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Punjab, Punjabi, Punjabiyat

Discussion in 'Punjab, Punjabi, Punjabiyat' started by Admin Singh, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Admin Singh

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    Punjab, Punjabi, Punjabiyat
    by Prof. PRITAM SINGH

    The following is based on distinguished Punjabi writer and teacher, Professor Pritam Singh's key-note address to the Fourth Punjabi Conference held in Delhi in 1993. It was published earlier in Sirnawan (June, 1993) and Watan (October - December 2010 issue):

    An important task that I wish to assign to this Conference concerns some words which will be bandied about frequently from the stage and which have already become current in the Punjabi world. The semantic boundaries of these words are still indeterminate and there is a need to bring to an end this indeterminacy so that we can be certain about their meanings and everyone knows where the Conference stands in regard to its basic concepts.

    There are many other words also whose semantic boundaries need to be fixed, but today I'll take up three words only; these are "Punjab", "Punjabi" and "Punjabiyat".

    My suggestion is that the help of eminent scholars should be sought to determine the semantic zones of these words.

    I am attaching priority to this task because in the future the connotations of these words will define the scope of the Conference.

    For instance, let us first consider the word "Punjab".

    I had an opportunity to stay in Pakistan for about ten or eleven days in 1989. One day, while enjoying a cup of tea at a friend's in Lahore, I asked his daughter who was a sixth standard student, "My child, are you a Sindhi or a Balochi?"

    She laughed and replied, "No, Uncle, we're Punjabis."

    I again asked: "Do you know the geography of the Punjab?"

    She answered: "Yes, I do."

    I said: "Would you tell me where Punjab begins and up to which place does it extend?"

    The girl answered with alacrity: "The Punjab province extends from the Sindh and NWFP right up to the Lahore border."

    The same question I put to my grandson after I came back. He too incidentally happened to be a sixth standard student in Amritsar. His answer was, "It is all Punjab from the Wagha border to the Shambhu Barrier." As you all know, when you enter Haryana from Rajpura, Shambhu is the last village of Punjab bordering Haryana.

    These answers make it clear that whenever the talk of Punjab begins in front children from Lahore and Amritsar, two different maps of Punjab, both different from actual reality, appear in their minds. We all know that this is true not only of children from Lahore and Amritsar, rather for millions of people in Pakistan, Punjab means what it meant to the young girl from Lahore and for millions of Indians, the meanings of the word Punjab are the same as were given by the boy from Amritsar.

    The Second World Punjabi Conference was held in Lahore from 26 to 29 December, 1992. It was a world conference. The question that now arises is whether or not this 'world conference' held in Pakistan should adopt the official map of Punjab as the one issued by the Govt. of Pakistan?

    And whether or not our World Punjabi Conference should, without showing any resistance, adopt that map of Punjab which has been issued by the Indian Govt.?

    The answer to this question will determine what this Conference and the one held in Pakistan will do and for whom.

    But the issue will not be resolved by these two maps alone because whenever scholars sit down and decide the semantic boundaries of these words, as I've appealed, they'll have to confront many more maps. You all know that the political and administrative boundaries of Punjab have changed considerably on many occasions. Even if we do not talk about the Iranian or Greek occupation of the western part of Punjab, and in the same manner, even if we ignore the altered Punjab boundaries in the period beginning with Mahmud Ghaznavi up to Ahmed Shah Abdali, and we start from the times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, even then there is this apprehension that the number of maps will be quite large.

    During the Maharaja's reign, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal and the NWFP (which is in Pakistan now) had become a part of Punjab. And then during the British colonial rule, Punjab remained a part of the vast North-West administrative unit which extended up to Agra. Will the World Punjabi Conference be prepared to accept the map of a multi-lingual and multi-national Punjab of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's period or that of the British period?

    The final decision I would like to leave to the specialists but I will not deprive you of my opinion. If your scholars think it prudent, they may consider my view, otherwise it is up to them and you.

    My view is that while trying to draw the right map of Punjab, the World Punjabi Conference, which is not a political organisation according to its own declaration, should step out of the erstwhile political and administrative enclosures and try to make culture and language the basis of the new map. The lines of the map drawn in such a manner will go beyond the boundaries of many states of at least two nations. It does not matter to me nor should it matter to the Conference, whether any country, province or political party accepts or rejects this concept of Punjab because my policy is to accept the honest findings of the linguists and scholars of culture and not to extend forcibly the borders of the Punjabi speaking areas.
    It is natural that I ask the World Conference to do a similar thing. Whatever be the present boundaries, the real homes of the Punjabi-speaking people and the boundaries of Punjab will be drawn for the first time on this new map.

    Like that of "Punjab", the meanings of the word "Punjabi" also are not uncontested. If the map of Punjab is to be drawn by ignoring linguistic and cultural aspects and under purely political and religious considerations, then believe me, these very considerations will come into play at the time of fixing the semantic zones of the word "Punjabi" which denotes language.

    If you do not believe what I say, then listen to what an admirer of the Pakistani writer, Mushtaq Basit's book Pak Punjabi says while summarising the book:

    After a thorough comparison of Punjabi from across the border with Pak Punjabi, Basit Sahib has reached the conclusion that the cultural and literary fount of Pakistani Punjab is Arabic and Persian. The literary heritage of Pakistan begins with the writings of Waris Shah, Bulle Shah, Mian Mohammad Bux, Sultan Bahu and other Sufis. In our Punjabi, slokás and bhajans are neither recited nor heard.

    Basit's book is a beautiful example of how a lover of Punjabi, dyed in the hues of religion and politics, uses the Punjabi language for nationalistic purposes by giving it the colours of his own politics and religion. Basit Sahib is a well wisher of Punjabi, he wants development of Punjabi but he has such firm faith in the concept of purity and impurity that if, even inadvertently, his Pakistani Punjabi were to come into contact with the Indian Punjabi, then to him the entire Pak Punjabi would become impure. Obviously, the proclivity of a person who recognizes Islamic-Pakistani Punjabi as the only Punjabi is born out of his deep but warped love of Pakistani Islamic Punjabi.

    A quasi-political and quasi-cultural movement in the name of "Saraiki language" has been going on against Pakistani Punjabis. The proponents of Saraiki claim that this dialect of Multan-Bahawalpur is a separate language and on this basis they are asking for a new Saraiki province.

    Like the Sindhis, the anger of the advocates of Saraiki is directed more against Punjabi than against Urdu. Deeming Saraiki to be a dialect of Punjabi, the scholars of Punjabi in Pakistan oppose a separate status for Saraiki.

    In this part of Punjab also, almost a similar situation prevails. Punjabi scholars deem the languages of Kangra and Jammu to be dialects of Punjabi, but some political leaders of these areas consider Dogri language and Pahari culture to be essentially different from Punjabi language and culture. They have embraced Hindi, and considering Punjabi to be untouchable, cannot bear to have it even at their doorsteps where they keep their shoes.

    As it is, even from a purely linguistic angle unhampered by any politico-religious considerations, there are several viewpoints about Punjabi language. This is exemplified by how Mohan Singh Diwana and Igor Dmitriyev Serebriakov consider literature written by Punjabis in Hindi, Urdu and even English to be Punjabi literature. Perhaps for them, Punjabi literature means literature written in Punjab.

    In his first speech made after taking over as Professor of Punjabi in Delhi University, Harbhajan Singh, like Mohan Singh Diwana, had advocated enlarging the sphere of Punjabi. And in my Preface to a 1990 Punjab University publication, Selected Medieval Punjabi Poetry, I took a position which is close to this.

    But contrary to this view, many Punjabi writers, starting with the late Prof. Teja Singh, consider Punjabi spoken in Lahore and Amritsar and various other dialects spoken in Punjab as part of the Punjabi language, but do not consider literature composed in Hindvi, Bagri, Sadhukri, Hindi and Urdu as Punjabi literature.

    You all know that the basic grammatical structure of Punjabi and Urdu is the same. But since Hindi, in the manner of a beggar, makes a mendicant's call at the doorstep of Sanskrit when it has to coin new words, and the practitioners of Urdu generally borrow their words from Arabic and Persian word-smithies, two different language styles have gradually emerged as two separate, independent languages; more so because these two have different scripts.

    Some Pakistani scholars cast in Basit Sahib's mould, making an example of the breach between Hindi and Urdu, are bent upon creating hurdles in the way of affinity between Pakistani Punjabi and Indian Punjabi. However, on both sides of the border, there are people who, by quickly repairing this breach, do not want these two languages to become independent languages. I belong to this group.

    Given such a linguistic scenario, the World Conference, whenever it employs the word "Punjabi", will have to decide what it means by it.

    While taking a decision, it will have to be kept in mind that Punjabi is one of the largest languages of the world. It is said that the number of speakers of Punjabi has crossed sixty million. On the basis of this number, it ranks eleventh or perhaps twelfth in the world. Hence, it is no disgrace that Punjabi has a large number of dialects. If this trend is accepted, then there will be a need to make some adjustments in the continuously expanding frontiers of Punjabi language.

    Owing to increasing means of collaboration between speakers of different Punjabi dialects and also because of growing practice of written literature, a standard Punjabi has emerged and is getting stronger by the day.

    Mushtaq Basit's parochial concept of "Punjab" does suggest such a narrow and provincial concept of "Punjabi", but what is happening in actual practice implies that:

    1. Having given up their love of Arabic-Persian words, many writers on this side of Punjab have just about agreed to take refuge in Hindi-Sanskrit. A majority of writers belonging to older generations considers this a sign of contemporary Punjabi writers' apathy and servitude to the prevailing linguistic environment. But the present generation is not troubled by any such qualms.
    2. Just as some writers from the West Punjab knowingly boycott Punjabi writers from this side in their articles and research papers, writers from the East Punjab do not do exactly like that, but they generally make references to Punjabi writers from the East Punjab only and do not evaluate new Punjabi writers from the West Punjab.
    3. The way Mushtaq Basit has given Islamic tinge to Punjabi, the Punjabi of several East Punjabi writers is dyed in Sikh colours.

    Forgive me for saying all this, but I feel that unwitting actions of a majority and deliberate actions of a minority of people from West and East Punjab tend to drive people away from each other. And since religious and political differences and currency of separate scripts tend to widen this gap to the point of effecting a split, I wish that the World Punjabi Conference should try, as early as possible, to be very clear about the meanings of the words "Punjab" and "Punjabi" and it should also clarify them to all Punjabis all over the world.

    It will have become clear from what I have suggested up to this point that it is not essential that one may get the same type of goods from all the shopkeepers who have opened big showrooms of "Punjabiyat"; the signboards may be the same, ostensibly the same goods may be hawked, but practical experience reveals that goods of different kinds are traded at these showrooms.

    It is worth remembering that that the kind of concept of "Punjab" and "Punjabi" a person entertains, his "Punjabiyat" will also be of the same type. "Punjabiyat", which means authentic Punjabihood, has directly to do with the common threads uniting the desires, needs, qualities, interests, aspirations, instincts, temperament, thoughts, emotions, imaginings, sympathies, and likes and dislikes of all Punjabis. Believe me that a person who can identify these common threads and tell them apart has found the route to "Punjabiyat".

    But the problem arises when scholars such as Basit Sahib start painting the image of "Punjabiyat" cast in a communal mould, and not as it really is. For instance, the essence of Basit's "Punjabiyat" is that if a person is a loyal Pakistani, a chaste Muslim and a staunch Punjabi, only then his "Punjabiyat" can be considered authentic.

    I too have a concept of "Punjabiyat". And it is quite different from Basit Sahib's notion. My view is tied neither to Islam, nor Sikhism, nor Hinduism, though it has no intrinsic disunity or antagonism with either of these ... and not at all with Sikhism because it is Punjab's own indigenous produce.

    But the natural trajectory of my curiosity is in the direction of those common, shared cords which bind the minds of all Punjabis irrespective of the religion, country and area to which they belong. These are those common cords with which the fabric of Punjabiyat is woven. I believe the stronger these cords are, the more rugged and enduring Punjabi solidarity will be. But there seems to be no way out; these common threads only are not traceable.

    Basit Sahib has found one type of thread and I another. What strategy should we employ to get into our hands all the common threads of unity and solidarity prevailing among all the Punjabi speaking people?

    All the scholars of the world who have thought deeply about this problem believe that all the common threads can be found in a people's history and culture. And culture subsumes everything that is included in folklore, folk beliefs, superstitions, social taboos, folk games, traditions, folk dances, folk dresses and food habits. All this is applicable to Punjabi culture as well.

    Many Punjabi scholars do proclaim the oneness of Punjabi in a loud voice like me, but nobody bothers to doggedly unravel the aforementioned subtle layers of culture. The result of this apathy is that beneath the very ground on which loud and passionate proclamations of Punjabi solidarity are being made, a strong undercurrent seeks to erode the very foundations of this solidarity.

    Let us see how.

    From the birth of a child to his death, many customs and rituals are performed. On such occasions, there may be some communal sharing of drinks, mirth and laughter, and joys and sorrows but the real customs deriving from the parents' religion are totally different. Not only this, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs are particularly ignorant of each others' customs. Likewise, the Muslims and Sikhs neither believe in nor do they worship the Hindu pantheon. The same thing can be said about the Hindus and Sikhs in regard to the Islamic pantheon. Their places of pilgrimage are different - one looks toward Mecca and Medina and the other toward Kashi and Prayag. And the Sikhs have made paying obeisance at and taking a holy dip in the sacred sarovar at the Golden Temple, Amritsar part of their daily prayer.2

    Hindu, Muslim and Sikh places of worship are also different.

    One's feet are irresistibly drawn towards a mosque, another's towards a temple and the third one's towards a gurdwara.

    Cremating their dead is a taboo for the Muslims and internment, a taboo for the Hindus. The Hindus go to Hardwar on the occasion of the Kumbh festival and the Muslims undertake pilgrimages to the mausoleums of pirs and fakirs on their death anniversaries.

    The Hindus celebrate the festival of Holi, the Muslims do not. The Hindus celebrate Dusshehra and Diwali, but the Muslims do not. The Muslims celebrate Eids, the Hindus and Sikhs do not.

    And history is a witness to the fact that on some occasion or the other, Hindus have tended to avoid living together with the Muslims and Sikhs, Sikhs with the Hindus and Muslims, and Muslims with the Sikhs and Hindus.

    In such a situation, isn't shouting hoarse over unity turning a blind eye to the actual reality? Shall we have to say, in one voice with Basit Sahib, that there is no undivided Punjabiyat? Is there a common cultural ground offering a glimpse of coexistence of all Punjabis?

    Even if the organizers of the World Punjabi Conference wish to run away from this question, people will not allow them to do so. This question will have to be answered. If the Conference has any concrete model of Punjabiyat, then it needs to issue clear-cut guidelines, otherwise Basit Sahib's thesis of two Punjabs, two Punjabi languages and two Punjabiyats is already there.

    I have already given my views about Punjab and Punjabi language. I have no dilemma in my mind even about Punjabiyat. To me Punjabiyat appears to be one, undivided unity; its fissures are only superficial and the strength of its unified base is beyond any doubt. I do not lay claim to this undivided unity of Punjabiyat because I stand to gain personally, religiously, territorially or nationally by making such a claim, or because my personal problems or that of my co-religionists or countrymen are linked up with this claim. I believe it because it is a fact which everybody can see.

    For example, someone should tell me if folk dances like Bhangra, Giddha and Sammi are the creations of a collective feel of all Punjabis for music and rhythm or they are inventions of Hindus, Muslims or Sikhs alone? Are ghorian, allhanian, bollian, tappe, mahiye and dholley shared gems birthed by the ocean-hearts of youngsters and maidens or are they manufactured in mosques, temples and gurdwaras? Are vaaran, kafian, sahafian, baranmaah, satware, kissey and ghazals not an integral part of the exquisite, shared heritage of the two Punjabs?

    Do the names of Raja Salwan, Puran, Ichhran, Luna, Gorakh Nath, Rasalu and Hodi, Gugga and Sakhi Sarwar not invoke familiar emotions in our minds which are common to all Punjabis? From King Porus to Dulla Bhatti and from Dulla Bhatti to Sardar Bhagat Singh, do their memories and of moustachioed Punjabis not warm the cockles of the hearts equally of all Punjabis on both the sides?

    Ask any Punjabi any time of the day if anyone among them on both the sides would be eager to banish Heer-Ranjha, Sassi-Punnu, Sohni-Mahiwal, Mirza-Sahiban or Rode Jalali beyond the Raavi on that side or drive them on to this side of the river from beyond? She may be naani (maternal grandmother) or daadi (paternal grandmother), bhua (father's sister) or maami (wife of mother's brother), mother or maasi (mother's sister), if she is a Punjabi woman, the first story she narrates to her children is that of the sparrow and the crow who very nearly succeeded in cooking khicchrri (a dish of rice and lentils), but their game was completely spoiled by the treachery of one party.

    Do the sparrows and crows of West Punjab now cook beef instead of khicchrri to humour Muslim children? Is it that for the children of the affluent Punjabis, the place of the humble birds in this age-old tale has been taken over by peacocks and bul-buls, and the khicchrri has been replaced by pulaao, shammi kebabs, or cakes and pastries?

    Have we ever paid attention to the common folk instruments such as vanjhali, algoze, toombi, iktara, dafli, dhadd and dhol? Those whom we call "folk", God forbid me from telling a lie, I have seen them on both sides of the border swinging and dancing with gay abandon to the music of these instruments.

    Let us cast just a perfunctory glance at our popular folk games. There is equal passion in both Punjabs for thaal, kikli, hide-and-seek, kotla-chhapaki, gulli-danda, khiddo-khoondi, kabaddi, sonchi, and so on and so forth.

    Now let us consider our shared identity. Try taking the names of the organs of your body from head to toe - hair, head, skull, brow, eye brows, eye lashes, eyes, nose, nostrils, mouth, lips, teeth, gums, tongue, uvula, throat, neck, chest, armpit, arm, wrist, hand, thumb, finger, wrist, loins, thigh, leg, ankle, knee, palm and toe, etc. A majority of words is of those that are common to all Punjabis.

    Now let us look at the kinship markers of our relations. First, on the maternal side: ma, naana (grandfather), naani, maasi, maasarrh (husband of mother's sister), maama (mother's brother), and maami (his wife). And now, on the paternal side: pey-oh (father), daada (grandfather), daadi (grandfather), taaya (father's elder brother), taayee (father's elder brother's wife), chaacha (father's younger brother), chaachi (wife of father's younger brother), bhua and phupharrh (husband of father's sister).

    Likewise, there are many other words acting as kinship markers such as auntri (a childless woman), matreyi (stepmother), sass (mother-in-law), sauhra (father-in-law), saala (wife's brother), saali (wife's sister), sanddhu (co-brother), and many more which Punjabis from both the sides use with equal felicity.

    If we start looking for common words being used by all Punjabis for plants, vegetables, agriculture, live-stock, clothes and apparel, and those associated with trade and business, we may spend an entire day but still the list will remain inexhaustible.

    These are the words which are commonly used in East and West Punjab but they are either not found at all in any neighbouring province, and even if they are there, they exist in an altered form.

    We should involve our children in this game of finding common words in different walks of life. The grown-ups need not despair. I have another game for them, and that is of compiling a list of expletives. Any Pakistani researcher, who embarks upon this route as a pioneer, should not be surprised to find in the streets of Indian Punjab all the choicest abuses and obscenities being used on his side of Punjab. How can these blessings full of bombast, these wonderful exemplars of originality and creativity, transgressive of all moral and social interdictions and always looking for new illicit relations be found in their fullness in any other Indian or Pakistani province?

    Well, it all boils down to the fact that countless proofs of our common heritage are there for a keen scholar to observe. That is why I have desisted from making too much of the commonality of Punjabis' favourite folk-tales, anecdotes, jokes, proverbs, fairs and festivals, and idioms, etc. If somebody is not already sworn to disagree then beneath the seeming differences of nations and religions, the basic unity of Punjabi culture cannot be hidden, even if one tries to do so.

    So far as the role of political and religious leaders who try to create dissensions is concerned, I have only one answer to it: the more determined and stronger the line-up of those who believe in cultural unity is, the weaker will be their divisive opponents. Great caution is required when using religion on international level.

    I hope that in the light of what I have said about Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiyat I will not have to answer the question why I have chosen this opportunity to tell the Punjabi World Conference to be clear about its stand on Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiyat and also to spell it out to others.

    I do not know if I have been able to win over the World Punjabi Conference on to my side on the issues of Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiyat, but suppose the Conference endorses my views; then what expectations can we harbour about the outcomes?

    Perhaps it will improve cooperation between Punjabis; perhaps the gulfs separating them from each other will narrow down, thus making much smoother the way to spontaneous Punjabi unity. I am not oblivious of the fact that while trying to promote Punjabi unity, it is not easy to openly confront a society seeped in religious bigotry and fanaticism. But in a world full of differences that separate people, petty jealousies, parochialism, and in a pining and desiring world, who will not like to imagine a blueprint of "Beg[h]umpura"? ["Beghumpura" - GGS, Bhagat Ravidas: literally, 'a world without sorrow'.]

    I also have a dream that all Punjabis shall unite on the basis of common language and culture. And I feel that this should be the dream of all Punjabis as well.

    [Translated from the Punjabi original by Swaraj Raj. Courtesy: South Asian Ensemble, vol. 2, Number 3, Summer 2010. ] October 13, 2010

    http://www.sikhchic.com/partition/punjab_punjabi_punjabiyat
     

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  3. dalbirk

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    Unfortunately the West Punjab is now full of bigot Muslims whom I encountered during my second visit to Lahore in 2006 ( the first one was in 2004 on Cricket Visa ) . Lahore is very very unlike the Lahore we hear & read in stories . We ( me, my wife , my two kids , my sister in law ) nearly got killed in mob voilence ( to protest against Danish Cartoons ) on 14th February ,2006 . Only Waheguru saved us on that day , I may never visit Lahore , Nankana Sahib ever again in my life . Pakistani Punjab ( West Punjab ) is lost to us ( Sikhs ) Punjabis forever .
     
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  4. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Quite strange the indian media had articles full of praises of Pakistanis at the time of Cricket series.It was shown on television that some shopkeepers gave away items free of costs to Indian as they considered them their guests.Nowhere the news of Attack was mentioned
     
  5. dalbirk

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    Kanwardeep Ji ,
    It was all there during the first visit in 2004 . The Taxi drivers refusing to take fare ,the shopkeepers giving gifts for free , strangers giving dinner / lunch invitations at home . You could hardly walk a few meters without somebody saying SAT SRI AKAAL Sardarji . Young children asking for autographs . Bouyed by the experience in first visit I persuaded my S I L , my wife to accompany me . But that visit was nothing less than hell . Men passing remarks on women accompanying me ( though they were decently dressed in Punjabi suits ) . On 14th Feb , 2006 we went from Pearl Continental Hotel at about 12.30 PM towards Wagah Border . None of the authorities at PC Hotel told us about the atmosphere outside ( though cricket teams stay there & it is the best hotel in Lahore ) . We took prepaid taxi from hotel reception itself . Border is about 15 kms from the hotel . On reaching canal we met a mob of about 400-500 persons , children as young as 12-13 years were carrying hockey sticks , swords & cricket bats . Hurriedly we turned the car & went through byelanes to reach GT Road . To cut short we met three more mobs numbering about 2000+ persons . They were burning tyres on the roads , damaging vehicles ( all carrying Indians to Border ) . Of total 2500 persons we saw only one lone Punjab Police patrol van with three persons inside smoking & laughing it out . We had to ditch every mob to reach Wagah where the immigration officials took Rs500 per passport bribe to clear us . This is not to be missed that the GT Road is used only for reaching Wagah Border , there is no other utility of this road . What those 2500+ people were doing on this road is beyond me . IMHO in 2004 there was a novelty factor when the novelty wore out in 2006 then the real things played out .
     
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  6. findingmyway

    findingmyway
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    Same thing happened in india yet you don't completely reject india. The focus is on language rather than religion.
    Living abroad, linguistically I have more in common with Pak Panjabi's than other Indians and we all coexist very happily.
     
  7. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Are you serious? Since the day I started visiting sikh forums all I read about tensions between UK sikhs and Muslims.Gang fights between shere Punjab and muslims,Muslims converting sikh Girls in UK etc You can visit sites like sikhawareness where there are almost 90% members from UK and most of them hate muslims with core of their heart.Hardly ever i read from UK sikh that muslims and sikhs are existing in UK peacefully
     
  8. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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  9. findingmyway

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    There are problems in every community. Gangs occur in every culture/religion by young boys who have no idea of the history but just need an excuse for violence. Yes conversion is a problem and is more sneakily done than the conversion tactics used by hardcore Christians (but only a Christian friend broke contact because I couldn't 'be saved'!). It is partly our own community's fault that so many fall for those tactics but that is another discussion. However, it is not the entire community that behaves like this. I have several Muslim friends who respect my faith and have never tried to cross the line-they are just trying to get on with their own lives.

    There is a big problem with Hindu Panjabi's. They hate Sikhs to the core and often treat us worse than the Pak Panjabi's. They come to the Gurdwara then demand we change our katha so they are not offended by different beliefs!!! Should I hate them too? They don't want to speak Panjabi so linguistically I can share more with my Pak Panjabi friends-we can share jokes, poetry etc.

    I have never been attacked by a Muslim but I have been attacked by a White person (thank goodness for martial arts!). I was also bullied for 7 years by White people. Should I hate them too? The Irish bombed my city when I was a teenager destroying a huge chunk and we were lucky not to get caught in it. Should I hate them too?

    Do I get frustrated in the way Islamic countries treat people but then expect full rights elsewhere? YES. Do I get frustrated at the way they have changed politics here? YES. Do I get frustrated at the way they take over the radio? YES. Do I get frustrated at being confused with Muslims? YES.

    However there are also other things that frustrate me;
    Rascism that I have experienced in most countries that I have lived in/worked in/visited (and there are many).
    Policies in France that discriminate against Sikhs, esp wrt turban.
    Discrimination faced by Singhs at the airports around the World, esp USA and Canada.
    Ignorance causing hate crime.
    The way India has treated Sikhs over time.
    Violent rascist attcks on Indian students in Melbourne.
    Discrimination against women the world over, especially in Africa.
    Constant bombings around the world. In addition to muslim groups, this includes the Irish, Spanish (ETA), hardliner Hindu groups, hardcore Christian groups, crazy individuals and ethinc violence around the world unrelated to religion.

    Where do you draw the line for hate? What is justification for tainting a whole religion/culture/quom? Does that mean no efforts should be made in the future to build an understanding?

    Hate the injustice not the people. My Guru Ji teaches me love, hate is a strong word.
     
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  10. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    I am not saying here we should hate or love muslims.UK sikh vs pak muslims is the topic
    That is again and again discussed on various sikh sites and even if you don't want to read it you have to as so many threads are about it.

    personally if you never faced problem with muslims then its good, but others on various sikh sites have different stories to tell

    here is site operated from UK asking sikhs to convert to islam
    http://www.sikhs2islam.co.uk/

    So Sikhs vs pakistani muslims is always a big issue on sikh sites

    As far problem with whites is concerned everyone knows that many white's don't like all asians and there was/is problem.
     
  11. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    http://www.{url not allowed}/index....of-england-were-sikhs-get-bullied-by-muslims/
    Izzadeen is a follower of Omar Bakri Mohammed, who used to belong to Al Muhajiroun. After Bakri disbanded Al Muhajiroun in October 2004, Izzadeen helped Bakri to lead two derivative groups. He is currently awaiting trial on terrorism charges. Bakri urged his followers to claim welfare benefits from the government they hated. His followers had no problem beating opponents in the street. Bakri's followers, such as Abdul Muhid (pictured right), have engaged in harassment of Sikhs and have fought with police. These followers have used violence and intimidation, the methods of street gangs, to gain "respect".


    Sikhs and Muslims, though classed together by British media as "Asians" have been engaged in gang warfare since the 1990s. In Slough, west of London in 1997, fighting flared up between a Sikh gang called Shere-e-Punjab (the Lions of Punjab) and Muslims from Chalvey, a suburb of Slough called the Chalvey Boys. Shere-e-Punjab had been formed in Handsworth, Birmingham, in the 1980s, and has grown to include parts of London, Slough and Derby. When the Slough violence erupted in 1997, with reports of Sikhs terrorizing Muslims in their homes (and Chalvey Boys responding by attacking Sikh homes, stores and cars), a group was set up in the town called Aik Saath. This group lasted for eight years and acted as an intermediary between Sikh and Muslim gang members.

    After 9/11, tensions between Sikh and Muslim youths returned, with much of the conflict centered around schools. On May 16, 2006 violence occurred between students of two schools in Burnham in Slough, in which one student was stabbed. A year earlier, one of these schools, Burnham Grammar School, had given a Sikh student permission to carry a ceremonial knife (kirpan) in class.

    In Derby, violence between gangs of Sikh and Muslim school students took on surreal proportions. In October 2001, an argument over the events of 9/11 led to a gang of youths, apparently Muslims, breaking into Derby Moor Community School. A girl from the school had allegedly argued with Muslim girls over the American Al Qaeda attacks, and one Muslim girl had her headscarf ripped. The gang who invaded the school she attended carried axes and hammers. After smashing windows, the gang attacked students and the teachers who tried to intervene. Five children were taken to hospital. One of these, a 15-year old Sikh girl who was thought to have been involved in the earlier argument, received spinal injuries and a fractured skull. After the attack, a Muslim gang paraded outside the school, chanting "Osama bin Laden".

    Tensions between Muslims and Sikhs had been exacerbated by distribution of a letter which urged Muslims to get Sikh girls drunk and convert them to Islam. The letter came from a group calling itself "Real Khilafa", which appears to have been a front group of Al Muhajiroun.

    A fortnight after the school attack, a 22-year old Sikh male was ambushed by a gang of Muslims in Derby. The assailants carried hammers and crowbars. Harjit Singh Sandhu received a broken leg and cuts to his head and face. Sandhu's friend said that the injured young man had run into Muslim shops for help but received none. Previously, Muslims had tried to run Mr Sandhu down in a car which drove onto the sidewalk. A Muslim gang called the Youth Muslims Organization continued to patrol Derby's streets calling out Osama bin Laden's name.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I also just want to know what are your views on the above? is all this false
     
  12. findingmyway

    findingmyway
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    I am not denying any of the events you mention nor do I wish to belittle them. They are all issues that need to be tackled. All I am saying is that these problems are not exclusive to Sikhs vs Muslims. Every country/community has similar issues and it is exactly because people can't see beyond the emotion that we have so much conflict in the world. Acknowledging the problems is important and so is figuring out how to deal with them. Using them as an excuse to cause more division/ hatred and justifying conflict is not.

    Gang culture is there literally everywhere. In Italy, gangs from different mafia groups rule the show. Many parts of South America are controlled by gangs, some religious some not, New Zealand has many gangs from the Maori people versus other Pacific Islanders. The UK also has Hindu, black, white skinhead gangs. They also fight against Sikhs in the city where I live. Divali functions were cancelled for several years due to gang warfare (muslims and others). Many of the boys in these gangs do not have a clue about the religion/culture they are supposed to be 'defending'. They just need an excuse to fight-it could quite easily be something else if we take one cause away. If we encourage hate then these thugs win. There are always good and bad people so lets just embrace the good.

    I am thankful to Aman Ji for posting such a wonderful article. We cannot deny that we have language and other things in common with Panjab in Pakistan. We cannot claim that Punjab and Punjabi belongs exclusively to Sikhs. It is super important to us due to our heritage but it is not ours alone. Using language and other things in common is a wonderful way of beginning to work forward. Ireland had a very bloody conflict spanning many years. The peace process only began to work and gained crediblity when grassroots organisations brought children from both sides of the conflict together to show each that both sides are human beings. Whether we like it or not Panjabi extends beyond the border so why open all wounds to refute the steps forward being attempted by the author.

    Kanwardeep Ji, I don't wish to argue with you or prove a point. I am merely presenting another point of view.
    Jasleen.
     
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  13. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Gang culture and fighting for community are two different issues.What i heard that Shere punjab was fighting for sikhs.Still after so many posts you are unable to answer my question that Why so many sikhs from UK complaint particularly about muslims? Why muslims from UK are making anti sikh sites?

    Well I agree that punjabi does not belong exclusively to sikhs,but do Others take proud in Punjabi heritage?Why Pakistan which is a punjabi muslim dominated country chooses urdu
    as its official language?URdu is the language of muslims of Uttar pradesh at present The caretaker of Punjabi language are just only sikhs
     
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  14. findingmyway

    findingmyway
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    To create mischief. Hindu Panjabi's also create mischief but as there are more Muslims in the country people complain louder about the muslims and their tactics are more deplorable. That still doesn't mean we should hate all muslims. As i said earlier, hate the injustice not the person. That is what sikhi teaches us.


    Pakistan is created from an area which inlcudes more than Panjab. So the country's official language is different just like India's official language is also not Panjabi. In India, Panjab had to struggle to get Panjabi properly recognised from what I've read!
     
  15. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    You never give up.I have read and and even discussed this topic with UK sikhs so many times in 5.5 years they all have totally different story to tell.Lo lets end this topic here

    Lol Please don't mind but your comparision of India and Pakistan is hilarious They have 60%
    Punjabi population and 90% army their is Punjabi.On the Other hand India barely have less than 5% Punjabi population so there is no chance of Punjabi being official language.Yes Sikhs have to struggle to get Punjabi recognised because Punjabi was related to sikhism

    Btw here is the link where Gyani ji have written one post how Punjabi was disowned by both Hindu's and muslims.

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/punja...nsider-punjabi-language-cheap.html#post126230
     
  16. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    The thread has gone off course.

    The article to start the thread in general terms raises questions: Do the terms Punjab, Punjabi, Punjabyat have an essential meaning that all can agree to? Is that possible given the impact of exposure to other cultures and languages that have changed these concepts over time?

    The invasion of Arabic and Muslim influences on Punjabi language an culture is only one half of the equation in the article. Thanks
     
  17. VivekGautam

    VivekGautam
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    Racism is everywhere..even in sikhs ,Hindus,Muslims..Some Hindus cries for castes difference,some Muslims for shia ,sunny and some sikhs for jatt , or for other things..
     

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