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Intellectual bankruptcy to blame for Punjab problems

Intellectual bankruptcy to blame for Punjab problems
December 10
12:39 2018
Noted journalist IP Singh being presented Pride of Journalism award by Canada-based businessman cum philanthropist Sukhi Bath and President Jalandhar Press Club Lakhwinder Johal. Also seen are Manwinder Kaur (wife of IP Singh) and others.

Noted journalist IP Singh being presented Pride of Journalism award by Canada-based businessman cum philanthropist Sukhi Bath and President Jalandhar Press Club Lakhwinder Johal. Also seen are Manwinder Kaur (wife of IP Singh) and others.

Jaswant Singh Gandam/Raman Nehra

PHAGWARA: Maintaining that the root cause of all Punjab problems was intellectual bankruptcy, noted Punjabi and English  columnist Dr Swaraj Singh and Assistant Editor, Times of India (Chandigarh edition) IP Singh said here that able intellectual leadership was the urgent need for bailing out the state from its present imbroglio.

Delivering their acceptance speech on being awarded the ‚ÄėPride of Column writing and Journalism‚Äô (Manmatta Pattarkar Puraskar), both said that the source of such leadership was in our rich heritage (virasat) which, in turn, can be found from the universality of Guru Granth Sahib, Sufism and Vedic philosophy of peace.

Punjabi Virsa Trust Palahi/Phagwara had feted the duo with the award.

Canada-based businessman and philanthropist Sukhi Bath presided over the function. Jalandhar Press Club President Lakhwinder Johal was guest of honor. Trust’s President Prof Jaswant Singh Gandam and General Secretary Gurmit Palahi had organized it.

Continuing, Dr Swaraj, who had spent 40 years in the USA but now lives in Patiala, said that Eastern thought was bound to bounce back and western philosophy would wane. ‚ÄúIn this multi-polar world, Asian era was around‚ÄĚ, he asserted.

Admitting that Punjab crisis was economic too, he, however, said it was mainly intellectual. Author of 18 books, member/fellow of several national and international bodies and winners of umpteen awards, including Bharat Gaurav, Dr Swaraj regretted that Punjab’s intellectual elite had not allowed truth to come in the limelight but asserted that eventually truth will knock at our doors and get itself accepted.

He claimed that reverse trend on NRI front had begun. ‚ÄúThose who used to invest in their homeland earlier are now selling their properties here as their children do not want to come here‚ÄĚ, he said.

IP Singh, while denouncing embedded journalism, regretted that instead of being watch dogs, most journalists in India were degenerating into lap dogs. Attributing malaise afflicting journalism to social degeneration, he said a journalist cannot live in isolation.

Batting for ethical and intellectual commitment, he sounded sanguine and said that days of negative and embedded journalism were numbered as society had started flaying these. ‚ÄúChange will definitely come‚ÄĚ, he asserted.

Lakhwinder Johal termed journalists as permanent opposition of the ruling party, but regretted that they were not playing their role properly. However, Johal saw a silver lining, saying there still were those who played their role valiantly.

Speaking on the occasion, Sukhi Bath said that society had derailed. Calling upon litterateurs and journalists to preserve heritage, Bath regretted that writers could not make mother language measure up to modern day level.

Pinning hopes on fair journalism and good writings, Bath pleaded for shifting focus from politics to society and its issues.

‚ÄúNeither economy nor environment nor water is our concern. Only politics is. Even the sacred issue of Kartarpur Sahib corridor got embroiled in political slugfest and media was responsible for getting politicians‚Äô horns locked over it‚ÄĚ, said Bath, who had returned from Pakistan recently.

Claiming that a third Punjab lived abroad, Bath, founder of Bath Foundation, an NGO, and Punjab Bhavan in Surrey, said that his sole objective was to link the threads of third Punjab with this Punjab.

‚ÄúLet us sow the seeds of happiness together and laughter will sprout automatically‚ÄĚ, he said poetically.

Dr Manjit Singh Bal, Dr GB Singh, Ashwani Kohli, Ravinder Chot, TD Chawla, Raman Nehra, Surinder Chawla, Parvinderjit Singh, MP Singh, Gurinder Kaur Khaira, Manwinder Kaur, Sarabjit Kaur (councilor), Jatinder Singh Kundi, Iqbal Singh Kundi and HS Basra were also present.





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