A writer and teacher of great eminence, Professor Sant Singh Sekhon (78) is a thinker of great penetration both in political as well as in literary matters. He worked as a Lecturer in English in Khalsa College, Amritsar, from 1931 to 1951, remained member of the Punjab University. He has written short stories and one act plays and has rendered into English verse “Heer” and some portions of Guru Gobind Singh’s works. He worked as Head of the English Department at Khalsa College Guru Sar Sudhar in Ludhiana District for eight years from 1953 to 1961 and as Principal of Mata Gujri College Sirhind from 1961 to 1965 and later as Principle of Khalsa College, Patiala. He became Principle of Guru Gobind Singh College at Jandiala in Jullundur District in 1968 and remained there until 1971.

What does he think of the crisis facing the country in general and Punjab in particular? His answers may be read with interest by the readers of World Sikh News.

“Frankly, I feel that the Indian Union, as it now stands cannot last because there is no unity of language. Large states have their own respective languages. Tamil Nadu rejects Hindi. Many other states are not in love with that language. Besides the peripheral states are more advanced than the Hindi heartland, both culturally and economically.”

“Or take the current spate of violence stalking Punjab. What is its genesis? The Sikh, after enjoying the experience in a nation state, cannot bring himself to play second fiddle to anyone. Everyone in Punjab is reminded of the fact that he once held sway over the land”.

Professor Sekhon continues, “The major weakness of the Sikh is that he is a peasant. The business community will not accept peasant leadership. The non-Sikh does not accept Punjabi because he thinks it is the language of the peasantry. Neither will the Sikh peasant accept the leadership of the business community in Punjab. The Sikh is less shackled by the past than the Hindu traders. Sikhs wielded power in a modern period. Many parts of Punjab are living monuments to Sikh glory. With all this, the Punjab problem would not have acquired such frightening proportions if the state had been industrialized 20 years ago. Somehow the central tendency in the past was to keep it an agricultural state. Banks kept investing elsewhere the money deposited by the Punjabis”.

“The Sikhs abroad want to play the role which American Jews played in the creation of Israel. But the Jews were a lot more powerful than the Sikhs are right now”.

Article extracted from this publication >>  March 13, 1987