source: South Asia Post SOUTH ASIA POST August 15, 2009 EDITORIAL Punjab waits for miracles as governance takes back seat SUKHBIR Singh Badal is back as deputy to his father Parkash Singh Badal, chief minister of Punjab. Between father and son, they control the ruling Akali Dal. Father is patron in chief and son the president. They also hold sway over SGPC, the Sikh gurudwara management body created in 1925. Parkash Singh’s nephew and son in law besides another a close relative are in the cabinet. His daughter in law is member of Lok Sabha and virtually leads the Dal in the parliament. How inspiring is this for the Punjabi society, still rooted in caste hierarchies, medieval feudal mindset and religious chauvinism. There are many aspiring political families across most parties on the middle and right. Only exception is the leftists. It may look anachronistic with the democratic setup of India. It may also look conflicting with the democratic spirit of the Sikhism. But it is not if we know the social setup of male dominated Punjabi society, ridden with caste and sub castes, urbanities versus rural folks and public school bred versus the breed of those forsaken government schools and so on. Sukhbir, the young heir to throne is back with a bang and so are his promises. Last year he promised no electricity cuts, widened mettled roads, schools and hospitals for all. He had also told the doyens of Chandigarh Press Club that he would have all the water courses repaired and save 30 per cent of water for farms. This time he wants to reform the public administration and make the public that has reposed much confidence in him, very happy so that it can keep voting for the Akali Dal for next 25 years. One should not mention that Punjab reels under worst power situation with 12 hours cuts except the village Badal and water courses leak as ever and schools work without teachers as do hospitals. Miracle indeed. The police rule with its danda and guns and corrupt make the best of the times. The state reels under Rs 63 000 crore ever rising debt. It would touch such astronomical figurers that the Center shall have no alternative except to pawn Punjab to some other country or write off the debt. Yet fancy schemes adorn the agenda as over 20 lakh unemployed half educated youth roam the streets.