Parkash Singh Badal calls for politics of compassion, secular to resolve conflicts

Chandigarh: Five times Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday called for “a civilized approach based on the politics of compassion, consensus and conciliation to address social, religious or political conflicts facing the country today”, adding that there was an urgent need for  a new age of politics  aimed at social cohesiveness  and communal harmony  for evolving a national consensus on the major conflicts and problems that the people and the governments face these days.”

He was addressing the Punjab Vidhan Sabha during a Special Commemorative Session to mark the 550th Parkash Utsav of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji here this afternoon. He called for greater awareness of our heritage and culture among the youth or else, “we will end up producing future generations of rootless people.”

Badal emphasized “the strongly secular message of the great Guru, adding that tolerance and secularism are ingrained in our heritage, which must be preserved  in order to resolve conflicts and strengthen the country. “

“This would be our best tribute to the great Guru who preached love, compassion , peace and communal harmony all his life. Repression, vendetta and use of force is no solution to any problem,” said Mr Badal.

The Former CM also called for a national movement to preserve environment, and quoted from Guru nanak Dev ji’s bani to say that polluting the environment amounted to us killing our “ mother, father and guide,” { mata, pita and guru).

Badal, who is the only current member of the House to have been a legislator both  before and after the reorganization of the state ( Punjabi Suba)  in 1966, took on the mantle of a statesman and advised both the treasury and the opposition benches to “shun politics of bitter confrontation, mutual bickering and mudslinging. My long experience tells me that these tactics, apart from being uncivilized, never pay even political dividends  in the long run” , he said, candidly quoting the example of the Janata Party government which had gone after Mrs indira Gandhi after she had been routed in the elections post-Emergency.   The “Elder Statesman”, as he is generally referred to in Punjab political circles, chose to rise above partisan tone.

 “Punjab belongs to all of us. All of us are collectively responsible for problems and solutions, and we must work collectively to find solutions.” Badal also called for a major re-cast of national and provincial governmental priorities to move away from “cosmetic progress” ( opri tarraki) and to put the focus firmly on fighting  the twin scourge of shocking poverty and illiteracy on the one hand and saving the beleaguered peasantry on the other.

“Poverty and illiteracy feed on each other,” he said, adding that education was the key to any progress. “How can the country progress if 80% of our children do not have access to quality education ? There is an urgent need to ensure free quality education to the children of the poor so as to enable them to the compete not only with their urban rich counterparts but also with the best in the world.”

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He regretted that the Free Quality Education Schools started by him as Chief Minister had been discontinued by the present regime. He requested the Chief Minster Captain Amarinder Singh to personally get them re-opened.

Bemoaning the discriminatory approach of policy makers towards the farmers,Mr Badal said that the farmers in the country feel badly let down by the system. “The rich can get away with loan defaults amounting to hundreds of crores of rupees and even get these waived. “But  the farmers and the other poor cannot secure a loan even to buy a simple buffalo.  We must aim at social and economic  equity and justice?” he asked.

Others present on this occasion SAD legislature party leader  S. Parminder Singh Dhindsa,S. Sharanjit Singh Dhillon,S. Bikram Singh Majithia,S. Lakhbir Singh Lodhinangal,S. Manpreet Singh Ayali,Sh. Pawan Kumar Tinu,S. Gurpartap Singh Wadala,Sh. N.K Sharma,S. Dilraj Singh Bhunder,S. Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra,S. Kanwarjit Singh Barkandi,Dr. Sukhwinder Kumar,Sh. Baldev Singh Khaira

-PTC News