Cultural Insights Punjab Can It Be a Bridge to Peace Between India and Pakistan?
Maini, Tridivesh Singh
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"During the course of this write-up, the writer seeks to explore an area which has not been researched enough, both within South Asia, and outside the region; the potential role of Punjabi identity in narrowing the divide and acting as a bridge between India and Pakistan. At the outset, it would be important to familiarize all of you with the term 'Punjab' and its geographical location (though I presume, that most, if not all of you would be more than familiar with the Punjab and its geographical location). The word Punjab, means 'Land of the Five Rivers' in Persian. The five rivers are Sutlej, Beas, Jhelum, Chenab and Ravi. In the pre-1947 epoch, Punjab was an important geographical unit of South Asia, with Afghanistan to its West, the Central Indian Plateau to its East, Kashmir to its North and Sindh and Rajasthan to its South. After the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, the larger part of Punjab went to Pakistan, while a much smaller portion merged with India. Three rivers (Sutlej, Beas and Ravi) remained with the Indian side of Punjab while two (Jhelum, Chenab) went to Pakistan. In 1965, the Indian side of Punjab further got trifurcated into the states of Haryana and Himachal. In the present day, Punjab is a region that encompasses Northern India and Eastern Pakistan. Punjab is bounded on the north by the vast Himalayan ranges, which divide it from China, Tibet and Kashmir; on the east by the river Yamuna, the North-Western Provinces and the Chinese Empire; on the south by Sind, the river Sutlej, which separates it from Bhawalpur, and Rajputana; and on the west by the Sulaiman range, which divides it from Baluchistan, and Afghanistan, which joins the Khyber."
This article was published in Culture and Conflict Review (Fall 2011), v.5 no.3
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