Sukhjinder Raj Singh Majithia, general secretary in the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, is one of the principal opponents of the KCGC’s move to utilise Khalsa College land for a new university. Speaking to Man Aman Singh Chhina, he says prime land is being usurped in the name of a new university.
What is the primary objection to the coming up of Khalsa University?
We do not have any objection to the establishment of Khalsa University but our only concern is that the property of the iconic Khalsa College is being steadily eroded. A big chunk of 350 acres went towards establishing the Guru Nanak Dev University for which land was provided at a throwaway price. It was the duty of the state government to provide land. Now another big piece of land, around 260 acres, is being usurped in the name of setting up Khalsa University.
What is your primary objection to the functioning of KCGC?
Starting from the elections to the governing council, everyone is being kept in dark about all decisions. Elections have been circumvented and remain a mere eyewash to increase dominance of few families who have got their family members elected and are almost constituting majority. So every resolution regarding functioning of the KCGC is virtually passed as per the will of these families and they are not the true representatives of the well-wishers of this elite educational institution. It is sad that an institution which began with such pious motives, has now become captive in the hands of a few dubious elements.
Khalsa College too is a private institution, so why not a private university?
I would like to clarify that five institutions under Khalsa College are duly aided by the government and their economic feasibility depends upon
the pro vision of grants [from the government]. Any tampering i.e. making these part of a private university will ultimately lead to the losing of financial aid from the government which will ultimately result in closing of these institutions and paving way for using this precious land for vested interests.
The opposition to proposed Khalsa University seems to have taken political overtones with civil society remaining silent. Do you agree?
I do not agree because all shades of society, including academicians, Sikh thinkers, former Principals of the college, student leaders, alumni and all well-wishers of the institution, have been opposing this. Moreover, I am getting calls from NRIs abroad who are emotionally attached to the sanctity and eminence of this great institution, which also has archeological importance. It is not the opposition party which is politicising the issue, rather the incumbent president of KCGC got himself placed in this chair as he he has very close relations with the ruling family.
What solution do you propose to this impasse?
Every well-wisher of this historic institution wants that the university must be established but not by tampering with the present institution and alternatively not one but two campuses can be established. One in village Gaunsabad which is just five to six km away from present site and another for catering to the needs of people in Doaba region in Khalsa College land at Ghug Farm in Bhogpur tehsil in Jalandhar, not far from DAV University. The KCGC president should use his good offices and proximity to the ruling family for getting the requisite financial dole from the government and give a clarion call to all well-wishers/stakeholders of Khalsa College to sit together to deliberate the issue.