Monday, 18 July 2011

The plight of Punjab !

I am going to talk about my land,my home province of Punjab. The land of  Sufis like Bulleh Shah,Shah Hussain,Waris shah,Sultan bahu etc ,the land of Epic folklore like Heer Ranjha, Sonhi mahiwal  and Mirza Sahiba,the land of Martial races like Rajputs,Jatts,Gujjars etc,The land of Poetery, Spirituality, Cuisine,Music,Martial traditions,Epic culture, Architecture,Values and this does'nt end here as Punjab possess history that goes way before 5000 years.
Today Punjab is divided between Indian and Pakistan and the last division took place in 1947' based on religion as millions of Ethnic Punjabis who were muslims,the hindus,the sikhs and the jains laid their lives, left their homes and moved to new countries.My family too left our East Punjab(Patiala) and moved to new west Punjab in Lahore. Faced hardships of all sorts but in the end it never made any difference as we were still breathing the same Punjabi air except the city and towns were new but culture,traditions and languages were all same .But Im only going to talk about Pakistan and especially Punjab as just like every other ethnic group here,Punjabis too suffer the brunt from ethnic cleansing in Balochistan to deep stereotypes,not having real autonomy over their land and not getting their due rights that Muhammad Ali jinnah promised to everyone in Pakistan.
There is no doubt that Punjab is the most populous and perhaps the most developed province of Pakistan but its development should be gauged due to its high population. Had Punjab been less in population,it would have been in ruins like Balochostan which I think is truly the only province which suffered more than anyone in Pakistan,more than Punjab,sindh or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Punjabis still languish in age old feudal shackles of Jageerdars as well. Punjab is not just Lahore,Rawalpindi,Faislabad or Multan etc but from upper Punjab to lower Punjab,the rural areas which feed entire Pakistan are not much different from Balochistan,FATA or Internal sindh.Punjab contributes almost 60% to Pakistan's economy and another fact remains that Punjab which was once known as the Granary of the south Asia feeds Pakistan as Agriculture lands here in Punjab accounts for 21% of Pakistan's GDP,80% for country's total export earnings,a major share in agriculture economy by producing 83% cotton,80% wheat,97% aromatic rice,63% sugarcane, 51% Maize,66% mangoes,95% of citrus,guava 82% and dates 34% a major share in the agricultural economy of the country. In short,Punjab too feeds Pakistan and had Punjab complete autonomy then if others demand full rights for their own resources,Punjab too should be able to make her own decisions if they want their OWN food to be distributed to the rest. There is no greater resources given by God then that of food and Punjab possess it in abundance so why should not Punjabis have it for themselves ?
Second,Punjab again possess five river which are now reduced to mere three so Punjab being the granary of Pakistan need more water as well so why should not it get more water ,after all she is producing more food for Pakistan so when Punjab talks about Kalabagh dam,others talk about dividing Punjab so have it their way so when Punjab will be divided into most probably 'Seraiki-Rohi soobah' and Bahawalpur Province so why do people think these two wont ask for water ever so who will the rest blame next time around ? Seraikis or people of Bahawalpur for their own misfortune ? so why double standards and why cant they be like Punjabis,work hard and move on once and for all instead of beating the banter again and again on 'Punjab neh Yeh kardia,woh kardia etc'
Third, No province in Pakistan enjoys autonomy so what if Punjab wants autonomy then what ? An autonomous Punjab should be there so that Punjabis can have their own resources for themselves and then distribute it to others on their OWN terms. Same goes for other provinces so that then they'll know if Food is bigger resources or same old Oil and gas.

Fourth,Urdu is NOT Punjab's language ,Punjabi,seraiki and Potohari are Punjab's regional languages while Majority speak Punjabi. Nationalist parties have always maintained that Urdu should be limited to Punjab so I ask them why Punjab ? Why cant Punjabis learn and study their own languages but there is a problem because since Pakistan came into being when british left,Pakistan adopted the same british policies so much so 150 year old ban on Punjabi language in Punjab is still in place so when Sindhis can learn sindhi in their schools or when pashto can be taught in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa(that too recently) then why cant Punjabis ? during Ranjeet Singh's rule,every house hold had to have "Punjabi qaida" but today Punjabis cant even learn their own languages hence you have different parties,nationalist parties finally stepping up in Punjab as well. One such group is known as "Punjabi Language Movement". This group is ran by Nazeer Kahut who believes in Punjab having autonomy,Punjabi language being taught in schools,the control of punjab's resources ALONE in Punjab's hands etc. So if others have ANP,JSQM,BNP,we have PLM as well though not as popular as others but the initiative is brilliant to start with. Punjabi language is vanishing slowly from Punjab and the act is a deliberate one by Pakistani government as the government from 47' onwards have imposed Urdu language on different ethnic groups in Pakistan. Of course being Pakistanis,we love urdu as well as it connects with others but our regional mother tongues are older and more advanced than Urdu. So,Punjabi along with Sindhi,Seraiki,balochi and pashto must be Pakistan's national languages as well.India is a country that does not even possess sindh province have Sindhi as one of her 15 national languages so why cant Pakistan learn from India in this regard and treat ethnic groups equally.

Lastly, Punjabis are hated for the wrong reasons and there is no doubt that others especially  Balochs have suffered way too much but Punjabis too are suffering and they want their rights as well.Historically Punjab and Sindh were part of same Indus valley civilization hence are distant cousins as well,Also historically the relationships of Punjab and Balochistan have been great because famous Baloch hero Mir Chakar rind is buried in Punjab near Sahiwal and Okara and his descendants today speak Punjabi as their first language in Punjab. Even if we consider Seraiki as Punjabi's dialect then most seraikis too consist of people of Baloch lineage hence more balochs are in Punjab then Balochs in actual Balochistan.So much so,Current Punjab governor Sardar Latif Khosa too is Seraiki of Baloch lineage. Though there are a lot of misconceptions and hate is there as well especially when one dictator killed a famous baloch politician Mir Nawab Bugti but over all,a common Punjabi suffers the same fate as Baloch. Same goes for pashtuns of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindhis as Pashtuns in FATA are targeted by Taliban,drones and Pakistan military while sindhis have been treated like red-indians in their own home province of Sindh.

In the end,for better Pakistan ,every province MUST enjoy autonomy to the fullest and that Punjab in particular should enjoy it more as well especially ban should be lifted on learning Punjabi language so that we can have better future for Punjab and Pakistan. But if it should continue as it is continuing then perhaps yesterday was Bengal,tomorrow may very well be Balochistan's and Punjab's turn.So who would like to see 'Republic of Punjab' next time around ? Being a proud Pakistani,i dont want that but do want an autonomous Punjab for myself and millions of other Punjabis because Habib Jalib's Punjab is soon going to wake up and when it does,im afraid it will be too late...


  1. proud punjabi :))
    pakistan is a country where everyone suffers equally nd punjabis alredy work too hard for PK. Pakistanis should appreciate punjabis :))

    1. Agreed. Punjabis should be proud of their culture and language. After all, we gave the world:

      Bhangra :)
      Laddo's :)

      produced two Noble prize winners,

      we are the most educated community in Pakistan despite the fact that our mother tongue is degraded etc etc etc...

      About time Pakistan should start appreciate Punjabis (Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sahiwal, Islamabad, Gujrat, Jehlim, Okara, etc etc...after all, it was and is all Punjab, right?) Not sure if future will divide our glorious land *sad*

      Punjabis should demand their rights or another Bangladesh will not be Sindh, Balochistan or KPK. It will be Punjab.

  2. In united India all the Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Christian Punjabis were a nation because of common land, language, culture, traditions, race, etc. The religion was a personal subject whereas; clans and communities were the institutions for social interaction and charity work.
    Punjab was a secular region and Punjabi was a respectable and honorable language, culture and nation in India, but in 19th century due to politics of congress dominated by Hindi speaking leaders. Hindu Punjabis started preferring Hindi language, culture and traditions instead of Punjabi. Later on, Muslim Punjabis did the same due to influence of Muslim League, dominated by Urdu speaking Muslim leaders.
    Because of preferring the Hindi language, culture and traditions by Hindu Punjabis and Urdu language, culture and traditions by Muslim Punjabis, “A Great Nation Got Divided by the Clans of Same Nation” and started receiving the reward of hate and regret by every honorable nation, even from Hindi and Urdu speaking persons. This is the punishment for Punjabis for not respecting their mother land, language, culture and traditions.
    Atmosphere of Punjab and mind set of Punjabis are still following the path of national breakdown , disintegration and degeneration by avoiding the rules of nature, principals of sociology and procedures of politics for the grooming of great nations. Accordingly common land, language, culture and traditions are counted as the basic binding forces for assembling the clans and communities to outward appearance of a nation.
    Yet Punjabis don’t have the respect, regard and honor for their mother land language, culture and traditions. Therefore, the basic and vital binding force for Punjab and Punjabis, i.e.; Punjabi language is not the official and educational language of Punjab because of that, Punjab and Punjabis are on way of breakdown into Majhi, Saraiki, Jangli, Shahpuri, Dhani, Pothohari, Hindko etc dialects leading towards the disintegration into Siraiki v/s Derewali v/s Thalochi v/s Multani v/s Riasuti v/s Jangli v/s Mianwali v/s Hindkowan v/s Kashmiri v/s Pothari v/s Majhi, Malwi, Doabi, Pwadhi etc clans and conflict along with degeneration into Aheers v/s Arains v/s Awans v/s Dogars v/s Gakhars v/s Gujjars v/s Jats v/s Kambohs v/s Khokhars v/s Mughals v/s Rajputs v/s Sheikhs v/s Syeds etc communities and clashes.
    In matter of fact, the dialects spoken in different regions of Punjab have a common vocabulary and a shared heritage. All Punjabi clans and communities are part and parasol of “Great Punjab”. “The Land of Five Rivers” with the back ground of five thousand years of historical heritage, land, language, culture, traditions and civilization called as; “Indus Valley Civilization”. Therefore, in Non-Punjabi Nations all dialects, clans and communities of Punjab are identified, recognized and treated as Punjabis.
    It is in best interest of Punjab and Punjabis to adopt the “Punjabi Culture and Traditions” along with “Punjabi Language” at official and educational level for assimilation of different clans of Punjabis and to unite the Punjab for their future affluence, prosperity, wealth and most important for respect, regard and honor of Punjab and Punjabis.

    1. You articulately expressed my sentiments.

      Just wanna ask if you are from Pakistani Punjab (the unfortunate one heading for division) or the Indian Punjab (unfortunate too since it was divided).

  3. Nice article. You should send it to The Tribune Blog because they always publish hatred-filled articles about Punjab so let's see if they will publish an article demanding Punjab's autonomy.

    I was a very proud Pakistani (still am!) but my interaction with people from other parts of Pakistan, especially the Urdu-speaking Karachiites (who think they are superior because they speak Urdu), Pashtuns (who sell their daughters and sisters in marriage (Walwar) but think they are more geerat-mand than Punjabis), Sindhis and Balochis....and after seeing the hatred they have for Punjab, Punjabi language and Punjabi culture, I have become a staunch promoter of Punjabi nationalism.

    I am a Pakistani-American but originally from Punjab. My ancestors migrated from East Punjab into West Punjab during partition. But it pains my grandparent's hearts when they hear on Geo, ARY and other Urdu-speaking dominated media about how the so-called Muhajirs made Pakistan.

    I recently visited home and I was surprised to see poverty, unemployment, over-population, inflation and food shortage in Punjab. I was amazed to see the degradation of Punjabi language and culture encouraged by the government.

    One thing that saddens me is that Urdu is forcefully encouraged in Punjab at the expense of Punjabi. And what saddens me the most is that Punjabis themselves, especially in Lahore (you might know better since you live there) have abandoned their language. Even sad is how the different dialects of Punjabi are being made into different languages to justify the division of Punjab.

    Anyway, I am glad that you raise voice for Punjab when most Punjabi youths are ashamed of their culture (seriously, why would you be ashamed of your own culture and how will speaking Urdu make you more educated?)

    I am sad to say that I want Punjab to separate from Pakistan to protect its language and culture from Urdu domination and to protect its resources from Sindhis, Pashtuns and Afghani refugees.

    Finally, I am tired of listening about how Karachi generates 60% of revenue for Pakistan while in fact it is Punjab which provides agriculture and industry. Not to mention the industry in Karachi was established to provide jobs to the Urdu-speaking migrants from UP, Delhi, Hyderabad, MP and Bihar.

    A question for your Twitter account, you mention that you are a Lahori, Punjabi, Paindu. And at another place, you mention that you are half-Seraiki and half-Punjabi...? Punjabi and Seraiki is a totally separate debate. An interesting thing is that I have met many Punjabi Hindus from India in the U.S. and their families migrated from Multan, South Punjab region during partition. They consider themselves Punjabi by heart and spirit and say that they speak the Multani dialect of Punjabi. They do not have any idea about Seraiki. I found it to be quite interesting.

    Oh and you wrote that you wear Dhoti. As far as I remember it was called Lacha in Punjabi :)