opportunism caused Bluestar; Congress bred extremism, defamed
Sikhs for political gains;
Kalia advises Bhathal to read Advani's book before commenting
Chandigarh April 12
Senior Bharitya Janata Party Leader and Punjab Local Bodies
and Industries Minister Mr. Manoranjan Kalia today described as
"laughable and ridiculously ill-informed" the criticism
of Mr. L.K. Advani's autobiographical book "My Country, My
Life" by the PPCC president Mrs. Rajinder Kaur Bhathal .
"The book is the strongest proof given by anyone so far that
the Punjab tragedy was the result of the anti-Punjab and anti-Sikh
policies of the Congress party. It was the Congress, says the
book, which started terrorism in the state not only to undercut
the Akali influence but also to settle scores between rival groups
within the Congress party.
The book also powerfully illustrates how the brave and patriotic
community of the Sikhs was painted as anti-national and terrorists
both by Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv Gandhi who had justified
even the massacre of innocent Sikhs after Mrs. Gandhi's assassination
in 1984 by calling it "a minor earthquake after the falling
of a big tree," said Mr. Kalia in a press release here.
About who was responsible for Operation Bluestar, Mr. Kalia
said, "Mr. Advani's book is the strongest and the mostwell-documented
indictment ever of the Congress role in fomenting violence and
communal tension in the state which led to the tragic Operation
Blue star." About the allegation that Mr. Advani did not
refer to Guru Nanak Dev ji as 'Guru', Mr. Kalia said, "It
is clear that Mrs. Bhathal has not read the book at all. Therefore,
she is not aware that on page after page in the book, Mr. Advani
refers to the Ten Great Masters of the Sikh faith as 'Gurus'.
As for her objection to Mr. Advani's tribute to Guru Nanak Dev
ji as 'the greatest in the tradition of saints', Mrs. Bhathal
should read Guru Granth Sahib to understand the true meaning of
the term as used by the great Gurus. Mr Advani has disclosed in
the book that reading of the holy Guru Granth Sahib is 'the most
important religious rite in his family in Sindh.'
Regarding the allegation about Mr. Advani's alleged claim that
he forced Mrs. Indira Gandhi to order the Operation Bluestar,
Mr. Kalia said, "Not only does Mr. Advani describe Operation
Bluiestar as the 'most painful moment in India's history' but
he emphatically states on page 437 that 'even the need for this
operation and all its tragic consequences could easily have been
averted.' Even on page 430, which is being brazenly misquoted,
Mr. Advani holds Mrs. Gandhi squarely responsible for this painful
act and attributes it to "Indira's policies and to her tendency
to seek political advantage which led to the erosion of her credibility
both at home and abroad"
Quoting extensively from the book, Mr. Kalia further said that
Mr. Advani categorically puts the blame for the entire Punjab
tragedy on the Congress policy of "demonisation of the Sikhs"
which began with Mr. Nehru's "rigid and undemocratic stand
against the Punjabi Suba". "Although many new states
were created in 1956 with language as the main criterion, the
Congress government at the centre remained insensitive to the
Akali demand for Punjabi Suba. Guided by its myopic vision, the
Congress party tried to take electoral advantage of the situation.
It misrepresented the Akali demand for Punjabi Suba as a demand
actually for a Sikh majority state." (Page 425)
Mr. Advani also lashes out at the Congress refusal to show any
regard for Sikh ethos, said Mr. Kalia, quoting from the same page
where Mr. Advani writes, " Given the strategic location of
Punjab and the distinctive Sikh history and ethos, the Congress
party and its government at the centre should have shown greater
care and sensitivity in dealing with issues relating to the state.
Unfortunately, this was not always the case after India gained
Mr. Advani says that the Congress greed for power, and not the
Sikh community, was responsible for the rise of militancy in Punjab.
On page 426, he writes, the Congress "remained un-reconciled
to the domination of the Akali Dal, which has always enjoyed the
support of the majority of the Sikhs in the politics of Punjab.
It (the Congress) tried to undercut the Akali influence by resorting
to undemocratic and potentially dangerous means. The situation
in Punjab worsened due to Indira Gandhi's authoritarian tendencies."
Mr. Advani also refers to the well documented instances where
the Congress sought and got the support of extremist fringe for
political gains against the Akali Dal. On page 429, he writes,
"There are also instances of the Congress supporting such
rivals of the Akali Dal who were known for their sympathies for
the extremist cause. Sometimes, even intra party rivalries within
the Congress saw one faction seeking the help of extremists to
isolate the other the rival faction."
Mr. Kalia said that Mr. Advani's book is a tribute to the outstanding
bravery, the glory and the patriotism of the Sikhs and the Punjabis.
On page 424, Mr. Advani writes, "No other land has made more
sacrifices for India both before and after Independence than Punjab.
No other community has fought more bravely for the protection
of Hindus and Hinduism than the Sikhs."
As against this, the Congress leaders have always indulged in
a campaign to systematically defame and demonise the entire Sikh
community, said Mr. Kalia, asking the Congress and its secret
sympathizers in Punjab to do some soul searchinpg on the role
of the party in discriminating against the Sikhs and the Punjabis.
He also advised the critics of the book "to at least take
the trouble of reading it before commenting on its contents."
WILL NOT DIRECTLY INTERFERE IN MUNICIPAL
Chandigarh April 11, 2008
Accepting main demands of representative at union of Municipal
Corporation here today Mr. Manoranjan Kalia Local Government Minister
said that today he met Punjab Chief Minister S. Parkash Singh
Badal. Who assured that State Vigilance Department would not directly
interfere in Municipal Corporation.
On this representatives of unions of Ludhiana, Patiala and Amritsar
Municipal Corporations thanked the Punjab Chief Minister and Local
Government Minister Mr. Kalia and announced that they would withdraw
on-going strike immediately. Mr. Kalia said that another demand
of medical reimbursement would also be accepted. Now powers have
been given to Municipal Commissioners to clear medical bills.
Accepting another demand Mr. Kalia also dissolved mohalla society
committees. Mr. Kalia assured the deputation that their remaining
genuine demands would be considered sympathetically.
Prominent among other who were present in the meeting included
Mr. D.S. Bains Principal Secretary, Local Government, Mr. Samir
Kumar Director Local Government, Mr. Vikas Pratap, CMC Ludhiana,
Mr. MP Arora CMC Patiala and Mr. D.P, Bhardwaj Assistant Commissioner
Chief Minister, Sukhbir and Majithia condole Mrs.Hans's demise.
Chandigarh 12 April: Ms. Nanki Hans, Chief Sub Editor of Tribune
today suffered a shocking bereavement as her mother Mrs.Parminder
Hans expired ;in ;London this morning. Mrs. Hans, 68, had been
suffering from Cancer and was undergoing treatment in a London
Hospital for the Past few months.
Ms. Nanki Hans had specially flown to United Kingdom to attend
her ailing mother. Mrs. Hans, whose husband Mr. Surjit Hans is
a celebrated critic and writer both in Punjabi and English, is
survived by her only daughter, Nanki Hans and her father.
Punjab Chief Minister, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal has expressed
deep sorrow at the sad demise of Mrs. Hans. In a message to Ms.Nanki
Hans, Mr.Badal said that the entire Hanse family is a significant
contributor to Punjabi culture and Anglo-Punjabi Literature.
Shiromani Akali Dal President and Member Parliament Mr. Sukhbir
Singh Badal has also condoled the tragic demise of Ms. Hans. Punjab
Information and Public Relations Minister Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia
and Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains has also sent condolence
messages to the Hans family in their hour of grief.