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From 50 Years Ago: Time for Decision.

Weekly Notes from Volume XIII, no. 31, 5 August, 1961.

A correspondent from Punjab writes in support of the Punjabi Suba: With Master Tara Singh, the Akali leader, clinging firmly to his decision to go on an indefinite fast from August 15, troubled Punjab is in for another serious crisis. …[Se-curity] measures are no answer to the emo-tional upheaval that the fast by the aging Sikh leader cannot but cause at least among his followers, and the irreparable damage that it may do to relations between the two chief communities in the Punjab of today. The effect of a fast like this, undertaken out of what looks like a sense of desperation, and any mishap in the course of the self-inflicted ordeal – the effect of such developments would be only to harden feelings and attitudes in Master Tara Singh’s camp and even force those who are at present opposed to him to yield to mass pressure. What happened in Andhra, Maharashtra and Gujarat is bound to repeat itself in the Punjab, and perhaps on a more ominous scale too… …it is fairly clear that Master Tara Singh is prepared for the verdict of a plebiscite on the issue of Punjabi Suba provided it is confined to the areas actually speaking Punjabi in the present State of Punjab and provided also it is conducted under impartial auspices. In this respect at least, Master Tara Singh must be said to have gone farther than all the sponsors of linguistic States before him… Statesmanship would dictate that these facts be recognised immediately and the idea of Punjabi Suba accepted straightaway...

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