Dialogue not dispute: Phoolka – uttamhindu.com

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Former opposition leader of Punjab and senior Supreme Court lawyer Harvinder Singh Phoolka says that there should be dialogue and not dispute regarding the construction of Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal. This is a serious issue, which is becoming impossible to solve through politicians. For this, farmers of Punjab and Haryana should come forward and sit together and try to find a solution. Addressing the journalists, Advocate Phoolka said that all politicians should keep in mind that S.Y.L. Punjab had lost the case about 20 years ago and a case is being fought continuously in the Supreme Court against the implementation of the decree of this lost case.

Phoolka said that that is why he wants the path of dialogue to be adopted instead of debate based on political allegations on this common issue of Punjab and Punjabis. Phoolka said that the water shortage in Haryana can be easily met through the Sharda-Yamuna Link Canal. He wants the farmers of Punjab and Haryana to discuss this issue together at length and if they feel that the Sharda-Yamuna Link Canal can solve the issue, then they should put pressure on politicians from both sides to talk about it. Phoolka said that Sri Darbar Sahib in Amritsar was the place from where hundreds of Punjabis marched in protest for 19 consecutive days for the restoration of democracy, against the emergency imposed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. To avenge this, in 1976, the Prime Minister launched S.Y.L. A related order was issued, which is also constitutionally illegal. Phoolka said that all political parties should unite and approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They should be asked to consider the solution to the problem, because if the anti-revenge order of 1976 taken by the then Prime Minister is rolled back, then this problem will be solved.

He said that in his opinion the biggest issue at present is the barrenness of Punjab. Some people say that Punjab will become barren in the next 5-7 years, some people are giving a little more time than this. But it is true that the current groundwater situation in Punjab seems to indicate that Punjab is moving towards becoming barren and this should be discussed. The second big issue is that of drugs. The drug epidemic is continuing, youth are dying, this issue should also be discussed. Apart from this there is the issue of health. People want good health facilities. People are dying from diseases like cancer. Apart from this, there is the issue of SYL, it remains a big problem for Punjab. There should also be discussion on how to solve this. There is the issue of SGPC elections, how to conduct it in a clean manner should also be considered. The issue of sacrilege has also not been resolved yet. This also needs to be discussed. Phoolka said that on November 1, when these political parties will come together for debate, the massacre of Sikhs in 1984 should also be discussed. How can those accused of this massacre be brought to the dock? There should also be a question on how they can be punished.

Whatever Phoolka is saying or suggesting today regarding the construction of Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal and the issue of water dispute, we had said the same thing some time ago in these same columns of Uttam Hindu. Farmers of Punjab and Haryana should come forward and resolve the ongoing dispute regarding water sharing between the two states in a practical manner.

Senior advocate H.S. Phoolka is quite right in saying that considering the political gains and losses, the role played by the politicians has little chance of resolving the dispute. The ground truth is that this dispute can be resolved only by rising above party politics.

Along with falling ground water level and drug addiction, the temptation to go abroad is also a big challenge for Punjab. If the desire of Punjabis to settle abroad continues like this, then in the next decade or two, a major change will be seen in the social, political and economic fields in Punjab. The need of the hour is that those who love Punjab and Punjabiyat should come forward and along with solving all the above mentioned problems through dialogue, they should also think seriously about the bright future of Punjab. This is the need of the hour.

– Irwin Khanna (Chief Editor, Dainik Uttam Hindu)

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