SAS Nagar (Mohali): Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today appealed the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi to review the unending saga of discrimination and sheer injustice meted out to Punjab by successive Governments at Centre after independence, despite its enormous contribution in the country’s freedom struggle, safeguarding its security & sovereignty and making it self-reliant in food production.
Addressing the public gathering after unfurling the national tricolour during a state level function to commemorate the 69th Independence Day here at Government College, Mr. Badal lamented that the supreme sacrifices made by brave Punjabis in the pre and post independence era has not yet been duly recognized by these governments adding he said, “At the same time we are proud of the stellar role of our valiant soldiers to ensure the safety and security of our countrymen from the external as well as internal aggression besides the rare feat of the hard working farmers towards the food bowl of India.”
Mr. Badal recalled how our state was deliberately deprived from justice on the legitimate territorial issues including the transfer of Chandigarh and Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab and sharing of river waters on the basis of universally accepted riparian principles. Apart from these, Mr. Badal also pointed out how the state’s industry was ruined gradually after granting liberal concessions and incentives to the industry in the neighborly states. He impressed upon the Government of India to bail out the distressed peasantry in this hour of crisis as it was now feeling totally dejected and thus called for tangible solution to end their woes immediately and make agriculture far more profitable and economically viable occupation to sustain their livelihood. He said, “What to talk of rewarding the hapless farmers for their hard work and sincerity in attaining national food security, rather the poor peasantry has been blatantly ignored by the Central Governments at helm of affairs one after another since independence and none bothered to secure their interests.”
Seeking direct and personal intervention of the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister urged Mr. Modi to immediately take a call on these issues to end an era of despair and agony confronted by the beleaguered peasantry thereby formulating pro-farmer policies to boost their morale.
Mr. Badal further said that Punjabis have played a vanguard role to free our country from the shackles of British imperialism. Over 80% of freedom fighters, patriots and martyrs who laid down their lives for their motherland belonged to Punjab despite the fact the Punjabis merely constituted just two and a half percent of country’s total population. Paying glorious tributes to the valiant Punjabis, Mr. Badal referred to the most unfortunate and unforgettable event of partition in 1947 during which nearly five lakh people lost their lives and over 1.5 crore migrated leaving behind their property and belongings. He said the Punjabis have inherited the spirit of sacrifice from the great Sikh Gurus – Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji and Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji who laid down their lives for the sake of religious freedom. Even the first Sikh Guru Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji preached the mankind not to bow before the tyrannical forces and openly raised a banner of revolt against the Mughal emperor Babar for unleashing repression.
Lauding the efforts for keeping the traditions of bravery and patriotism alive, Mr. Badal said that the valiant Punjabis in general and especially the Punjab Police once again displayed their unparalleled courage and commitment during the call of their duty to foil the nefarious designs of inimical forces from the across the border during a recent terror attack at Dinanagar.
On the solemn occasion, the Chief Minister exhorted the people to rededicate themselves to make Punjab an ideal state free from the social maladies like drug addiction, female foeticide and environmental pollution.
Complimenting the valiant Punjabis across the state for maintaining peace and communal harmony despite its geographical boundaries in close proximity with Indo-Pak border on one side and Jammu & Kashmir on the other where, violent activities were the order of the day, the Chief Minister said that Punjab was the most peaceful state in the country where the peace loving people always strongly believed in the ethos of communal harmony, brotherhood, amity and national integration.
To ensure un-interrupted 24X7 power supply in a single house Dhani (Cluster), Mr. Badal announced to provide such electricity connection to the people living in these far flung Dhanis across the state on the urban pattern domestic supply. Likewise, the Chief Minister also announced to provide toilet in each house of all the villages in the state to achieve the target of 100% rural sanitation.
During the function, the Chief Minister re-launched the ‘Mai Bhago Vidya Scheme’ to distribute 1.52 lakh cycles amongst the girls studying in Class 11th and 12th of Government Schools at a cost of Rs.40 crore.
Earlier, the Chief Minister, accompanied by DGP Mr. Sumedh Singh and Deputy Commissioner Mr. Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, inspected the parade led by Parade Commander DSP Mr. Rajpal Singh and took a salute during an impressive march past by the contingents of Punjab Armed Police, Punjab Police, Punjab Home Guards, NCC, Scouts and Guides besides the Punjab Armed Police band. A colorful variety program including Bhangra, Gidha and group dance presented by the students of various local schools regaled the audience.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister honored the freedom fighters and next of their kin, in recognition with their superb contribution in the country’s freedom struggle, with a shawl.
During the function, the Chief Minister also honored 38 eminent personalities from different walks of life for making outstanding contribution in different fields with a citation, medal and cash award. Amongst the prominent recipients who were honoured with state awards included Nanak Chand, the Punjab Roadways bus driver who saved the lives of several passengers by his exemplary courage and alertness during Dinanagar terror attack and Satnam Singh Bhamara- the son of the soil for making the state proud by becoming the first Indian basketball player to be drafted in USA’s prestigious NBA League with his sheer hard work and dedication.
Likewise, Gurpreet Singh Gill, IPS, Harjinder Singh, PPS, Yashpal Rai, Sukhdeep Singh, Bhupinder Singh Sandhu, Sunil Kumar Jain, Navjit Kaur Dhillon, Gurwinder Singh, Simrat Kaur, Dr. Amarjit Singh, Shruti Shukla, Pavitar Kaur, Dr. Sandeep Bhola, Dr. Anju Singla, Dr. Rajinder Gulati, Dr. Asha Rani, Raman Lal alias Raman Mittal, Dr. Balwinder Singh, Er. Sanjeev Suri, Satish Kumar, Savita Kumari, Palwinder Singh, Amarjit Singh, Rajpal Singh Gandhi, Gurjeet Singh, Davinder Pal Singh, Rajmohan Singh Kaleka, Ravinder Singh Brar, Pawan Kumar, Sukhjinder Singh Ghuman, Sukhdev Singh, Gursimran Singh Sidhu, Dr. Neera Sharma, Ajay Sood and Satnam Singh Bhamra were also honoured with the state awards. Meanwhile, a representative of Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, Sukhjit Singh received the award on his behalf besides Sanjeev Singh Chauhan and Rajinder Singh Chauhan were jointly honoured on the occasion.
British Deputy High Commissioner, Chandigarh Mr. David Lelliout was a special invitee on the state level Independence Day function.