Give Us A Smack
- Tight contest between Amarinder and Jaitley. Thin margin for BJP last time. Will there be a Modi wave?
- Hinterland ravaged by drug abuse. State report says 40% of 15-25 age group users. Punjab growth has tapered off.
- AAP drawing big crowds in neighbouring Gurdaspur—may play spoiler
Long before you get to meet the crowd, even before you enter village Bachhivind where they are waiting to listen to “Kaptaansaab”, your first image is of travelling across a land of drug addicts. On the drive to the village, just five kms from Amritsar’s border with Pakistan, you have met emaciated young men, some almost walking corpses, wasted and worn by substance abuse. You have spoken to them, you have heard their incoherent voices quiver, and you know the once-bold Punjabi spirit has dissipated because of this easy access to illicit drugs. What meaning could elections, or the much-touted Modi wave, have for them?