I and the NR in I : All my brothers, their wives and children, one of my two sisters and her family, my in laws, my wife and my only son --in fact everyone except me in my family is an NRI. And yet, this is what I have to say to NRIs: Your families - your parents and others included - did you no favour or disfavour by helping you settle down abroad. You did us a favour by doing well wherever you are. You are fighting your battles wherever you are without our help, and we are happy about it. We are fighting our battles wherever we are, without your help - thank you. We know you live in countries and with people with whom we do not dare compare ourselves - neither in terms of material progress nor in terms of mental caliber or civic sense or self-effacing commitment to their respective countries and societies. But we are doing our best to get by in this world, and hope, one day, to be proud of ourselves. But my request to you: please stop behaving like the proverbial rural boy who turns urban after the rest of the family sent him, at considerable cost to others in the family, to a city for a better future, and he suddenly discovers that almost everything about his village is filthy. I am sure none of you NRI guys, members of my own famliy included, likes to look a little like the guy played by Pran Chopra in Manoj Kumar's classic, Upkar. .Its about time you stopped preaching down to your poor rustic , illiterate and ill-bhaved cousins back in the village and its about too that we stopped complaining about your groundless arrogant self righteousness. If you are serious about changing whatever you believe is going wrong with your state, then please stop being a part-time Punjabi and come and fight the battles the hard way in the dusty fields and by-lanes of Punjab - like others have done before you (Kamagata Maru etc.) Motherland begs for either more than advice and constant grouses from its estranged children or just to be left alone to live with pride, though in poverty. ( Mannia main haan jungle, jammia vich jahaalat de/ Tenu maan bahut ne tarak, daleel, vakaalat de..) And I can only offer a doomed prayer that this is not seen to be linked to the elections in Punjab. I have said all these things before before and I will say these again, once the elections are over.)
An NRI`s message to Punjabis:
Respected Punjabi voters,
Elections have been announced and you might be wondering why NRIs are so obsessed with Manpreet Badal and his PPP. We, the NRIs have lived in and analyzed political systems in both Punjab and USA/Canada/UK. I have personally experienced every part of our system in Canada and USA in the last 15 years and enjoyed every bit of it, in spite of getting punished a few times. I have gone through hell in Punjab, India during the first 30 years of my life. I do not need to write about my negative experiences about 'your system' as you can imagine this system was the only reason for me to quit as a class-I officer and migrate to Canada to work as a security guard. Fortunately, I got into the veterinary profession within 2 years, but even if I had to work as security guard for the rest of my life, I would not have returned to Punjab. There is nothing common between these two systems whether it involves opening a bank account, getting any license, calling the police in case of an emergency, or dealing with a complicated case in court. Here is my view about my country Canada as compared to yours:
Canada is a democratic country, not a pseudo democratic one like yours.
We have the Rule of Law, not Rule of Mighty like you.
Here justice is delivered, not delayed, denied and sold like in your country.
Our police is professional, not mercenaries of a ruling party like yours.
Here opportunities are for everybody, not only for a few from ruling classes like in yours.
Our minorities are protected, not killed like yours.
Our bureaucracy is to help, not harass like yours.
Our human right activists are honored, not killed by police like yours.
Here fallen soldiers are given the highest honor, not forgotten like yours.
Our tax money is spent for tax payers, not kept in Swiss banks like yours.
Here politics is a profession, not a business like in your country.
Protesters here are listened to, not beaten up like yours.
Our dreams do come true, not shattered like yours.
Our problems are solved, not only used for political benefit like yours.
Our media is free, not muzzled like yours.
Our elections are free and fair, not rigged like yours.
Though there lie many differences between the two systems, there is only one root cause of all of the differences and that is the Rule of Law. When talking about politicians, I have not found even a single politician in Punjab who bears any slight resemblance to the politicians here. Manpreet Badal is the only one who not only resembles them, but also holds a vision to implement Rule of Law, which is exactly what we enjoy here in these countries. You have been promised by both major political parties to turn Punjab into another Paris or California, but I only see it becoming Afghanistan. Implementing the Rule of Law is the only way forward and the first step to put Punjab back on track of progress and prosperity. Both Congress and SAD had the opportunity to do that, however their lust for the VIP status, power, and money did not let them do anything in the right direction. Furthermore, the chances of them doing anything in the future are not greater than zero. If it was up to NRIs like us, we would have chosen Manpreet Badal as the CM unanimously. I wish you would try to analyze the situation at hand yourself and use your conscious to decide for whom to vote. Though it is very very difficult for the majority of NRIs to spare a few weeks out of our extremely busy life style to come to Punjab, I am sure lacs of NRIs are ready to sacrifice their time and money in order to come to Punjab to support Manpreet Badal during the election. Please spare your valuable time to listen to NRIs and vote for the PPP, if you are convinced after reading this article and listening to NRIs.
I am from Mahilpur, a village in Hoshiarpur District of Punjab in India and famous as the country’s soccer nursery. I graduated from there and did my Masters in English from the Govt. College, Hoshiarpur . Later, I taught English as lecturer at several colleges, including famous Baring Union Christian College, Batala, which was then run by American academicians . I later taught English and journalism at the Punjab Agricultural University, which had an amazingly popular and successful Department of Languages and Journalism. The Department had cradled the literary genius of Professor Mohan Singh and Surjit Patar. While in the University, I wrote extensively in newspapers and magazines on art, literature and social, educational and political issues. Also, some humour of the romantic variety.
In 1985, I was picked as Advisor (the post was then designated as Press Secretary) to the Chief Minister of Punjab. I am curently working with Mr Parkash Singh Badal as Advisor on National Affairs and Media to the Chief Minister, Punjab. This is my fourth tenure to the post, which has been upgraded to the present status.