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April - May 2007


Political News

Punjab

The Punjab Government honours Shaheed Nanak

The Punjab Government unveils the statue of Shaheed Nanak Singh, a committed patriot and visionary who stood for India’s unity on India’s Republic Day, the 26th January 2007 in the holy city of Amritsar by the Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Jairup Singh of the Guru Nanak Dev University. (www.shaheednanaksingh.com)


Dr Rami Ranger, the youngest son, paying his respect to his illustrious father

The ceremony took place beside the road which already bears his name. Delegates from the UK, Canada and Pakistan also attended this historic event. Shaheed Nanak Singh advocated religious tolerance as a pre-requisite for a civil society. In his final speech before his martyrdom, he pleaded with all the leaders that they should consider themselves Indian first and then could choose to follow the religion of their choice later. Unfortunately, the fanatics could not appreciate the “truth” of his words and assassinated him the following day when he was trying to save the lives of 600 students of DAV school, Multan who had taken out a peaceful procession against the division of India. The students came under attack from the religious fanatics and Nanak Singh went to save them. They were saved but he lost his life and became a martyr at the young age of 43. His portrait also is on display at the Sikh museum of the Golden Temple, Amritsar, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs.


Delegates from the UK with the Chairman of Memorial Committee Mr Sunil Khanna (left)

His ideals are more important now than ever before, if we are to avoid the experiences in the world like Ireland, Palestine and of course India and Pakistan. The Rt. Hon. Keith Vaz MP made an early day motion on the 25th January 2007 to this effect in the British House of Commons to salute the sacrifice of Shaheed Nanak Singh, a great son of India.


Professor Jairup Singh, Vice Chancellor, GND University unveiling the statue

His youngest son, Dr. Rami Ranger MBE in line with the ideals of his father is launching the Pakistan India Friendship Forum UK with the help of prominent Parliamentarians and committed individuals from both countries concerned; so that  these two British communities can celebrate their common culture, history and heritage. India and Pakistan are two sovereign nations and there is no reason why they should not follow the example of Britain and Germany and work for the uplift of their people by promoting peace.

Punjab has a new Government - Badal in - Amarinder Out

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and BJP Alliance formed the government in Punjab after winning 67 seas in a House of 117. Prakash hSingh Badal, after winning his seat at Lambi said,”People have entrusted big responsibility on us and I seek the cooperation of everybody including the opposition. I will not pursue politics of vendetaa.”


L: Prakash Singh Badal; R: Navjot Sidhu

The BJP also won in Uttarakhand where BC Khanduri has become the chief minister.

In an intesive contest for the Amritsar Lok Sabha by-poll, former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu staged a comeback by defeating his Congress rival former Punjab finance minister SS Singhla by 77,626 votes. It was a triumphant return for Navjot Sidhu who only a few months ago had resigned from his Lok Sabha seat after the Punjab High Court overturned a trial court judgment and convicted him in a road rage case. He spent a day in jail, was granted bail by Supreme Court and then fought an election and won.

It was a great blow to the prestige of Amrinder Singh, the Congress and Manmohan Singh. However, in the Malwa region Congress kept its hold and won a majority of seats.

Hopefully, a new chapter in Punjab politics will ensue, with more emphasis on development and creating a corruption-free society. A tall order indeed.

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