BADAL HONOURS NRI SINGER MALKIT SINGH
TO BE INVOLVED IN FRAMING CULTURE POLICY
CHANDIGARH JUNE 9, 2008
:The Punjab government would involve top Punjabi artists, writers,
critics and connoisseurs in framing the state's culture policy.
This was stated by the Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal
while honouring the Punjabi singing sensation, Malkit Singh for
being the first crooner from Asia to be honoured with the status
of a 'Member of the British Empire' (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth at
Buckingham Palace last month.
The singer whose chart-busting "tootak-tootak" number
was the first to catapult Punjabi singing on to the global stage,
called on Mr. Badal this morning to, as he put it, ' receive parental
blessings after being decorated in foreign lands'. He said that
he would be available for any input that the Chief Minister might
seek in promoting Punjabi culture both at home and abroad.
The celebrated singer was the maiden bhangra artist to make
it to the Queen's Honours List to honour people for distinguished
and long-standing service to the nation or the community in various
Malkit went down the memory lane as he recalled how he had yearned
to be a singer during his childhood days and used to dream of
one day being in the company of 'statesman politician' Parkash
Singh Badal "who had a tall presence in national polity ever
since he spearheaded the movement for democracy in the wake of
the Emergency days. I place the affection showered on me by a
figure of such historic stature as Mr. Badal as head of government
in my home state even above the honour bestowed on me by the Queen,
because Mr. Badal's gesture symbolizes the love and affection
of the people of my state. Mr. Badal inspired me to go even higher
the field of art and culture which I had been serving for this
cause for the past 24 years in United Kingdom," a visibly
moved Malkit told a bevy of waiting TV journalists at the Chief
Minister's official residence.
He also requested the Chief Minister to initiate steps to check
the menace of piracy and vulgarity in Punjabi singing. He said
that Punjab had a rich cultural heritage which must be preserved
at all costs for our future generations. "People all across
the globe had been fascinated by the charm and ingenuity of Punjabi
culture. Weare entitled to take pride in that and have an obligation
to preserve it in its purest form," said Malkit.
'SUBSIDISE FUEL HIKE BURDEN FOR PUNJAB'
SUKHBIR TO MRS. BHATTAL: "WHY THE
GOVERNOR? THE CORRECT PLATFORM IS PM'S OFFICE OR 10 JAN PATH"
Chandigarh June 9, 2008
-Member of Parliament and Shiromani Akali Dal president Mr. Sukhbir
Singh Badal today advised the Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee
(PPCC) president Mrs. Rajinder Kaur Bhathal to ask the congress-led
UPA government at the centre to subsidize the escalation in fuel
prices for Punjab in view of the state's outstanding contribution
in the critical areas of food security and defense
"This is no time for gimmicks to please your bosses in
Delhi or to mislead the people of Punjab through gestures that
lack substance and sincerity. At stake is the survival of the
common man in Punjab in the face of crippling inflation and general
price rise," the Akali chief told Mrs. Bhattal in a statement
here. He said that the SAD would make an appraisal of the situation
to make recommendations to the state government in the light of
the inflationary pressures caused by the Union Government's economic
policies and decisions, especially the fuel price hike Coming
down heavily against the PPCC chief's "hollow theatricals
in presenting a memorandum on fuel hike to the Punjab Governor",
Mr. Badal said, "does she not know that the state governor
has no locus standi in the matter. The correct platform is the
Prime Minister's office at the government level and Mrs. Sonia
Gandhi's residence at the political level. But of course, Mrs.
Bhattal and other Punjab Congress leaders simply do not have the
courage to go and meet the central leaders even on an issue of
such vital importance to the people."
Describing Mrs. Bhattal's 'gimmick' as a "desperate attempt
to bleed Punjab for the sins of her party's government at the
Centre, Mr. Sukhbir Singh asked, "What fiscal sense does
it make for the state to shell out from its exchequer money meant
for development of villages, towns and cities while the centre
would be blissfully filling its kitty through this hike in fuel
prices? Why should Punjabis be forced to pay for the fiscal incompetence
of the Union government? Today, it is the fuel hike on which Mrs.
Bhatthal wants the state government to bear the burden of the
center's decision. Tomorrow, it would be the prices of food grain
and other essential commodities. It is typical of the Punjab Congress
leaders' mindset to pile on to the misery of Punjabis instead
of putting pressure on Delhi to withdraw its anti-people policies
and decisions," said the SAD president.
Mr. Badal asked Mrs. Bhattal to lead a delegation of her party
men to Dr. Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi for a subsidy on fuel
prices for Punjab and ' if they do not listen to her, then we
would be willing to accompany her to the President any day she
chooses for this", concluded Mr. Badal.