The sikhs of doaba in Punjab are making offerings of toy aeroplanes at Gurudwara Talhan in district Jullunder. This is the same gurudwara which was in the news a few years ago when there was a pitched battle between the jatts and dalits of village Talhan for the participation in its management, which spilled to Jullunder and led to political agitation, burning of public buses and other property and loss of life in police firing against riotous mob.
The following appeard in The Tribune, Chandigarh, on 16.01.2009.
If wishes were planes, then Punjabis would ride
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, January 15
See, ladoos, boondi or barfi — even liquor and clocks — are fine as offerings in temples and gurdwaras but what do you do if the tough visa regulations just won’t let you fly in a state where going abroad is the ultimate dream?
Simple: Try the aeroplane, may be a jumbo.
Delusional, may be, but faith is driving hoardes of people from phoren-smitten Doaba region, tired of waiting for visas post 9/11 and sundry other such incidents such as our own 26/11, to temples with their objects of fancy, toy aeroplanes.
Backed by a fervent prayer, they hope, it will take them out of the country sooner than the rule-makers think.
At Gurdwara Sant Baba Nihal Singh Ji Shaheedan in Talhan village, near here, the plane is a winner hands down .
Ask Harbans Kaur, mother of Laddi of Raipur Phalara village: “My son had been trying hard to go to Canada but, for one reason or the other, he was denied a visa. A friend suggested we offer the replica of an aeroplane at Talhan gurdwara. It worked. My son is now in Canada. There is nothing wrong in what I did.”
Sandeep Kaur of Jalandhar said she got married to an England-based NRI nearly two years ago but has not been able to join him there. “I have also made a similar offering. What are a few hundred rupees if they can assure you a chance of settling abroad?”
Gurdwara head granthi Manjeet Singh says, for over a year now, every week brings at least 40 toy planes to them. The number is higher on weekdays and Sundays. They have a room full of winged beauties.
Shops outside the gurdwara are making a killing: each plane is between Rs 150 and Rs 500. The run of the planes has left the all-time favourite symbol of Sikh identity, the “kara”, far behind. It is less visible too.
Blind faith, after all...