Modi’s NDA first ruined Punjab. His ‘bhakt’ Nihalani now wants to ban Udta Punjab to hide truth from rest of India


Apoorv Pathak

Punjab, which was once a land of prosperity, was once famous for being India’s food bowl and the bravery of soldiers hailing from Punjab.

Today the state has become a symbol of suffering of untold miseries. Be it the prevalence of drug, terror attacks or farmers’ protest due to rural distress, Punjab today has become a hub of everything depicting distress.

This transformation from a land of prosperity to a land of trouble is not accidental. It’s, in fact, a direct result of suffering from the worst misrule in the history of independent India.

While the dismal state of affairs is quite evident, the problem in Punjab is much worse than what is commonly understood. This is because the NDA under Badal who have ruined the state have used every trick in the book to strong arm media and others from talking about the rot that has set in Punjab under their misrule.

It is this same authoritarian habit that has made them use the censor board to muzzle Udta Punjab. NDA is afraid that if India were to discover how brazenly the BJP-Akali combine government ruined what was one of India’s most prosperous states, there will be serious doubts raised about such corrupt, incompetent alliances and their suitability to lead India.

But Indians must know how Punjab has been ruined by the NDA government that has ruled the state for over a decade. So below we discuss how Modi’s NDA has comprehensively ruined Punjab-

Drug Crisis

1. The land, which gave India its soldiers today find its youths’ future under cloud due to growing use of drugs. The menace of drugs is causing large scale health problems among youths in the state. It is severely restricting their ability to work (and thus their productivity and earning), putting them under debt, leading to rising crimes and destroying millions of Punjab’s families.

2.Many leaders of ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and BJP alliance have been caught red handed in the drug trade. They are using drug money to enrich themselves and to fund their five star election campaigns. Specific instances of leaders of ruling alliance caught red handed in drug trades are-

a) BJP leader Vijay Kumar Kamboj alias Daddi and SAD leader Mahal Singh Rana, arrested by Rajasthan police along with three of their supporters earlier this week with 7.5 kg of poppy husk, were transporting the narcotic into Punjab in July-

b) SAD leader and its Amritsar rural unit treasurer Maninder Singh Bittu Aulakh, a close confidante of Ajnala MLA Amarpal Singh Bonny Ajnala was arrested in 2013 in connection with the Jagdish Bhola-led drug racket

c) Ferozepur BJP district president Jugraj Singh Katora, Ferozepur Yuva Morcha district president Jagpal Singh Sandhu (alias Jimmy), Mallanwala block president Gurcharan Singh and OSD to state BJP chief Kamal Sharma Amrinder Singh Chinna (alias Pothi) were booked on charges of accepting bribe to help persons accused in drugs and fake arms licences cases.

3.Even more shocking is that the allegations that among those who are providing protection to the drug mafias are no one less than Badals themselves.  Bikram Singh Majithia, the son in law of CM Prakash Singh Badal and also the state’s revenue minister, has been named as the mastermind and the kingpin of the drug trade in Punjab.

“Wrestler-turned-drug peddler Jagdish Singh Bhola’s revealed that Punjab Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia was also involved in the multi- crore drug trafficking racket. There have been many such drug paddlers who have accepted that it is Majithia, who provides protection to the drug trade. This alone is so ground enough to boot out the Akalis as in their hunger for money and power they have plunged punjab youths into Drugs.”

Thus it is abundantly clear that as Badals and NDA are the reason behind Punjab’s drug problem, it’s no surprise Modi is trying to cover up how his alliance has pushed Punjab into the drug problem by censoring Udta Punjab. Having mastered the art of hiding reality from people in 2014 Lok Sabha elections campaigns, he is using the same Gobbelesian technique to hide the truth from people of India.

Farmers crisis

1. Punjab’s Agriculture minister Tota singh ordered purchase of spurious pesticides which led to one of the largest losses of cotton crops in the state’s history. This scam by Tota Singh has led to loss of many lives. But Badals are protecting Singh despite the High Court giving adverse observations against him because they fear that his possible jailing may expose Badals’ involvement in the scams too.

2. According to the state government appointed Punjab Finance Commission a shocking 2000 farmers commit suicide every year.

Rampant nepotism-A plutocratic rule

1. The NDA government in Punjab has converted the state into Badals’ personal fiefdom. CM Badal, his deputy CM son Sukhbir Badal, the revenue minister and a cabinet minister are all from the Badal family. There can be no greater insult to the youth and people of Punjab that Akalis can’t find minsters from outside one family.

Why should the sons of farmers not get to become ministers? Why should all the hardship be borne by the hardworking Punjabis and all the fruits be reaped by the greedy Badal parivar? A joke captures the sorry state perfectly that there is no adult in Badal parivar, who is not a minister.

2. If Badal have captured all important position with their kins, how can other NDA leaders be far behind? Whatever positions are left after they have been distributed among Badal parivar, they’ve been honourably distributed among sons and daughters of other NDA leaders.

3. Thus NDA has closed whatever little employment was previously available. They are also acting like they own the state of Punjab and can hand over its resources for their personal benefit. Badals of NDA are the worst sort of crony capitalist India has ever seen. Badals have monopolised business opportunities particularly in cable, mining and transport businesses. They have deliberately made public services poor to benefit their private businesses which are rivals to these public services. A clear case of conflict of interest indeed.

They have also misused the state machinery to provide advantage to their personal businesses .The administration is often fearful to act against the illegal activities of these business as they are owned by Akali leaders. Thus the citizens who has no option but to use these services due to lack of alternatives is freely exploited by these businesses .

Consider this:

a). In Moga, Badal owned Orbit Bus staff sexually abused a girl and her mother and threw them off when they protested. The girl died due to unbearable brutality. This incident would not have happened if the law regarding not installing dark films was applied to Badals-owned buses too. This incident would not have happened if the Orbit staff did not have the arrogance that they could flout law with impunity as they enjoy protection of Badals.

b) In December itself NDA leader Dhillon owned Deep transport mowed down two girls near Ferozepur and Lambi. At Ferozepur a 10 yr old Dalit girl was brutally killed by the a bus belonging to same company. But still these buses continue to flout rules with impunity.

c) Manjit Narang, who was MD of Punjab Road transport corporation was removed because he had turned around the public transport in the state. Even though this led to citizens getting better and cheaper services, this was hurting Badals’ own interest. So in classic case of how Badals tend to deliberately weaken the public services to benefit their private business, this performing officer was shunted out. The message was loud and clear; any officer who dared to improve Punjab’s public corporation, he/she will be removed.

Economic collapse

1. The current price growth in 2014-15 reduced by nearly half a percentage to 5.32% compared to 5.73 % a year before.More worrying was the performances in agriculture in the state which once gave India its green revolution – there was a negative growth of 2.36 percentage compared to positive 2.35 % a year before. Thus when the nation witnessed an acceleration of growth to 7.2 % Punjab saw its growth decline to 5.3%,this free fall is strictly due to the misrule of NDA.The fall is even more shocking if one consider that Punjab grew at 10.18% in 2006-07.But within a decade of NDA rule,the once vibrant economy has become totally moribund.

2. Factories are closing in Punjab and investment is flowing out. An ASSOCHAM report revealed that investment in Punjab had reduced by 93 % in 8 yrs. “Punjab has failed to lure investors over the years evidently as the new investments attracted by the state was 36,650 crore in 2007-08 which has declined to a meagre Rs 2,600 crore in 2014-15, registering a fall of around 93%”

3. While on the one hand economy is nosediving, on the other hand debt is skyrocketing, thereby completing the story of economic ruin of Punjab. This has been caused by the fiscally irresponsible behaviour by the Badal government. The corrupt Badals have borrowed recklessly to cover up for their mismanagement and corruption. This has left the state in a precarious financial situation where it risks being caught in a debt trap.

4. Textile mills are closing down due  to high VAT and power tariffs(Rs 8 a unit). The high electricity tariff is pushing industries out of Punjab.

5. Punjab government has gone bankrupt to such an extent that it does not have the resource to pay even its own employees, let alone implementing raises suggested by the pay commission.

Collapse of administration and law and order

1. NDA has thoroughly politicised the appointment, so that at every important post only those who are in good books of Badals are appointed apart from family members of Akali leaders.This nepotism and favouritisms has taken its toll on administration.

2. Since NDA leaders are allegedly involved in drug trade the officials under them too often take part in the crime. This has made the whole state machinery hollow. Those who were supposed to enforce laws have themselves turned into law breakers. The rise in crime is also related with the lawlessness of Badals’ enterprises.

3.Since the state police too has allegedly been forced into drug trade, it has also made it easier for terrorist to attack Punjab. As terror and drugs are closely linked, you can’t curb one without curbing the other. So it is not a surprise that Punjab is home to most terror incidents.

Water crisis and destructive pollution

Punjab is facing an unprecedented water crisis. The over exploitation of ground water is leading to drastic fall in water levels. This is raising cost of getting water for agriculture,reducing yield and also endangering the future of agriculture in a state dependent on the agriculture.

Crisis of health and education

The educational and health infrastructure is way below what is required. There is shortage of number of health units and schools. Also as the existing units lack necessary facilities, this is ruining the human development of Punjab with the future of state’s children being put at considerable risk.

There is a fear that not only will Udta Punjab expose the NDA’s corrupt rule in Punjab but it will expose Modi on the issues of corruption and good governance in future election rallies.

To stop people from learning about the reality of their misrule, the Modi government appears determined to ensure Anurag Kashyap’s Udta Punjab is not allowed to be screened in cinemas in its original form.

The Modi government believes that the continuing disaster in Punjab is fine as long as people don’t find about it. It feels that managing the perception is more important than managing the reality. It’s, therefore, safe to conclude that the censorship of Udta Punjab is not just about censoring a movie, it is about a systematic suppression of the harsh reality of Punjab’s decline under NDA.

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