Monday, October 18, 2010


Punjab's political climate is somewhat hot because of Manpreet Singh Badal, Finance Minister of Punjab who had to resign some days before from the coveted position on account of disagreements with the Chief Minister and his political party the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on some matters of policy particularly the state finances and the state debt. I would refrain from commenting on the political aspects of these developments. But I would like to add that I am impressed by some other attributes of the personality of Manpreet Singh Badal. He appears to be a good politician and a man of ideas and knowledge. It is gratifying to note that.

Today, I saw two video clippings of his media inter-action. I was impressed. Manpreet was laud and clear in his interview by Shekhar Gupta at the NDTV in his famous show 'Walk the Talk' I came to know Manpreet likes Urdu poetry and often recites or quotes Dr. Mohd. Iqbal to make his point. He learnt Urdu to correspond with his father Gurdas Singh Badal, brother of Punjab's Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal who himself is an established politician in Punjab. It is just a co-incident, if I may mention, that we share these attributes. I also like Urdu poetry. I also follow Dr. Iqbal. I also learnt a little bit of Urdu, though I have forgotten most of it by now, just to interact with my father as he knew only Urdu. Manpreet also spoke on the Punjabi Zee-TV channel in 'Ek Khas Mulakat'. He was equally forthcoming and impressive. Making a point on the importance of planning and fore-thought, Manpreet quoted Iqbal:

हुस्ने तदबीर से ऊपर उठता है कोमों का नसीब; कभी बदलती नहीं तकदीर अरमानो से !

Expressing his concern on the developing political situation, Manpreet recited yet another couplet:

उने यह गम की हम से छुटकर दीवाने पे क्या गुजरी;
हमें यह फ़िक़र है की इस महफ़िल का क्या होगा !
Referring to his flair for poetry, Shekhar Gupta asked him to say something in Punjabi also. Manpreet promptly agreed and recited from the poetry of Munir Niazi, who belonged to Hoshiarpur before migrating to Pakistan in the wake of partition, obliquely touching upon his departure from power and said:

ਕੁਜ ਤਾਂ ਰਾਵਾਂ ਵੀ ਅਓਖੀਆਂ ਸਨ; ਕੁਜ ਗਲ ਬਿਚ ਗਮਾ ਦਾ ਟੋਯਨ ਵੀ ਸੀ,
ਕੁਜ ਸ਼ਹਰ ਦੇ ਲੋਕ ਵੀ ਜਾਲਮ ਸਨ; ਕੁਜ ਸਾਨੂ ਮਰਨ ਦਾ ਸ਼ੋਕ਼ ਵੀ ਸੀ !

Manpreet Badal gets poetic at his best occasionally. Speaking on his on-going misunderstandings with the party leadership, he said:

हम दुआ लिखते रहे; वह दगा पढ़ते रहे, इक नुक्ते ने हमें; महरिम से मुजरिम बना दिया !

It is gratifying to note that well educated and groomed people like Manpreet are in politics. It is a tribute to the Indian democracy. As regards his views and ideas, I quote Dr. Iqbal, Manpreet's favourite poet:

उडाए कुछ बर्क लाला ने कुछ नर्गिस ने कुछ गुल ने; चमन में हर तरफ बिखरी हुई है दास्ताँ मेरी !

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