Reflecting on the Punjab 2012 Elections

Guest post byNirbhau Kaur

[Admin note: This post was penned by the author the morning after election results were made public in Punjab.]

pb_elections.jpgPain. Disgust. Hurt. Dread. Longing. Connect, then Disconnect.

For the first time I felt these feelings in relation to Punjab – a land where I was not born, a land where I was not raised, a land that I didn’t truly experience until my early 20’s. Nonetheless, it is my father’s land, my Nana Ji’s land, my ancestors’ land. It is my land.

Today, there were countless social media updates reminding me of the five years of horror that Punjab is about to experience. For a small group of people, today was victorious. For a state full of people, today was just another reminder of their dark future. As the Badal family begins another five years of power in Punjab, the socially aware predict increased farmer suicides, increased drug and alcohol addictions, increased poverty. And the most grave prediction of them all, an end to Punjab, Punjabi, and Punjabiat.

Today, we express our disgust with the Badals and our sorrow for the future of Punjab. Not just today, but whenever there is an event to remember or increase awarenessof any tragic situation in Punjab, be it farmer suicides or the despair in which the families of the shaheeds are surviving, we, as diasporic Punjabis, express deep sympathy. We speak of a need for change, we inspire, and we become inspired, but only in the appropriate setting. Shortly afterward, most of us move onto focus on our lives here, outside of Punjab.

Today, let’s be reminded that talking will get us nowhere. We’ll be left chatting about what was done wrong, who did what wrong, what needs to be done, what should be done, and who should do it. When we finally look up from our chats over cha there will be no Punjab. No homeland.

Punjab has already been torn apart – Punjabis on both sides of the India-Pakistan border long to cross to the other side, but are held back by fear and violence. In the diaspora we proudly label ourselves – East Punjab vs. West Punjab. Today, let’s stop weakening ourselves with these divisions. Let’s save what we have. When we have power over our motherland, when our people are free in your motherland; I think we will earn the right to say we have achieved something worthwhile. After all, many of our parents left Punjab for better opportunities and a better life for their children. Our parents have given us the most valuable opportunities education, freedom, and a voice. Let’s not waste these trying to infinitely improve our own lifestyles. Let’s use these opportunities to improve the lifestyle of the people in our homeland. Use these opportunities to save your history, your language, and your Punjab.

Don’t just take a moment today, take a few moments everyday, every week to understand the circumstances in Punjab. When you have the opportunity, go to Punjab, connect with your roots, your people, and your land. Understand the hurt behind those warm, welcoming smiles showering you with hospitality.

I don’t have the golden idea that will save Punjab from selfish politicians. I don’t know how to un-corrupt punjab. I don’t know how to end the oppression. But, I do have a yearning in my heart to keep Punjab alive. I want to take my friends to Punjab. One day, I want to take my kids to Punjab, and maybe even my grandkids. But, this shouldn’t be a maybe because I don’t know if Punjab will still exist, it should be a maybe only because I don’t know if I will still exist. I don’t want my generation, or the next generation, or any generation to know a disgusting, confused, defeated Punjab. I want them to know and experience a Punjab so rich in culture they will be made confident; a Punjab so strong in its values they will be inspired; a Punjab so valuable, they will never let it be lost.

Don’t just express your remorse and disgust on social media today. Don’t be outrageous in your disgust. Ask yourself, what can I do for Punjab? What WILL I do for Punjab? Then, actually step forward and do something. I’m not asking you to take the next flight to Punjab. I’m just asking you to connect yourself with Punjab. Start today and truly make an effort to save the five rivers.

bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark

12 Responses to “Reflecting on the Punjab 2012 Elections”

  1. I'm having difficulty understanding how – when their corruption was so rampant and obvious and the situation in Punjab so dire and worsening – this government was able to be re-elected. Even if they had rigged the election, where is the outrage among voters in Punjab?

  2. EK_Punjabi says:

    I second American Turban question…I fail to understand also why would a morally corrupt government as author claims be elected again by the people.

  3. ItsMe says:

    I am from a family that was and to some degree is still active in Punjab Polictics, and even I am just confused as to how that Congress, BJP and even the AKALI Dal are the best Punjab has to offer. Sad to say that the Badal family is the end all be all of "Sikh" political figures. At sometime It was a sense of pride to be from an Akali family, but as the years have passed by the sense of pride has become just disgust and annoyance. Problem is are we the solution are those that live there the solution? Issue comes down to can we the "NRI" outsiders create a change when the locals feel there is nothing wrong or nothing can be changed. Change doesn't always bring about the desires result for those with the most to lose.

  4. Mandeep says:

    The “Arab Spring” that occured in the Middle-East is what Punjab needs. The youth there can use the power of social media to accelerate social protest against people like Badal, and garner international support. However, I am not confident in the youth of Punjab, because a large percentage of them are drug addicts and alcoholics. I have been there myself and seen it first hand. If the youth of Punjab can pull together with social networking mobilization, they can have the power to fight government corruption, drugs, joblessness and so forth.

  5. harry says:

    whatever ,,,, you have your own opinions,,, people had theirs and voted for whom they wished to be elected ….. not the scamsters a la congressi' s … huhahahhahahahha

  6. Social Activist says:

    parkash has lost all his prideand respect in last 20years. He will be remembered as a chief corrupt politician. People of punjab are selfish now, they are not what known to be.

  7. Blighty Singh says:

    An electorate get the politicians they deserve. Morally bankrupt folk deserve no better than the morally bankrupt leaders they get. So what are you all complaining of ? Badal leading the people of Punjab is a match made in heaven. Its a glove that fits perfectly.

  8. Thriller says:

    boycott jazzy b –

  9. avtar says:

    ask yourself why people are voting for him? is the anti badal hysteria an NRI created issue? the people of punjab seem happy enough with their choice. hell, most are pleased with the investment in infrastructure they've apparently brought.

    i'm new to punjabi politics..what's thie badal corruption history??

    i know they're as anti sikhi as they come. supporting random babeh etc

  10. Magen says:

    There are a handful of intriguing points at some point in this posting but I don�t determine if I see these center to heart. There exists some validity but Let me take hold opinion until I take a look at it further. Excellent write-up , thanks and we want a lot more! Combined with FeedBurner too