ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: Pinjabi Suba Where It Was.

Weekly Notes from Volume XIII, No. 20, May 20, 1961.

The failure of the talks between the Prime Minister and Sant Fateh Singh, the Akali Dal Leader, in New Delhi last week was as inevi-table as it was unfortunate. It was obvious that there was in fact nothing in common be-tween the Akali and the Government stands on the Punjabi Suba issue. Prior to the Sant’s meeting with Pandit Nehru, Master Tara Singh had reiterated that nothing short of the acceptance of “the purely Punjabi-speaking areas of the bilingual Punjab State as the Punjabi Suba” would be acceptable to the Dal… The Prime Minister has said repeatedly that the Government considered the whole of Punjab in a sense a Punjabi Suba since Pun-jabi was the dominant language… The Akalis deliberately read more into the Prime Minister’s remarks than was justified and raised hopes that Sant Fateh Singh’s meeting with him would pave the way for acceptance by the Government of the Suba demand “in principle”… Now, however, the pretence cannot be continued and we are back where we were before Sant Fateh Singh’s fast last December. The Akalis have threatened to resume their “struggle”… From a wider viewpoint, whatever course of action the Akalis choose, the result would be to divide the Hindus and Sikhs in Punjab further. With the general elections at hand, this prospect cannot but please the Jan Sangh which must surely hope to benefit from anti-Sikh feeling among the Hindus.The cleavage may even lead ultimately to a division of the State, on communal, not linguistic, basis.

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