By Harjeshwar Singh
Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann’s marriage to Dr Gurpreet Kaur is perhaps the first celebrity political marriage in Punjab.
Though a starkly modernist event both in content and style,it strangely evoked the British Raj and looked more like the marriage of a titular Maharaja than a democratically elected CM of a proud state.
In the strictly hierarchical system of the “Raj”the pride of place was reserved for the Delhi based imperialists.The imperial Viceroy of Delhi Shri Arvind Kejriwal was in full attendence with family giving his blessings .
Equally important and conspicuous was the “Gora” resident at Chandigarh ,Raghav Chadha performing the role of a “sarwala” and “big brother “ with equal aplomb.Even the old resident Sanjay Singh was also in attendance.
All his “Sardars “ and “Ahilkars” read ministers and MLAs were not invited in this “family function” .Being clearly of lesser status ,they were left to distribute “ladoos” or “dance” in the streets outside the hallowed premises of the function.
The media ,the supposed watchdogs of democracy ,competed with each other to spin favourable PR for the Delhi masters and the “Maharajah”.
The event also aimed to appease the “Janta” which had recently revolted against the “Maharaja” at his “Rajdhani” Sangrur through this “Roman Circus” .
Day after the “nuptials” the Maharaja was further stripped of his powers through an imperial firman which placed the administration of the state at the disposal of the Resident.
Bhagwant Mann who sat on the throne with the mandate of a “Ranjeet Singh” has been relegated to being a “Patiala “ or a “Kapurthala”.