsa’ is the result of a thinking process of many months. Whether it was in keeping with the character of gfiles or not was a dilemma and finally we decided that it would be unfair to the community if we don’t do the story and explain the achievements of Sikhs who are involved in governance. Manmohan Singh did not get the post of the Prime Minister overnight. One recalls that in the early 1970s, he became friends with P N Haksar, who realised his talent. Later, Singh emerged as the father figure of reforms in India. The rest, as they say, is history. All the personalities we have mentioned in the gfiles cover story have been in public life for decades. They started their career journey in the 1970s when they were young and had a dream, energy and spark to do something for their country. They devoted their time and sacrificed family life to come up to the stage today where the whole world is recognising that ‘Raj Karega Khalsa Aaki Rahe Na Koi’. It is not a mere coincidence that they are at the helm of the affairs of the country today.
But what a coincidence! In this era of corruption, where most governance tools are blemished with one allegation or other, this community appears to be above suspicion.
The issue also features our regular columnists. M K Kaw, former Secretary, Civil Aviation, who had first-hand experience of dealing with Air India, explains in Silly Point how the ‘Maharaja’ was murdered. The curious case of the economy going down is explained by M G Devasahayam who states: “Let alone deepening the roots of agriculture, it is actually being uprooted to facilitate a parasite and predatory economy that stands on borrowed stilts (FDI) and not on its own legs.” One can’t even begin to imagine the impact of uprooting the agriculture sector which will have a multiplier impact more disastrous than the situation facing the economy as we go in for importing oil and gas.
Naresh Minocha is very candid in his story on defence, explaining the cry for removal of procedural disadvantages faced by the private sector in defence equipment planning and purchases. Arun Kumar Rath former Secretary, Elementary Education, says in the column First Stirrings that “political interference in governance can’t be removed.” I think political interference is inevitable in Indian democracy but any intervention should be fair and just as long as it is for the welfare of the people.