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

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Waiting for the New Men

With his self-immolation threat and had warned that if carried out it would lead to unpredictable consequences endangering the unity and integrity of the country at the hands of rabid communal forces''. But instead of finding the Akalis wrong, "New Age" felt that the crisis had been really created "by the stupid and unprincipled handling of the problem of the demarcation of the Punjabi suba by the Congress government at the centre" though it took comfort in the thought that "collective efforts by forces which .stood for sanity, justice and a principled approach ultimately prevailed". "New Age"s recipe for justice was to give Chandigarh to the Punjab, provide Haryana with money to build a new capital and resolve the question of the control of the headworks in accordance with the norms "which have been applied in similar instances in other States". As for the differences regarding border areas, "New Age" suggested they be resolved "in accordance with the principle of territorial integrity and linguistic majority* taking the village as the unit". "Mainstream" conceded that there was no doubt "that the Sant was throughout under great pressure from the extremists among his own followers as well as from the Master Tara Singh group of communal politicians". However, noted "Mainstream", "if the Sant has thus demonstrated his inherent incapacity to exercise leadership, the Government has equally not displayed a capacity for wisdom and forethought". The journal took the Government to task for rushing through the demarcation of the Punjab "without paying adequate attention to the problems that were bound to arise". It raised the "basic question" why "purely linguistic and administrative issues should be made communal and sectional issues". It said: "The viability of Punjab or Haryana has to be viewed from the same angle as the viability of any other State in India. It should be the endeavour of all democratic forces, the ruling party as well as Opposition, which believe in an integrated India, to fight those seeking to create a communal climate out of issues that have nothing to do with religion. Whether it is the cow or Chandigarh, the solution has to be secular and democratic if India is not to move backwards into the period of religious conflict and superstition".

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