“May I know if you are doing your present job sincerely as a patriot”? “If your reply is ‘yes,’ I feel Motherland should be proud of you. But if not, you are letting down yourself and your motherland both. I call upon you to live like self-respecting, responsible citizens of a free country.”
JFK gave a similar message at his victory speech when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country”.
This message is more relevant to the youth today than it was then in the times of JFK and Baba Bhakna before him, especially when this terrible debate is going to enrage and engage the Indian nation which is fuelled by the BBC documentary, “India’s Daughter” which covers the tragedy of 2012. It is a second national tragedy and disgrace which brought a great shame to the capital Delhi second only to the Sikh genocide of 1984 in modern times. One’s heart naturally goes to all the affected families.
Returning to Baba Bhakna’s message: In his sunset days and at his fag end, with a lot of persuasion by others, Baba Ji wrote a number of booklets namely, “Dukh” (Anguish), “Jeevan Kartav,” (Path of Duty), his autobiography, “Jeewan Sangram,” compiled by Prof. Malwinder Jeet Singh Waraich as well as “Meri Aap-Beeti” most recently compiled by Amarjit Chandan.
I knew Baba Ji very closely as a relative and a family member, a husband (His wife Mata Bishen Kaur was the elder sister of my grandfather Baba Jeon Singh of Jandiala – Lahore). I knew him as a farmer, an educationalist and an art lover who loved educating children especially the girl child. He greatly influenced my life as I watched him walking the talk at the grass root level during my formative years. I attended the same elementary primary school which he attended 70 or so years ago and was still a primary school. I matriculated in 1956 from the Co-educational Janta High School Bhakna built by him on his own donated land in 1952 in that part of the border area of Wagah-Pakistan.
One of these days, I will also write about covering my share of Baba Ji’s life since I lived with him in Bhakna from the age of 7 to 21years old. I came to Bhakna after the partition in 1947 when my parents from my ancestral village of Jandiala now in Pakistan came and lived in Bhakna till 1961. I graduated from Khalsa College Amritsar in 1961 and left Bhakna to take up my first job as Horticultural Inspector at Pinjore Gardens. Meanwhile I take pleasure in sharing Prof. Malwinder Jeet Singh Waraich’s compiled book “Jeevan Sangram” with my online readers. On the request of Prem Kumar Chumber, chief editor weekly newspaper, “Desh Doaba, the book “Jeevan Sangram” written in Gurmukhi is being published in installments. Please read on:
– ਪਸ਼ੌਰਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਢਿੱਲੋਂ