VOK TV: PANJAB Interview

   Posted by: aman   in Punjab

Dear Friends,

when my book PANJAB: Journeys Through Fault Lines came out early November 2019, lawyer and journalist Gurshamshir Singh asked me for an interview. We decided he must read the book before we sit down to talk about it.

Early March this year, before the fear of the Covid-19 contagion became a wide-spread panic, we managed to do this interview. To pay homage to the tall historical figure who too came from outside Panjab to fight Panjab’ battles, I found it apt that we shot the interview at the Banda Bahadur Memorial at Mohali. The interview is in Panjabi and we decided to put English sub-titles for a wider reach. Then lock-down happened and work froze. Finally, the interview came out May 23rd on the VOK TV Facebook Page. I am humbled by the reception.

The interview is titled: ‘What are the differences between Panjab and India?’ Do notice my views on civilizations being river-based and the concept of a nation being a modern construct, express solidarity with Kashmir, pay my respect to Periyar, praise Shailaja Teacher, call out the cow-belt politics and the Hindu Rashtra in the making, and focus on Panjab’s need to think for itself. I believe, if we have to survive, without further delay, we must all raise the demand for greater Federalism.

Thank you Gurshamshir and team for your hard work and patience.

Here is the YouTube link to the interview.

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PANJAB: Review in Sikh Research Journal

   Posted by: aman   in Punjab

Sikh Research Journal
Vol. 5 No. 1, Spring 2020

Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines
by Deepak Kumar
Punjabi University, Patiala, India

Destinations are about completion of journeys, finding answers and getting settled. The journeys, however, yearn for something more. They are about exploring further because they are about continuation. Bangalore-based journalist Amandeep Sandhu’s journey to his native land is one through which he tries to understand the enigma that is Punjab, the subject of the book. Born and brought up away from Punjab, but always tethered to its ethos and spirit through his family, Sandhu visited Punjab to explore the familiar only to find the uncomfortable gap between the reality and the representation. He spent three years collecting material for the book. It should be noted that the author prefers to use ‘Panjab’ with ‘a’ after ‘P’ instead of the popularly used ‘u’ in order to highlight the Persian origin of the term. To avoid any ambiguity, this review,
however, uses the official and standard usage which has been used by almost all the books published on Punjab in the few decades.

Popular imagination links Punjab with farming and that is the thread chosen by Sandhu to begin his story of Punjab. Starting with the problems of farmers in rural Punjab the author gradually unravels the institutional mesh that explains what he observes. His data is drawn primarily from rural Punjab and involves juxtaposition of contemporary case studies with historical facts. The descriptive account of village visits by the author animates one’s understanding of contemporary rural Punjab. Thus, Sandhu’s account of Punjab is an autoethnographic one, focusing on a rural perspective. By extension, it is an emotional journey through which he explores his roots. The author chose to develop sixteen chapters based on sentiments and concepts that presumably echo the condition of Punjab. Consequently, he chose local terms as chapter titles which would likely make any Punjabi person connect with the book. The titles begin with Satt (wound), ‘berukhi’ (apathy) ‘rosh’ (anger), ‘rog’ (illness) ‘astha’ (faith), ‘mardangi’ (masculinity) and ‘dawa’ (medicine) followed by ‘paani’ (water), ‘zameen’ (land), ‘karza’ (loan), ‘jaat’ (caste), ‘patit’ (apostate), ‘bardr’ (border), ‘sikhya’ (education), ‘lashaan’ (corpses), and ‘janamdin’ (birthday). Thematically arranged chapters can also be read individually. Gradually, it becomes evident that the more he explores Punjab, the more he comes across the ‘faultlines’ that mar the social fabric of the state and society.

Sandhu narrates a story of Punjab with angst which may not be very amusing for many. The book brings into relief the fractured relationship between state and Sikh community in Punjab. It ponders over repeated institutional setbacks that Punjab has suffered over the years in addressing some of its most fundamental problems. The author infers that the agrarian issues of Punjab are at the core of Punjabi society and the solutions of the same cannot be provided by neo-liberal policies of the state. The very state which has been the wheat basket of the country stands today at the brink of impending environmental crisis, which threatens to leech its soil of its nutrients, land of its water and people of their agency. The identity politics of Sikhs became a pliable tool in the hands of leading political parties in independent Punjab, and they have been exploiting the sentiment to the maximum for their limited political gains, offering only ‘band-aid fixed’ solutions to its recalcitrant problems. Revisiting the tragedy of 1984 and its aftermath, which haunt Punjab’s collective psyche till date, the author feels that the failure of the state to address the issues that emerged during the phase of militancy has further deepened the crisis of Punjab. Ironically, the facts related to the unfortunate events during that phase still remain twisted and contested, which also find resonance in author’s accounts. The author poses some difficult questions to the state, to the Punjabi community and to himself in order to make sense of the tragedy.

Sandhu’s story of Punjab is replete with instances of wasted opportunities, betrayals and apathy on the part of state, resulting in the burgeoning trust deficit between the people and the state. Amidst this crisis, the advent of Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab politics aroused hopes among the Punjabi people, including the diaspora, hoping for a better life in terms of health, education and other infrastructural facilities. However, as a party rooted in Delhi, its inability to understand the complexity and ethos of Punjab proved to be its nemesis. Reflecting on the ethos of Punjabi society, the author recognizes the feudal character of Punjab, but doesn’t explore its roots deeply. Though he devotes a separate chapter to caste, rightly bringing forth the struggles of dalits for agricultural land, his diagnosis of the problem demands more explanation. The section on education also highlights a few issues but is very limited in its scope. While recounting the rich cultural heritage of Punjabi language shared across the international border, it would have been interesting had he discussed communalization of language and culture in post-independence Punjab and removal of Urdu as a language from the school curriculum. The question of women in Punjab also remains marginal in the book, which the author also acknowledges. But, given the scale of issues discussed, it is challenging to fully assess all issues pertaining to Punjab in a single volume.

Yet, his attempt to understand Punjab in its entirety rather than in parts makes the book more meaningful, but also challenging. Most of the books published on Punjab in the last three decades focus primarily on Sikh identity politics. Sandhu’s book tries to go beyond this narrative and opens up the canvas of Punjab for a wider understanding, without sidelining the identity issue. Sandhu’s advantage is his focus on the contemporary situation of Punjab unlike many other books which focus more on its historical and cultural heritage. Sandhu’s peek into the history is only to understand the present, which remains his focus. Compared to some of the recent books on Punjab written by scholars such as Rajmohan Gandhi, Harnik Deol, Pippa Virdee and others, Sandhu’s work places more emphasis on his ethnographic experiences rather than his secondary readings. He uses journalistic language and avoids jargon. The format further gives latitude to the author to avoid repeated references to secondary sources of information, which makes the book read like a novel. The author aims his book to be read by an audience wider than in academia.

Overall, while Sandhu made his own journey to Punjab in order to discover what Punjab means to him, his subjective accounts invite others to make their own visit to Punjab and search for their own interpretations. The author’s observations and analysis may not be shared entirely by many but one cannot deny that the issues discussed do reflect the pain and aspirations of the Punjabi people. His honest attempt at a critical engagement with Punjab and some plain speaking make it an interesting read, and invites many others to enter the debate. Thus, the book rightly sensitizes the reader to the complexity of Punjabi society
in contemporary times.

Westland Publications, 2019,
Xvi+560pp., $15.99 (pb), ISBN 978-9388754569

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Sepia Leaves: Reader Comments

   Posted by: aman   in Sepia Leaves

Dear Friends,

on Mother’s Day this year, Jaya Nigam posted her comments on Sepia Leaves. As I said earlier, even 13 years after the book was published, every few weeks I get one or more messages about the book. The book evokes personal memories. It continues to live in the readers’ hearts.

I love it that Jaya has written in a language other than English – the language in which the book is written. Thank you Jaya! My respect to Jaya’s Mausi. May she find peace.

Click image to enlarge.



PANJAB: The Book Review

   Posted by: aman   in Other

Dear Friends,

The Book Review, Volume XLIV, Number 5, May 2020, carried a review of PANJAB: Journeys Through Fault Lines by novelist Radhika Oberoi. Thanks to Adnan Farooqui for allowing me to share the review.

Chronicles of a Resilient State

The tenor of Amandeep Sandhu’s Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines is established in the very first chapter titled Satt–Wound. The author, born in Rourkela, admits to only a fragile link with Punjab (spelt Panjab)–his family once belonged to the State. He then provides images that are intimate and distant, uniquely personal and universally familiar all at once: brass vessels with either of his parents’ name engraved on them in Gurmukhi, a whiff of desi ghee in a frying pan, photos of Guru Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh and Bhagat Singh in the living room, his father’s (Baba) turban and his mother’s (Mama) salwar kameez.

The author’s gaze is that of many different people—son of the soil, curious traveller, hard-nosed journalist; his portrait of his Panjab is also gleaned from each of the people he becomes, as he embarks upon his three-year-long journey into the State. His schizophrenic Mama could never offer him a lucid narrative of the Panjab she had left behind: ‘The Panjab I heard in her lap came out rambling. Its love and war legends splintered and turned into a volley of abuse.’

Sandhu, whose narrative often meanders into history, dwells on mythology, and pauses to search his memory for flashes of childhood, never rambles, or loses coherence. This, perhaps, is what is most admirable about the book. While each of the sixteen chapters is titled with clinical precision (Berukhi—Apathy, Rosh—Anger, Rog—Illness etc.) and foretells the author’s journalistic preoccupations; there are deeply personal anecdotes that turn the harsh terrain of Sandhu’s investigations into landscapes of beauty, and even profundity. For instance, he embarks upon a road trip to his ancestral village, Manawan, together with his wife Lakshmi and his cousin Minnie, because his wife reminds him of his Baba’s last wish. Before passing away in Bangalore in 2003, Baba had wanted to go to Anandpur Sahib, Amritsar, and Manawan. While he had visited the former two sacred sites of the Sikhs, he was unable to travel to Manawan, his birthplace. ‘As a tribute to Baba, Lakshmi wanted to start life with me from his village by completing his story.’

Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines is strewn with personal histories that amplify the collective troubles of the State. In the chapter Dawa—Medicine, Sandhu recalls a handsome grand-uncle whom everyone called Rumiwale Mamaji. Green-eyed and muscular, he was in the habit of pulling out a bottle of liquor and pouring himself a Patiala peg in the early hours of the evening. Sandhu, who was barley seven or eight years old, was assigned the task of filling the glass with water, and supplying his uncle with a variety of nuts, and chicken, as accompaniments to the alcohol. In the mornings, Sandhu would bring him a concoction of milky tea, which he would consume with a small black paste, rolled into a ball. ‘A cousin said it was afeem.’

The chapter is an exploration of Panjab’s addiction to intoxicants like opium and poppy husk, as well as home-brewed alcohol, but it isn’t a mere enumeration of dismal statistics. In fact, Sandhu attempts to debunk a remark made by Rahul Gandhi at a rally in Panjab University in 2012. Gandhi is believed to have said: ‘What is happening to human resources in Panjab? Seven out of ten youths have the problem of drugs.’ Sandhu undertakes an investigation of the route for opium exports in the 1980s, and its infiltration into Panjab. He meets smugglers in Gurdaspur, Dera Baba Nanak and Tarn Taran and delineates the problem of drugs with facts garnered from a variety of studies.

There are no conclusive findings, or satisfactory solutions to the malaise of drugs and addiction, or to any of the other socioeconomic-political predicaments that Panjab has dealt with. But in Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines, Sandhu sets up an apparatus that probes, with a rare attention to the topography of the land, its myths, folk traditions and songs, the State’s many quandaries. His narrative is also dappled with the light of oil lamps at tube wells and ancient graves. The sound of the ‘moolmantar’ from the Granth Sahib wafts through his prose like a soft breeze, even when he traverses hostile landscapes. There are meals of sarson ka saag and rotis that nourish more than just his weary body at the end of a long day. Fragments of a legend—the doomed love of Sohni and Mahiwal—scatter across an otherwise dispassionate analysis of the politics of water. And memories warm the pages of cold-eyed chronicling: ‘During my childhood I could spot hand pumps everywhere in Panjab, including one right opposite the home where Baba’s extended family lived. In our fields, three in the city market, more in the old town, one between the railway station and the bus stand, hand pumps were a part of the locality. Not anymore.’

The Panjab that emerges from Sandhu’s observations is tantalizingly different from the Panjab of his childhood. It is also one that does not conform to popular images peddled by Bollywood—sprawling mustard fields, and hyper-masculine men leaping to the beats of a dhol. Sandhu’s Panjab is as distinct as the spelling the author has picked for his chronicles. Rihla, the Arabic travel memoir of the fourteenth-century wanderer, Ibn Battuta, mentions a land called Panj Ab—the land of five waters. Sandhu borrows from Ibn Battuta, even as he knows that the land of five rivers is not the glimmering and bountiful one that fascinated the ancient traveller.

Radhika Oberoi works in advertising and moonlights as a journalist. She is the author of Stillborn Season. She has a postgraduate degree in Creative Writing, Prose Fiction from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.


Inaugurating The Panjab Dialogues

   Posted by: aman   in Punjab

Dear friends,

When I took up the work on PANJAB: Journeys Through Fault Lines, I had hoped I would be able to converge diverse and eclectic Panjab on one tract and it would serve as the basis of future conversations. Many in Panjab and elsewhere know much more about the current realities than me but the issue is we do not come together to dialogue. I am so glad that wish of mine came true. Thank you Manu Oberoi, Preeti Gill, Jasdeep Singh, Ankit Chhabra and teams Sanjhi Sikhya, Majha House, Kirrt, on May 2, 2020 we launched a platform: The Panjab Dialogues.

I am grateful to friends mentioned above that they chose PANJAB as the inaugural text. After all, its chapters explore the fault lines of Panjab.

THE PANJAB DIALOGUE inaugural event went very well. 136 participants, many more than had registered. Preeti introduced the Dialogues until 6 minutes. I spoke on the book until 55 minutes. Jasdeep collated the questions from the audience and we had a Q&A until 1.17.45 minutes. Then Ankit and the participants experimented with break-out rooms and more responses until 1.38.00 minutes. After which Preeti concluded the session.

Personally, the session was very satisfying for me. Please see more here …

One of the artists, Sharada Kerkar drew her impression of the session.

Very graciously, The Tribune covered the idea. Please see more here …

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Desh Sewak: ‘PANJAB’ review by Manmohan Singh

   Posted by: aman   in Punjab

Dear Friends,

I am so glad Manmohan Singh ji, poet, writer, thinker, mentor has reviewed PANJAB: Journeys Through Fault Lines in the Desh Sewak Sunday newspaper.

He calls the book a work of ‘literary journalism’ and introduces the genre to Panjabi readers. I am so touched because Ryszard Kapuciski is one of my favourite writers and I thought of him so often while in the field and while writing the book.

Thank you Sir!

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Dear Friends,

recently my editor Karthik Venkatesh and publicist Arunima Mazumdar asked me to write a piece titled Lock-down Diaries for the Hindustan Times.

I decided to move the focus to something critical going on in Panjab which India does not notice – wheat harvest for the nation’s food security. To write the piece I spoke to many farmers but feature word limit restricts me from mentioning everyone. Still thanks to Devinder Singh Sekhon and Sukhwinder Pappi.

Note that every third roti you eat, every fourth morsel of rice, comes from Panjab. Under the threat of the Covid-19 contagion, Panjab once again walks the razor’s edge of caution so India can eat.

Please read more here …

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Dear Friends,

Ms Saba Bashir from Books etc recently invited me to speak on Sepia Leaves. I posted the video on Facebook. It is short, 7.25 minutes long.

Please click here to see …

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Dear Friends,

Almost 15 years back Karthika Vk (my publishing editor) and I had spoken about the need to write the biography of each state of the nation. At that time we were seeing the effects of neo-liberalism and recognising that the new economic policy had also brought many miseries in its wake. This was much before BJP had come to power with an express Centralist policy or before the current Covid-19 contagion had revealed how broken is our public health systems.

PANJAB: Journeys Through Fault Lines is a result of that conversation. That is why I am glad that after reading the book, reviewer Kiranjeet Chaturvedi, who manages Write & Beyond, says: ‘I also look forward to many more such in-depth books being commissioned about other states.’

I feel particularly satisfied when Kiranjeet says, ‘What happens in Panjab is both an experiment and a lesson for all of India, in so many ways. In that sense, this is a book for all of India, and also a manifesto for all its dreamers. Will we learn from the tragedies of Panjab?’

This is the most detailed view with chapter summaries I have seen until date. I know these are hard times yet I am sharing the review so that at some point more of us can read the book. These days the hard copy version of the book is temporarily not available. However, the Kindle version is available on Amazon.


Panjab – Journeys Through Fault Lines
By Amandeep Sandhu

Book Review No. 1, March 2020

This book has taken me a very long time to read. 540 pages is not a small number, but the reason for my lingering through its pages is not just the quantum. It is the nature of the story being told in them. It is a story I feel I know, and do know, yet have been blind to. I didn’t feel I could do justice to the epic nature of the book but here I am attempting a summary and a very personal review.

Amandeep has journeyed through Panjab over many years, collecting testimonies and facts, researching history and context, meeting numerous people in villages and towns, learning anew about a place that was almost – but never really – home.

He is an outsider, because he doesn’t live in Panjab, and he is also an eternal insider because of his roots. The story he pieces together is a journey of a deeply personal nature for him. I found that it is also a very personal journey for me. As I read the book, I was travelling through my own family history, paying renewed attention to the stories I have heard growing up, replaying my own memories and encounters with Panjab in my time there, and reexamining my experience of being a Panjabi who is mostly outside Panjab.

Panjab’s story in the world’s popular imagination is a collage of stereotypes. It is a flimsy palimpsest of impressions and feelings about the place, infused with smug indulgence, ignorance and indifference. Amandeep’s book comes as a reality check, and fills many gaps in knowledge about Panjab. It was at times impossibly harrowing to read, because denial and forgetting comes easy to us, specially when it is about things no one questions us about. But I feel I am in a better place to speak as and be a Panjabi, having read this book.

But looking at this book as just an exploration and a narrative about Panjab would be too narrow a reading. If it tells us anything at all, this book tells us about so much that is typical of our times, of our way of government and politics and economics and systems of justice. It tells us that the story of Panjab is far more than the story of just one state. It is the story of India and its past and its future.

Panjab has been and is a physical frontier – for India as an ancient geographic location, and for India as a modern nation state. It is the place where armies clashed, and races mingled. Syncretic and subversive socio-cultural and political movements have emerged and sustained in this shifting soil of a marginal borderland. Change and resistance mark the region and its people. No borders have stayed fixed here for long, not even its most marked physical features – the rivers.

What happens in Panjab is both an experiment and a lesson for all of India, in so many ways. In that sense, this is a book for all of India, and also a manifesto for all its dreamers. Will we learn from the tragedies of Panjab?

Amandeep classifies his stories of exploration and discovery under sixteen heads, using Panjabi terms. Each of these sections become the lens through which the current situation regarding a key issue is viewed, and its historic context and unravelling is understood. I will list these heads here, with a short explanation, because they evoke the mood and the content of the book very well. Each section is like tributary that flows into the others and together all these strands of stories make up a complex narrative of Punjab now, and in the recent past, with a lot of insight into an earlier history as well. Throughout the narration. Amandeep weaves in his own memories and his personal stories into the flow, and we join him on the rediscovery of his roots and his forging a new connection with, and understanding of, Panjab.

Here is a brief overview of the sections of the book. These may look like a litany of wrongs, but the only way forward through a knotty place is to face the tangled web. Easy explanations will not do for Panjab. Nor will treating it as an isolated and idiosyncratic case all of its own kind. Panjab holds lessons that are universal. I am sure readers of this book will have many an enlightening, insightful moment as they go through the book.

1. Satt – Wound; The author’s memory of Panjab, and the gaps in his connection to it, is a personal wound. Panjab is itself wounded. The phantoms in the room are unacknowledged, unaccounted for.

2. Berukhi – Indifference. Follows from the idea of a wounded people, a wounded land. Agrarian mishaps are tools in political games, with grievances rarely addressed. The state and its farmers and workers in a face-off cannot bode well for sustained wellness for anyone.

3. Rosh – Anger. Along with old wounds that religious minority holds, anger builds up over new incidents of religious sacrilege. Beadbi becomes yet another arena for political manipulation and scheming, which has plagued electoral democracy and the issue of religious purity, identity and representation. Hurt turns to anger, and finds no resolution, no hearing, no closure.

4. Rog – Illness. Anxiety, depression and despair, addiction and denial. Panjab is not well, but it put on a brave face and pretends, or it goes into punishment mode. What is not done is a facing of the traumas of the past that feed the present.

5. Astha – Faith. One of the most complex chapters of the book for me personally, this is where the author tries to untangle to knot of the phase of militancy in Panjab, and the links between politics and religious identity in a modern secular federal nation state that is India. How did a faith based on universal brotherhood and fraternity and service become a cornerstone of a violent movement? What led to the violent reprisals from the state? How was the political economy of Panjab and India linked to these developments? And then, it goes on examine the erosion of democratic institutions that all of this is a sign of. Where and how is one to have faith in the promises that underpin the nation, when there is a lack of accountability and no reckoning for bias, betrayals and memoricide?

6. Mardangi – Masculinity. The macho male ideal persists in Panjab’s imagination even as it withers in a reality. Violence to women, children, those at the margins and to the land persists. Sexual dysfunction plagues men with big moustaches and bigger cars. Humiliation and shame shadow marriage and sexual relations. The degradation of the land, livestock and diet with pesticides and fertilisers and hormones, the change in a physical culture and the use of medications for bodybuilding have all taken a toll on the virility of the land and its people.

7. Dawa – Medicine. Drug Addiction in Panjab has made news in the post-militancy years, but the issue is not a sudden scourge on an otherwise pristine canvass. Amandeep goes into the maze of old cultural practices and modern twists in the tale of alcohol and narcotics use in Panjab and shows us how the punishment model in use is self-defeating.

8. Paani – Water. The water problem in the land of five rivers is a tragedy of geo-politics and rapacious economics played by hegemonic powers- the imperialists first and then the national government. The people of Panjab have been reduced to litigation and protests that lead nowhere.

9. Zameen – Land. In a region that is the country’s breadbasket and has always been agrarian, land means more than just a place to build a home. Land rights have been a matter of death and wars since forever in Panjab. The modern nation state promised economic justice and land rights but has struggled to implement the same.

10. Karza – Loan. Farmer loans and farmer suicides are linked to bigger issues of industrial agrarian economics, caste, politics and human rights and justice. Panjab with its culture of bravado and show of self-reliance suffers acutely when faced with no way out of financial insufficiency.

11. Jaat – Caste. Punjab, the land where egalitarian Sikhism originated, has the largest percentage of Dalits among all Indian states, and practices blatant caste-based discrimination. This is a caste conundrum that contradicts every tenet of Sikh religion.

12. Patit – Apostate. A fascinating section on the growth and consolidation of Sikh practices and texts and their interpretations, and the growth of organisations that are seats of control and direction for the faithful. Organised religion naturally faces divergence and factions, and there are followers who find their own unconventional paths not strictly as per the norms of a centralised and organised creed and its gatekeepers. Then there is the fear of appropriation and loss of a special, unique identity due to the forces of the other, external dynamics of politics and culture. There is also the decadence of those who claim to represent the true religion and corporates style control of the faithful and their institutions.

13. Bardr – Border. The people of Panjab are truly caught in the pincer – literally and otherwise – in the event of a war on the western border. Not only are the Indian armed forces supplied by many men and women from Panjab, it is also the state with a continuous land border with Pakistan where border skirmishes and past wars have caused much death and dislocation and disruption of life in every way. And yet, these people and their land and livelihood scarce seem to figure in national security calculations as worthy of care and precaution.

14. Sikhya – Education. I grew up hearing many jokes about the genial but unlettered Sikh bumpkin who had no brain power. In reality, I have only found most Panjabis of modest or poor means – like most such Indians – desperate for economic and social mobility through education. But education remains a messy affair in Panjab, where unemployment remains high, and the exodus to foreign shores causes immense loss of human resources. Universities – bar one – have had no elections since decades and can scarcely be the training ground for democracy or constitutional values. English is all the rage, though badly spoken and barely understood by most.

15. Lashaan – Corpses. Hindi films and Punjabi pop culture showcase exuberant bonhomie and joi de vivre as hallmarks of life in Panjab. Panjabis are known as brave and resilient and Sikhs in particular revere the tradition of martyrs, where death is a moral victory. Yet, for the last many decades, a pall of death has fallen over Panjab and with it, a shroud of silence too. These violent humiliating, unjust deaths and disappeared bodies have marked millions of homes across Panjab.

16. Janamdin – Birthday. This last section before the Epilogue is about the last assembly elections and the near lack of fresh vision and alternatives that is electoral contest in Panjab. This chapter also serves as a conclusion to the journey the author has traversed. It is a sobering expose and an affirmation of faith in Panjab’s resistance to power and hegemony.


Amandeep’s book is a work of immense depth and reach, and superbly researched. Written with painstaking detail, I am sure it will soon be known as a classic of documentation and serve as a valuable archive. All of us – no matter what our identity or roots or geographic lineage and location – will have much to learn and resolve, after reading this book. I also look forward to many more such in-depth books being commissioned about other states.

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PANJAB: On Goodreads List

   Posted by: aman   in Punjab

Dear Friends,

On March 23rd, I got a Goodreads email alert telling me PANJAB: Journeys Through Fault Lines was on a top reads list.