After a gap of few months, Punjab is again exposed to disturbance over the issue desecration of holy books. This time holy Quran Sharif was the target of notorious elements, which provoked a section of society in Malerkotla, a Muslim dominated town in Sangrur district, to resort to vandalism. The aggressive mob didn’t even mind torching vehicles and causing national loss by damaging various properties in this otherwise a sleepy town. Earlier, the similar kind of wicked move was experimented on the holy books of Sikhism and Hinduism, which had not only sparked agitations across the state but also led to casualties. The state was boiled up and the government was on defensive side with politicians from Opposition finding it a whip to crack on the ruling alliance.
While the politicians were busy in settling scores against each other over such ‘hyper sensitive’ issue, the unscrupulous elements would certainly be enjoying the situation as things were moving the way they wanted. On a serious note, the circumstances, in totality, exposed that the social fabric in the state has gone too weak that rather than going for verification of the things and getting united to tackle the problem, they would simply come on roads and launch the agitation, which also turns violent as we all have seen at times in the past. For an intellectual, it may be a subject matter to study that what has gone wrong with the society that the same people who claim to be secular and remain helpful for each other all of a sudden turn so short tempered that a single spark becomes potent enough to put the whole state on boil. Things here get blow up like anything. Social media has been playing very destructive role on this particular subject.
The disturbing rumours create so much aggression in the society that everybody jumps into the fire without verifying the things. People don’t even bother to foresee the consequences of their move. More to concern, with one such incident, may it be the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib at Bargadi or the Quran Sahrif in Malerkotla, the police, intelligence and the civil administration all get exposed. Despite claiming high about the system being in place, the administration comes out its slumber only once the things go out of hand. Even in this recent incident took place at Malerkotla the police apparently failed to sense the situation and only after the mob resorted to violence, during which they not only torched a bus at the bus stand but also damaged about seven vehicles at the house of local MLA, the Law Enforcing agency swung into action.
The fall out of such incidents makes two sections of society rivals of each others for one suspecting other behind the incident. It all suits to those notorious elements that design it in a planned way. Being the border state, Punjab has already witnessed huge blood shed during partition. Later during the militancy period the state was again exposed to deep and severe wounds, which took the state too backward. The wounds of Punjab could never be filled as the state was consistently put on boil at different occasions with one community objecting to the gestures of others. The violent tussle between Sikhs and Nirankaris, then with Bhaniarawala, all just put the state on brink.
The controversy over alleged imitation of tenth Sikh master Guru Gobind Singh also brought the Dera Sacha Sauda followers in tussle with Sikhs in 2007. The state suffered a lot during all these incidents and sadly hardly any issue can be claimed to have died down completely even now. Much to surprise, the aggression among the people here has reached too high that even if a dera or sect head is killed overseas, people here go berserk. Doaba has witnessed such episodes in the past. Keeping all these disturbing things in consideration, the society now needs to behave quite patiently and smartly against the anti-social ploys of the notorious elements.
No doubt religion has a great importance in everyone’s life but people should also think twice before taking any extreme step that each of their gestures will also be having destructive impact on the society in which he and his family lives. One of more lasting ironies of most successful religions is that they address themselves to universal values and goodness. Yet, there is a strong element of exclusionism within them that separates one religion from the other. Time has come when we all will have to rise against the notorious elements, who are ever hell bent upon damaging social structure. Without getting trapped into wicked plans of such people who know that simply tearing off a holy book they can put all of us into deep trouble, we have to prove our cohesiveness in exposing these anti-national powers.
The administration too needs to be quite sensitive to the situation. The things should be tackled at initial stage only. We all are aware of the importance of the fact that a disease must be checked before it gets cancerous. Let’s pledge to strengthen the social fabric so that the state may now see an overall growth in a peaceful manner, at least for the sake of our coming generations.
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