Amritsar, Punjab: Even as the Punjab government is patting own back over the success of its anti-drug campaign launched after the Lok Sabha polls, Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh continues to express concern over drug addiction that has “ruined several young lives”.
In his customary message to the Sikh ‘qaum’ (community) on Diwali, which is also celebrated as ‘Bandi Chor Divas’ by them, the Jathedar asked the state government to take concrete measures to nip the problem in its bud.
“The Sikh community is associated with progress and hard work. But, I am afraid, over the years, drugs and liquor have affected our progress and brought the community a bad name,” he said, while addressing the quam from atop Darshani Deori on the Golden Temple complex on Thursday.
The jathedar pointed out that the worst affected were the youth of Punjab — almost an entire generation was being destroyed.
“It is not just the duty of the government and police to check this menace; parents and society too have a very important role to play,” he added, while calling upon parents and community leaders to rise and provide proper guidance to the youth.
Linking the drug addiction issue with the religion, the jathedar said: “Under the influence of drugs and liquor, a large number of our youngsters are forgetting their own religion and culture. Many are getting their hair cut, but parents are making no attempt to stop them,” he lamented.
He pointed out that an important religious event like Diwali was being associated with gambling and consumption of liquor.
The jathedar also called upon the youth to take up to sports and urged the government and nongovernmental organisations to provide maximum possible sporting facilities to them.