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UK Enterprising Gujarat says it for Punjab in London

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by spnadmin, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. spnadmin

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    Enterprising Gujarat says it for Punjab in London

    A magazine focussed on Punjab and Punjabis, published by a Gujarati at a launch function presided over by a Bihari. How much better can it get in terms of displaying unity in diversity? The making of modern India!

    On Thursday night, a group that brings out Gujarat Samachar, a weekly, in Britain unveiled the first issue of a monthly, British Punjabis. At a banqueting hall in north London, there were welcome refreshments on a hot and humid evening, followed by dinner, not to mention a plethora of speeches, quite typical of Indian functions, which lack a sense of editing!

    But disappointingly, for a celebration of the birth of a periodical on Punjab, there was no chicken butter masala or chicken tikka masala – the latter virtually the national dish in the United Kingdom.

    The speeches lauded Punjab’s great achievements from its gurus to the sacrifice of its soldiers in the British cause to its entrepreneurship. The oratory included highlighting the "greatness" of Hindu and Sikh religions. None, though, spoke of the valour, heroism and selflessness of Punjabis in the freedom struggle, their role in India’s Green Revolution, Punjab’s marvellous hockey players who once dominated the world and the fact that the maiden test hundred for India was scored by a Punjabi - Lala Amarnath.

    Indeed, Baroness Verma, a government spokesperson in the House of Lords, lamented the lack of a voice for Hindus and Sikhs in British public life. An Amritsar-born Sikh married to a Hindu, she, rather astonishingly, declared that while Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a cabinet minister in prime minister David Cameron government, looked after Pakistani interests, she took care of Hindu and Sikh interests.

    An indigenous Briton hardly ever discusses in public his or her Christian roots. Most are disinterested about religion, as they should be, in a 21st century cosmos. It sounded as if Verma and Warsi, despite both being Conservatives, were at loggerheads on Indo-Pak issues. Cameron will surely shudder to be apprised of the sectarianism being practiced by his colleagues of sub-continental descent.

    A sobering influence, though, was the summing up by India’s new Deputy High Commissioner in the UK, Rajesh Prasad, who presided over the function and diplomatically reminded the audience: "India has always been accepting of people of different cultures. Indians have never believed in a clash or conflict amongst civilisations or cultures."

    He added that the event was an example of "one very successful and thriving community (Gujaratis) recognizing the success and achievement of another

    As for the new publication, its creator CB Patel aptly remarked, "It will get better in the months and years ahead." Its cover predictably had a picture of the Golden Temple. Its contents, though, were entirely essays and eulogies. The product is unusual in that it’s in English, unlike most print offerings to the British Punjabi community.

    A majority who migrated from Punjab to Britain seemingly did not have a penchant for reading in English. But the generations born and brought up here, perhaps, are. They will, however, expect quality, masala and coverage about themselves to be interested. They might also not be inclined towards being narrowly typecast as Punjabis. Strength is in numbers! And a broader mentality rather than a desire to be the representative of Hindus or Sikhs could lend them a better prospect of making it in public life.

    Enterprising Gujarat says it for Punjab in London - Chandigarh - City - The Times of India
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