Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
type = state
state_name = Punjab
native_name = Punjab
other_name = ਪੰਜਾਬ
capital = Chandigarh
latd = 30.73
longd = 76.78
largest_city = Ludhiana
abbreviation = IN-PB
official_languages = Punjabi
legislature_type = The Punjab Government Unicameral
legislature_strength = 117 Punjab MLAs
leader_title_1 = Governor
Sunith Francis Rodrigues
leader_title_2 =Chief Minister
leader_name_2 = Parkash Singh Badal
area_rank = 19th
area_magnitude = 10
population_year = 2000
population_total = 24289296
population_rank = 15th
population_density = 482
districts = 20
inset_map_marker = yes
Punjab ( _pa. ਪੰਜਾਬ, _hi. पंजाब, IPA2|pəɲdʒaːb) is a state in northwest
India. Punjab borders the West Punjab to the west, Jammu and Kashmirto the north, Himachal Pradeshto the northeast, Haryanato the south and southeast, Chandigarhto the southeast and Rajasthanto the southwest. The total area of the state is 50,362 square kilometers (19,445 square miles). The population is 24,289,296 (2000). Punjab's capital is Chandigarh, which is administered separately as a Union Territorysince it is also the capital of neighbouring Haryana. Other major cities of Punjab include Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jalandharand Patiala. The Indus Valley Civilizationwas one of the worlds first and oldest civilizations. It centered around the ancient cities of Harappaand Mohenjo-Darolocated in the Pakistani province of Punjab and the Pakistani province of Sind, respectively. [ [http://www.boloji.com/architecture/00002.htm Indus Valley Civilization ] ]
The Indian Punjab historically forms a part of the larger
Punjab region, which includes some parts of Afghanistan, Pakistani province of Punjab and the North West Frontier Province, the Indian states of Haryanaand Himachal Pradesh, parts of J&Kand Delhiand the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Indian Punjab was trifurcated in the year 1966 leading to the formation of Haryanaand Himachal Pradesh.When partition was declared East Punjab was hit hard with violence which involved up to thousands and thousands of innocent people being displaced from their homes.
Agriculture is the largest industry in Punjab. Others major industries include the manufacture of scientific instruments, electrical goods, financial services, machine tools, textiles, sewing machines, sports goods, starch, tourism, fertilizers, bicycles, garments, and the processing of pine oil and sugar. Punjab is considered to have the best infrastructure in
India[ [http://punjabgovt.nic.in/ECONOMY/Transport.htm Welcome to Official Web site of Punjab, India ] ] , this includes road, rail, air and river transport links that are extensive throughout the region. Punjab also has the lowest poverty rate in India at 6.16% (1999-2000 figures), and has won the best state performance award [ [http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?id=765c7761-40d4-4355-8198-68a607038e35&&Headline=Punjab+is+the+'best'+state! Best overall performance award to Punjab- Hindustan Times ] ] , based on statistical data compiled by the Indian Government.
The word "Punjab" is a combination of the Persian words 'panj' (پنج) "Five", and 'āb' (آب) "Water", giving the literal meaning of the "Land of Five Rivers". The five rivers after which Punjab is named are the Beas, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej.
Most of the Punjab is an
alluvialplain, bounded by mountains to the North. Despite its dry conditions, it is a rich agricultural area due to the extensive irrigation made possible by the great river system traversing it. Punjab region temperature range from -2° to 40°C (MIN/MAX), but can reach 47°C (117°F) in summer and can touch down to -5°C in winter.
title= Punjab Population
footnote=source:Census of India cite web|url=http://www.punenvis.nic.in/demo_trends.htm|title=Demographic Trends|work=Census of India|publisher=www.punenvis.nic.in|language=English|accessdate=2008-06-04]
Sikhismis the most practiced faith in Punjab, roughly 59% of the population belongs to the Sikh faith. [ [http://www.censusindia.gov.in/ Indian Census] ] 39.357% of the population practices Hinduism. Recently a small number of Rastafarianshave moved into Punjab, most of them are found in Khanna. Other faiths include Islam, Buddhism, Christianityand Jainism. The holiest of Sikhshrines, the Golden Temple (or Harimandir Sahib), is in the city of Amritsar. The Sri Akal Takht Sahibwhich resides within the Golden temple complex is the temporal seat of Sikhs. Of the five Takhts [Temporal Seat] of Sikhism, three are in Punjab. Anandpur Sahibis where Guru Gobind Singhcreated the Khalsaon Vaisakhi. During major holidays on the Sikh calendar (such as Vaisakhi, Hola Mohalla,a Gurpurbor Diwali), many Sikhs gather and march through virtually every city, town and village in Punjab. Sikhism is so common in fact, that at least one Sikh Gurdwara can be found in every village, town and city (in various styles and sizes). There will be number Sikh shrines found in each and every district made in the commemoration of a Sikh Guru or Martyr. Generations ago, turbans were fairly commonplace of most Punjabis whether Muslim, Hindu or Sikh. Muslims and Hindus have given up their turbans, but it became an article of faith for Sikh men whose religion forbids them to cut their hair.
Punjabi language, written in the Gurmukhiscript is the official language in the state.
Punjab (the five rivers region) is one of the most fertile regions on
earth. The region is ideal for wheat-growing. Rice, sugar cane, fruits and vegetablesare also grown. Indian Punjab is called the "Granary of India" or "India's bread-basket." [ [http://punjabgovt.nic.in/punjabataglance/LeadingbyExample.htm Welcome to Official Web site of Punjab, India ] ] It produces 14% of India's cotton, 20% of India's wheat, and 9% of India's rice. In worldwide terms, Indian Punjab produces 2% of the world's cotton, 2% of its wheat and 1% of the world's rice. [ [http://punjabgovt.nic.in/punjabataglance/LeadingbyExample.htm Welcome to Official Web site of Punjab, India ] ] The largest grown crop is wheat. Other important crops are rice, cotton, sugarcane, pearl millet, maize, barleyand fruit.In Punjab per hectare consumption of fertilizer is 177 kg as compared to 90 kg at national level. Also Punjab State has been awarded National Productivity Award for agriculture extension services for consecutively ten years from 1991-92 to 1998-99 and 2001 to 2003-04.
"Source: Punjab Government"
Punjab Medals of Honour
The Punjab Medals of Honour are a collection of awards that are given by the Government of Punjab for exceptional excellence and achievement in the service of Punjab, the
Punjabi peopleand internationally. Some awards are given yearly and some are only given rarely and under exceptional circumstances, where the individual has shown remarkable sacrifice or personal service of Punjab. To win one of the rare awards would probably make the individual a household famous name in Punjab. Two of the most prestigious awards are Punjab Rattan Awardand the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award"(a very prestigious award)".
Twin Punjabi Associations
The Punjab historically, since ancient times, has been one cultural and political entity within which the Punjabi people have lived in. However, after the
partition of Indiathe Punjab was divided, cutting the Punjabi peoplein two across the international border between Pakistan and India. Relations after partition were unusually Luke-warm between the twin Punjabs. However, over the last 20 years both Punjab governments, in India and Pakistan, have made concerted effort to maintaining cultural and historical ties of the Punjabi people. This included the international Punjabi Games held in 2004, arranged by both Punjab Governments.Academic institutions have kept their strong contacts such as Universities that were spilt after partition, such as the twin Punjab Universities at Chandigarhand Lahore.
Punjab state is divided into 20 administrative districts (listed below):
Fatehgarh Sahib District
Tarn Taran District
The largest cities of Punjab state are:
Punjab (India) Politics
*The Punjab Government
The Indian state of Punjab was created in 1947, when the
Partition of Indiasplit the former Raj province of Punjab between Indiaand Pakistan. The mostly Muslim western part of the province became Pakistan's Punjab Province; the mostly Sikh eastern part became India's Punjab state. Many Sikhs and Hindus lived in the west, and many Muslims lived in the east, and so the partition saw many people displaced and much intercommunal violence. [cite web|url=http://www.4to40.com/discoverindia/places/index.asp article=discoverindia_places_punjab
title=Punjab - State
accessdate=2006-10-14 ] Several small Punjabi
princely states, including Patiala, also became part of India. In 1950, two separate states were created; Punjab included of the former Raj province of Punjab, while the princely states were combined into a new state, the Patiala and East Punjab States Union(PEPSU). PEPSU consisted of the princely states of Patiala, Nabha, Jind, Kapurthala, Malerkotla, Faridkotand Kalsia. Himachal Pradesh was created as a union territoryfrom several princely states and KangraDistrict. In 1956, PEPSU was merged into Punjab state, and several northern districts of Punjab in the Himalayaswere added to Himachal Pradesh.
The capital of the undivided Punjab province,
Lahore, ended up in Pakistan after partition, so a new capital for Indian Punjab state was built at Chandigarh. On November 1, 1966, the mostly Hindu southeastern half of Punjab became a separate state, Haryana. Chandigarh was on the border between the two states, and became a separate union territorywhich serves as the capital of both Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh was due to transfer to Punjab alone in 1986, but the transfer has been delayed pending an agreement on which parts of the Hindi speaking areas of Aboharand Fazilka, currently part of Firozpur Districtof Punjab, should be transferred to Haryana in exchange.
1970s, the Green Revolutionbrought increased economic prosperity for the Sikh community in Punjab, mainly due to Pratap Singh Kairon, the late Sikh leader. However, a growing polarisationbetween the Indian National Congressled Indian government and the main political party of the Sikhs, the Shiromani Akali Dal, began to widen during the 1970s. The hostility and bitterness arose from what was widely seen by the Sikhs as increasing alienation, centralization and discriminatory attitudes towards Punjab by the Government of India. This prompted the Shiromani Akali Dal to unanimously pass the Anandpur Sahib Resolutionwhich among other things called for granting maximum autonomy for the Punjab and other states and limiting the role and powers of the Central Government. The Anandpur Sahib Resolution was rejected and erroneously dubbed as being of a hidden separatist agenda by India's Congress Party, specifically to discredit the resolution.
Discord had been developing after the rejection of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. A small section of Sikhs demanded an independent state of
Khalistan. A number of militants took to targeting officials and people opposed to their point of view which included a number of Sikhs. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwalealong with his supporters sought shelter inside the Akal Takht. Fearing an attack on the Harimandir Sahib, Bhindranwale, with help from Shabeg Singhheavily fortified the temple. The Indian army finally assaulted the Golden Temple to take out armed militants in June, 1984. However, the operation, Operation Bluestarwas poorly planned and coordinated, leading to heavy military and civilian casualties.
As a result, the situation in Punjab deteriorated into anarchy with a rise in radicalised militancy. By the early 1990s, after many years of violence across Punjab, the militants' struggle for Khalistan had lost much of the sympathy given after the assault on the sacred Golden Temple, it had previously had from some Punjabi Sikhs and what little armed resistance remained was eliminated and forced underground. In the following years there was concern over alleged human rights abuses conducted by the central and state government against radical Sikhs, and many human rights organisations were not allowed in the Punjab at the time. [See Amnesty Reports such as [http://www.punjabtrauma.org Punjab Trauma ] ]
BJPformer leader stated that the Congress Partygovernments have been involved in creating terrorism in the Punjab. Recently, BJP national president Lal Krishna Advani, stated that it was his party which pressured Sikh Extremists to take a stand against the government. [ [http://www.hindustantimes.com/storypage/storypage.aspx?id=c2819374-a8dd-4272-83da-20647b435a45&MatchID1=33&TeamID1=8&TeamID2=4&MatchType1=5&SeriesID1=1&PrimaryID=33&Headline=Advani%e2%80%99s+Blue+Star+remark+makes+Akali+Dal+see+red Advani’s Blue Star remark makes Akali Dal see red- Hindustan Times ] ] The policy to help the Congress Party by creating militants and moderates backfired resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent people [ [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/BJP_rallies_behind_Advani_hits_back_at_Congress/articleshow/2901845.cms] BJP accuses Congress of Terrorism] .
Punjab's economy was acutely affected in the 1980s and early 1990s. However in recent times, there have been serious attempts by the Central Government to diminish resentment and strong feelings of Punjabis over the issue. Punjab's economy is now on the path to recovery. However, corruption and violence continues to hamper the state.
In recent times, there is growing concern in the state about the immigration of labourers from other Indian states such as
Uttar Pradeshand Bihar. Around 10% of Punjab's population is now made up of migrants from these states. The native Punjabis are concerned that they will soon became a minority in their own state, and allege that the unchecked immigration is encouraged by the government. [http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-2846479,flstry-1.cms Simmering discontent: Sikhs in Punjab are fighting many wars] . 8 Mar, 2008, 0000 hrs IST,Praveen S Thampi, Times of India.] The pro-Khalistan organization Dal Khalsa (International)has blamed the problems like rising crime rate and unemployment on immigration. On the other hand the leaders like Tarsem Jodha have stated that immigration is vital to Punjab's economy since the Jatt landlords of Punjab have always relied on immigrants for labour.
In last few decades, the disputes between the upper caste Jatts and the lower caste Dalits have caused much violence in Punjab. In the Talhan riots, lower caste Sikhs were brutally suppressed by the upper-caste Jats allegedly with the police help over the management of the local Gurdwara. The daughter of the Dalit activist Bant Singh was raped by upper-caste Jats, and he was beaten up leading to amputation of his limbs. [ [http://www.flonnet.com/fl2302/stories/20060210003703300.htm Casteist assault] by ANNIE ZAIDI. Frontline Volume 23 - Issue 02, Jan. 28 - Feb. 10, 2006.]
Dera Sacha Saudaclaims to be a pro-Dalit organization, but Jat Sikhs regard it as a conspiracy aimed at diluting the Sikh identity. There have been many cases of violence between the two groups. Another example is the breakaway sect of a godman called Baba Piara Singh Bhaniarawala. The followers of Bhaniarwala are mostly Dalits who claim to be Sikhs. However, the upper caste Sikhs have accused him of modifying the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred book of the Sikhs. They have accused him of blasphemy, alleging that his 2,400-page "Bhavsagar Samundar Amar Bani" contains blasphemous references to Sikhism.
According to the World Drug Report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 2007, Punjab is the World’s No 1 transit point for opium. According to the Akali leader Captain Kanwaljeet Singh, Punjab finds itself bypassed as neighbouring states are prospering due to the services book, while industrialisation in Punjab has not happened in a planned manner due to “a crucial decade lost in militancy.”
Photo gallery of Punjab State
History of the Punjab
* "Punjab," Pakistan
* [http://punjabgovt.nic.in/ Welcome to Official Web site of Punjab, India]
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