I have being trying to access Punjab a third time. The earlier two were when I was a kid, born away from Punjab and had heard of it in the legends and histories my parents told me. The second was when I was in Punjab from 1983-90 which has resulted in my book Roll of Honour. The first was a glorious Punjab, the second was a scared and confused Punjab. This third time I am distressed because this Punjab does not fit in with either the Punjab I grew up to like in stories or the Punjab I experienced during the terror of the days of the Punjab Problem.

This Punjab today is deeply divided, in denial, hurtling towards poverty and towards the ills of gender and caste divisions and drugs. Many Sikhs have escaped from Punjab, even believing that justice for the 1984 riots is not possible from the Indian state. The Punjabis who have migrated frown upon the Punjabis who have stayed back, often showing us down in terms of the relative advantages of those foreign counties where they now live as regulated or unregulated citizens. The British link to Operation Bluestar is an instance which prompts us to question these ways in which the Sikh community is divided.

Please read.

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