Perhaps a New Dawn in the Thinking of The Tribune- Simranjit Singh Mann.
The Tribune Dated 09 May 2019
Now read the letter to the editor by Simranjit Singh Mann below:
To The Editor,
The Tribune, Chandigarh.
Please refer to the article in your esteemed newspaper- “Utter N-word with caution”. Dated 09th May 2019. In this respect my party Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and I wish to state that your newspaper for the first has published an article that is reasonable and strikes ones intellect. We find that your paper is now turning a new leaf and not toeing the line of fanatic right-wing Hindutava. We hope you will maintain a balance as we Sikhs and Punjabis who do not want a war with Islamic Pakistan or Communist China, as our inhabited territories- Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir would became the front-line states to face a nuclear war with Islamic Pakistan.
The author of this article is right that the Prime Minister and the Hindu Indian system of calling for war lies solely with the Premier and his National Security Adviser. The Premier also has a Cabinet Committee on Security. But there is no Sikh representative on this committee which can decide to open hostilities with a neighboring country that would lead to war. Without representation in this committee the Sikhs cannot be asked to sacrifice their lives for a cause they do not support.
The author has correctly informed us of the US system when the President can declare hostilities leading to war. There are checks and balances in this system which our party would support.
However when I was a Member of Parliament I did stress that the intelligence agencies like IB, RAW, Military Intelligence and others which operate in secrecy, along with the National Security Advisers outfit should be brought under the purview of a parliamentary committee, which would also audit the secret service funds allotted to these agencies. We are also of the mind that the National Security Advisers overrun the policies of the Foreign and Defense offices. Such a Tzar is not required in a democratic system.
We are also alarmed that Premier Modi has not made good his election manifesto promises and as such is threatening war and what is worse is talking about his nuclear arsenal, which would mean that he is unaware of the consequences of such a catastrophe. Adolf Hitler was a corporal in the German army in World War I. After he gained absolute power he began to overrule the strategic decisions of his professional military commanders that eventually led to a humiliated defeat. Premier Modi is treading the same path by invoking extreme ultra nationalism and jingoism amongst his Hindu constituency, similar to what Nazi Germany did under Hitler to the German race.
The creation of a Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staffs would not help as all officials whether civil or military at that level begin to look for sinecures post retirement. Thus our party would not have confidence in such a post.
What our party finds a flaw in military thinking is that historically Muslims and Hindus have been implacable enemies and are forever trying to get at one another throats. This means that the Hindu states and the Islamic states enmity will never end. Since the Sikh and Punjabi civilization is wedged between these two foes, we think there should be an independent and sovereign Sikh state, which would act as a buffer between the three eternal nuclear armed foes- Communist China, Islamic Pakistan and Hindu India. This can only lead to everlasting peace in South Asia.
Our party doesn’t understand why the Hindu state never talks of the 39,000 Sq. Kms that China occupied in Ladakh in the 1962 Indo-Sino skirmishes. Ladakh was brought into the Lahore Darbar (Sikh Empire) in 1834, but since then Hindu India has not been able to retain it in one piece, which is a shame. But the Hindu state never talks about this humiliation though there is a parliamentary resolution on record that the Hindu state will not rest till the last inch of that lost territory is brought back within its original borders before 1962.
We do hope that The Tribune will bring back its liberalism and try to give up its policy of Hindutva and try and take all shades of opinion with it.
Simranjit Singh Mann
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar).
Dated: 10 May 2019