The Opthalmologist’s Vision for Amritsar
By CHANDIGARH - CHANDIGARH
Published: 30th Mar 2014 08:31:53 AM
Thousands owe their vision to him and today, 80-year-old ophthalmologist Daljit Singh is giving shape to his own vision for the country’s future by stepping into the Lok Sabha poll fray from Amritsar.
The widely respected doctor is the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from Amritsar pitted against political heavyweights like Arun Jaitley of the BJP and Capt. Amrinder Singh of the Congress. Awarded the Padma Shri in 1987, Singh runs an eye hospital in the holy city and has been actively practising for the last 54 years.
“I was interested in what was happening in the world but did not support any political party and just voted. I always thought that one day change will come for good, but nothing happened,” says the doctor.
So what made him change his mind? “Though not interested in contesting, I was keeping a tab on political developments. I hardly watch television as my patients and studies take most of my time. I switched on the television one day and was channels-surfing when I saw Arvind Kejriwal speaking. I watched him for one hour. I was very impressed as he had great thoughts and is a good leader,” he says. Singh adds about two weeks before he heard Kejriwal, he was offered a ticket by AAP from Amritsar, “I refused saying that I did not want to get into active politics. This time when I got a call, I said yes,” he says.
Born in 1934 in Amritsar, the doctor completed his studies from the city and has always lived there. Both his sons and daughters-in-law are also doctors as are two of his grandchildren. “My family never wanted me to jump into politics. They did not like this idea, but now they are supporting me,” he says.
Confident of taking on Jaitley and Amrinder, Singh says his aim is “to change the system”. “There is a strong undercurrent. Just wait and watch. It is a battle of values against money and muscle power,” he adds.
Saying that joining politics has given him a new purpose in life, the doctor adds: “I never hated politics. One can be a good doctor, good teacher and good economist, so why not a good politician? I went to Holland and stayed with a doctor friend, whose neighbour was the Prime Minister of the country who used to drive his car.”
Singh is also a poet, His books on poetry—Sidhre Bole and Bawre Bole—are among five of the works published so far. The other three—Dooja Paasa, Sach di Bhal Wich and Badi di Jarh—are essay compilations.
Singh’s father Sahib Singh was a renowned Sikh scholar who had interpreted the Guru Granth Sahib in 10 volumes—Guru Granth Sahib Darpan.
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