When nationalism and patriotism are dominating the national discourse, the great grandson of iconic revolutionary Udham Singh is struggling to secure the job of a peon in Punjab government which had been promised to him by former chief minister Amarinder Singh 10 years ago.
The promise of Congress government did not materialise as the party was out of power for 10 years in the state. The repeated pleas of Jagga Singh, who is great grandson of Udham Singh’s elder sister Aas Kaur, to the Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP government did not yield any result.
In a daredevil act, Udham Singh had avenged the killing of hundreds of innocent people in Jallianwala Bagh on Baisakhi Day on April 13, 1919 by General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer.
Singh, who was present on the spot at Jalianwala Bagh in Amritsar on the bloodiest day of Indian Independence struggle history, had avenged the massacre 21 years later by killing in London Michael O’Dwyer, who was the Governor of Punjab when the massacre took place in Jallianwala Bagh.
Charged with murder, he was hanged to death in one of the prisons in London.
Singh is going through days of extreme poverty with a family of six to take care of which includes his 60-year old father Jeet Singh, a daily labourer.
30-year old Singh, a class X pass out who works at a cloth merchant shop in Sangur on a monthly salary of Rs 2,500, is hoping to draw the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh through his letters.
Braving the chill of foggy mornings here, Singh has shifted his protests to Jantar Mantar hoping to get his voice heard in the power corridors of the national capital.
But so far, neither the BJP, which is ruling the Centre, nor the Shiromani Akali Dal in the state have offered anything concrete to him.
Speaking to PTI, an emotional Singh said he was promised a job in 2006 by the then Punjab CM Aamrinder Singh but after the government changed, he has been running from pillar to post to get the promise implemented.
“We met Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindhsa several time. After a number of meetings, he had told me that our representation was put before the Chief Minister, who said that he cannot help us as the letter of appointment was issued by the Congress-led Amarinder Singh’s government and so the job cannot be given to us,” Singh claimed.
He said the then Deputy Collector whom his father had met after Amarinder Singh issued a letter could have given him any job “even that of a peon” but the present regime is not ready to offer even that.
“We even met Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann of Aam Aadmi Party. He asked us to write our problem and took our representation but his PA said that since his party is not in power he can’t do anything. Later he also stopped picking up our phones.
“He goes to Bhagat Singh’s place but he failed to help the family members of martyr Udham Singh,” Singh remarked Singh claimed to have met chief minister Parkash Singh Badal five times, whenever he comes to pay tribute to martyr Udham Singh on his martyrdom day at their village.
He also claims to have met Yoga Guru Ramdev, a prominent proponent of nationalism, but even his recommendation letter to the Punjab chief minister did not yield results.
“We have been sitting on dharna for the past four days in this biting cold. We are ready to sacrifice our life and continue with our dharna till we get a job. We have written to the PM, Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Today also we have given a memorandum to him, but we have not got any reply, let us see what action will they take,” he said.
Singh said his father was working with the Electricity Board but he could not continue due to his ill health, so he was dismissed from the service.
“We have given representation even to President Pranab Mukherjee, who had written to the Punjab Chief Minister to give us a job but the Punjab government did not pay heed to it,” he claimed.
“We don’t have land, though there was some but we had to sell it to meet our finances. We are not begging from the government to give us money, we are just asking for a job, which is our right and not wrong demand,” he said.