Saturday, 3 September 2016

PUNJAB AT CROSS-ROADS: 2017 (Part 6); Birth of a baby, Awaaz-e-Punjab


Birth of a baby, Awaaz-e-Punjab

After hell of a long time, Navjot Singh Sidhu has thrown the dice at last, but man!
what a dice! because numbers thereof are not clear. No one exactly knows what the numbers are but yes, one thing is clear; that  good old game of ’Chaucer’ is all set to be played a few months hence.

                                                                 The Game of ‘Chaucer’

Four corners, four players;

Grandmother of most of political parties, The Congress

Not so old but Master of the Game, The SAD / BJP

The Thunderous AAP, whose thunder is on the wane even in the ‘Sultanate of Delhi’


Awaaz-e-Punjab, the newly born Ivanhoe of Punjab

Game is all set, but the question is who is going to be the ‘Shakuni Mama’ in this game. Chaucer is not a simpletons ka khel. It is a curious mixture of one’s Luck and of intrigue, deceit, facade, cold blooded planning and of anticipation. It is a game where a player’s hand does the juggling of dice. Remember the story of Mahabharata?

So kisi ko nahi maloom, bilkul nahi maloom; if it is going to be ‘fixed’ or will it only be played with all Machiavellian expertise as the times come.

Coming to Grandmother, the Congress, it is generally playing the ‘Prashant Kishore way’, at least till now. Image building of Capt Amarinder Singh is to be followed by image building, though on a lesser scale, of regional satraps, district presidents and of probable candidates. His team is busy identifying pressure groups, besides trying to identify local issues which can be manipulated. Surprisingly, till now it has not done anything which could have given it some solid credibility; that is taking up Punjab centric issues including drugs, and exploitation of natural resources of Punjab including waters, electricity and all. That is perhaps kept in reserve to be utilised in meaningless rhetoric once elections are announced. It certainly is not a very wise move. They could at least have created a facade that they are concerned about Punjab. Exact working during elections is to be left for individual candidates. They will have to use their money, muscle and ‘medicine power’ as per their need and themselves

The Master of the game is, till now playing the game quietly with cold calculation and shrewd anticipation. Intelligence wings both of Government of India and of Punjab police have to be working overtime collecting, collating, projecting and to some extent even juggling the figures for BJP in Delhi and for Sukhbir in Punjab. Latter is taking keen interest naturally because somehow Punjab does not matter much for the former. But the future of Sukhbir Badal is at stake in Punjab. He has to win this election this way or that. He has no other option. If my previous experience in the Central and Punjab governments is correct, then lists of ‘important local level persons who have good vote bank’ and of ‘acupressure experts’ must be ready by now. Calculation for the ‘economic and medicinal criterion’ also must have been worked out.

AAP, has lost much of its steam by now because of its high headedness and ego. Leaders entrusted with responsibility in Punjab have been living in their ivory towers, enjoying 'hospitality' of Punjabi populace. They had a good chance to prove themselves by combating drugs in Delhi which is as much, if not more ravaged than Punjab. On this, I had advised Arvind and his area commanders’ long time back but perhaps they were not listening. Had they taken up this single issue in the right earnest, they would have earned unshakeable and indelible adoration of Punjabi populace in Punjab and even abroad. Their wrong calculation in ‘kicking out’ Chotepur, back fired like crazy. Their old volunteer force is on rampage and will work against them during elections. If attempts of AAP-Punjab to rope in all disillusioned old volunteers succeed, AAP-Delhi is going to suffer badly. Last but not the least; they have adopted a wrong criterion in choosing party candidates. They are sadly mistaken if they think that just any one can win in name of Arvind. And to make the matter still worse, a number of their candidates have a dubious past and some of its leaders have the image of being ‘unstable’.

And now coming to newly born Ivanhoe of Punjab, the Awaaz-e-Punjab. Its formation yesterday, September 2, had created an earth quake in Punjab. Rumblings of its birth was heard all over Punjab, Delhi and even abroad. Punjabi ‘diaspora’ in Delhi and abroad were taken by surprise and debates started about the future course of action, that is both moral and monetary to AAP, Delhi. Navjot Sidhu might be criticised and dubbed as a ‘non serious’ man, by his adversaries, on account of his association with humorous episodes and all but he has significant following all over Punjab. His wife Navjot has also created a niche for herself in Amritsar particularly. Some parts of her constituency are cut up on account of some of her ‘hangers on’ but still they all support her sincerely. Pargat only has a local base in some pockets of Jalandhar and in some of his sporty fans. Bains brothers have done a lot in Ludhiana and have created an iconic niche for themselves there. But that is about it. New born baby has to struggle for its survival. It needs structure, immense funds and wooing all those, political or non political souls, who have a face and reputation in Punjab. People have to be convinced that the Baby will be able to stand for, stand by and live for Punjab and its issues; may be drugs, waters, land, agricultural yield and sale thereof, electricity, usurped natural / public / private resources by some, unemployment, law & order, corruption, general high handedness, rein-less bureaucracy and police, to name  only a very few. Like AAP, it can’t and should not sit quietly and start counting eggs hoping only to thrive and en-cash upon the strong incumbency against the Master of the Game. It will have to work hard. Master of the Game is indeed a  Master of the Games.

Let’s see how all four Chaucer players play and what the ultimate result is. 

Whether it is going to be a fair contest between four of them or it turns out to be a tie only between the Grandmother and the Master of the Game, remains to be seen…

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