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The Punjab Portal

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Punjab is a region in the north-west of the Indian subcontinent. It is mainly inhabited by people of the ethno-linguistic Punjabi community. The region is split over two countries, India and Pakistan, which both contain states called Punjab (see Punjab (Pakistan) and Punjab (India)). The Punjabi culture is spread over various other states and territories of India, including Haryana and Delhi. The northernmost parts of both the Indian and Pakistani states reach the foot of the Himalayas. The Pakistani side is bordered by the North West Frontier Province while the Indian side is bordered by Himachal Pradesh.

The region of Punjab has had a long history which consists of ethnic fusions and various civilizations and empires. The Indus Valley Civilization was based in regions of Punjab and Sindh. This was followed by Vedic Civilization, Indo-Greek kingdoms and other native civilizations like the Mauryan Empire and the Gupta Empire. For much of Punjab's middle ages, it was conquered by Muslim invaders as part of Muslim conquest of the Indian subcontinent. The Mughal Empire, which established itself in India, tried to conquer Punjab many times, but it defended itself under the rule of the Sikh Confederacy. It was the last region to fall into British hands when they established the British Raj in British India.

Punjab was a major centre of the Indian independence movement, but in 1947 it was divided along religious lines into Pakistani Punjab and Indian Punjab. Their histories have remained separate but has sometimes been brought together in the Indo-Pakistani wars, particularly that of 1971. Indian Punjab was later split into Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh on the basis of language. Punjab bears considerable influence in both regions, with numerous political figures being Punjabi in ethnicity, including the current Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh.

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Sikhism is a religion that found its genesis in sixteenth century Northern India with the teachings of Nānak and nine successive Gurus. This system of religious philosophy and expression has been traditionally known as the Gurmat (literally the teachings of the Gurus) or the Sikh Dharma. Sikhism comes from the word Sikh, which in turn comes from the Punjabi word sikkh. Sikkh comes from its Sanskrit root śiṣya meaning "disciple" or "learner", or śikṣa meaning "instruction", via the equivalent Pāli word sikkhā.

The principal belief in Sikhism is faith in one God — Vahigurū — represented using the sacred symbol of ik ōaṅkār. The followers of Sikhism are ordained to follow the teachings of the Ten Sikh Gurus and the select works of fifteen earlier bhagats as scripted in the Gurū Granth Sahib. The text was decreed by Gōbind Siṅgh as the final guru of the Ḵẖālsā Panth. A dharmic religion, Sikhism advocates the pursual of salvation through disciplined, personal meditation on the name and message of God. The religion shares its philosophy with that of the Bhakti movement and Sūfīsm. Some consider Sikhism to be a syncretic religion, although this is not a widespread belief held by Sikhs; the Sikh gurus maintained that their message had been revealed directly by God. Sikhism's traditions and teachings are distinctly associated with the history, society and culture of the Punjab. Adherents of Sikhism are known as Sikhs (Students or Disciples) and number over 23 million across the world. Sikh scriptures are written in the Punjabi language, and the most sacred institutions are located in the Punjab region now divided between India and Pakistan. (more...)

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Bhai Mohinder Singh
Credit: Hari Singh

A prominent Sikh Spiritual Leader Bhai Mohinder Singh

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Manmohan Singh
Dr. Manmohan Singh (Punjabi: ਮਨਮੋਹਨ ਸਿੰਘ) is the 17th and current Prime Minister of India. He is an influential figure in India's recent history, because of the economic liberalisation he started in 1991 when he was Finance Minister.[1] He was born on 26 September 1932, in Gah, West Punjab into a Kohli family (now in Pakistan) and he is a member of the Indian National Congress party. The first Sikh to become Prime Minister of India, Singh was sworn in on May 22, 2004.

Dr. Singh is an economist by profession, and has formerly served in the International Monetary Fund. His economics education included an undergraduate (1952) and a master's degree (1954) from Panjab University, Chandigarh; an undergraduate degree (1957) from Cambridge University (St. John's College); and a doctorate (1962) from Oxford University (Nuffield College). (Cambridge University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree in June 2005.) He is the most educated Indian Prime Minister in history.[2] Singh is also known to be an unassuming politician, enjoying a formidable, highly respected and admired image.[3] Due to his work at the UN, International Monetary Fund and other international bodies, he is very highly respected around the world. He was awarded the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 2002. Before becoming prime minister, he served as the finance minister under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. He is widely credited for transforming the economy in the early 90s, during the financial crisis. He served as leader of the opposition, in the Upper house, from 1998 - 2004 when the Bharatiya Janata Party led coalition government was in office.


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Date of news – Short information for news. (Source: The Statesman 23 February 2007)


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Wikipedia in Punjabi

There is a Shahmukhi Punjabi version of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
There is a Gurmukhi Punjabi version of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Geography: More...

History: History of Punjab | Sikh Confederacy | Islamic invasion of India | More...

Districts and cities: Category:Districts of Punjab, India | Category:Districts of Punjab, Pakistan | Chandigarh | Lahore

Economy & Politics: Government of Punjab | Chief Ministers

Culture: Punjabi language | Punjabi culture | Punjabi cuisine

People: Manmohan Singh | Suniel Shetty | Bhagat Singh | More...

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