LUDHIANA MOURNS ITS STAR ISHMEET
Ludhiana July 31:
Nineteen-year-old Ishmeet Singh, who united the city during the finals of Star Voice of India last November and later in his victory, brought it together once again to grieve his untimely death.
The industrial town of Ludhiana woke up still trying to get over the fact that the singing sensation was no more. Curious onlookers, a steady stream of politicians, councillors, local leaders and officials gathered outside Ishmeet’s house in Shastri Nagar to offer condolence.
Many who had witnessed the meteoric rise of Ishmeet on television stood silently outside their hero’s house “to let the reality sink”. Keeping in view the general sentiment, the local police barricaded the area to avoid any rush and jams. Shopkeepers in the vicinity shut shops as a mark of respect for the departed soul.
The young fans held mourning meetings as some colleges declared holiday while schools held candle vigils. Manpreet Kaur, a student of R S Model School, said: “I had to return home to see the reality with my own eyes. No news could convince me that he is no more.” Sakshi Sharma, a teacher, added: “Ishmeet will always live in our hearts. He is immortal.”
Harjinder Singh, co-ordinator of web portal SikhNetwork, which had meticulously designed and executed SMSs for Ishmeet during the contest said: “Forever shall Ishmeet Singh be known as the man who made being a turbaned Sikh the trendiest hairstyle statement. Being turbaned had become synonymous with being smart and handsome. Perhaps Ishmeet was always closer to God. The day he won the biggest show on the Indian television in November 2007 was also the day of the Guru. It was Guru Nanak’s Gurpurab.
Sikhs who had celebrated the event from California to Calgary to Christchurch to Chandigarh frantically called to confirm if the news was true.” “Ishmeet was honoured by Sikhs worldwide, by even the highest of the high Sri Akal Takhat. The Sikh community will remain indebted to the young man who made us all feel proud of our identity. SikhNetwork and its subscribers pay homage to Ishmeet and pray for his family,” Harjinder added.
Condolence messages, meanwhile, continued to pour in. PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Manjit Singh Kang, said the young singer was not only the pride of Ludhiana but of the entire country. His loss is a loss for the entire Punjabiat, Dr Kang said. SGPC president Avtar Singh, MP Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Deputy Commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar and Ludhiana SSP R K Jasiwal also condoled the death.
Avtar Singh Karimpuri, president, Bahujan Samaj Party, Punjab, Harish Atwal, president, Guru Ravi Dass Jatav Samaj Maha Sabha, Punjab, Sarabjit Singh Baunti, general secretary of Ludhiana District Congress (I) committee, Punjab Pradesh Congress member Pawan Dewan, Rashtriya Vikas Manch member Gurinder Sood and other leaders also expressed grief. Local leaders Rajibnder Singh Basant, Simranjeet Singh Bains, Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma and others visited the family.
Students, staff and managements of educational institutions like the Gurjranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology, SCD Government College, Devki Devi Jain Memorial College, Guru Nanak Public School from where Ishmeet passed out, Master Tara Singh memorial College, GGN Public school, Green Land Sr Sec Public School and others too expressed solidarity with the grieving family.