Language and Culture of Millions of Citizens in
India, Pakistan & Around the World
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Punjabi is the native language of Punjab-India, the prominent launguage of Sikhs, the most common language in Pakistan and the spoken language of millions around the World.
Punjab once a mighty region is now split between two nations, Pakistan and India. After the death of Maharaja of Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, poor governance led to annexation. The region came under British Rule when the East India Company annexed Punjab on March 29, 1849, and was made the province of British India, with Lahor as its capital. The province was divided between India and Pakistan when independence was gained in 1947. The Indian Punjab was divided again in 1966 into three areas comprising Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, by the then Indian Government.
The 1966 reorganization created a smaller Punjab state populated mostly by Sikhs and predominantly Hindu Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
The current Prime Minister of India is Manmohan Singh. A Punjabi born on the Pakistan side of Punjab prior to partition. A Sikh by faith, Singh was sworn in on May 22, 2004 as India's first non-Hindu Prime Minister. He was educated at Oxford, Cambridge and Punjab University. He remains one of the most highly respected and well regarded politicians that India has had for a while.

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</td> </tr> </tbody></table> </td> </tr> </tbody></table>The history of the Punjab, since Independence is a saga of suffering and sacrifice, It was a tragic and traumatic experience for the Punjabis. The partition with its riots and massacres destroyed thousands of lives. The massive exodus from the newly formed state of Pakistan created problems of uncontrollable dimensions. Hindu and Sikh Punjabis settled in the western districts were uprooted and trekked eastward in blood and tatters; Muslim Punjabis settled in the eastern districts fled eastward in fear for their lives. India and Pakistan have seen five decades of hostility, occasionally erupting into war, and yet, when Punjabis meet, whether they are Muslims of West Punjab, or Hindus or Sikhs of East Punjab, they eagerly ask each other to recite the latest in Punjabi poetry, or to sing well-loved songs old or new. The consciousness of "one blood" has never dimmed.
Punjab has been an unusally fluid region, not just geographically but socially and culturally. The boundries of present day Indian Punjab for example, have been redrawn several times over the last few centuries, currently occupying less than 15% of the total geographical area of pre-partition colonial Punjab. A large number of Punjabis, both Sikh's, Hindu's and Muslims live outside the state. A good number of those migrated from accross the border to the Indian side at the time of Partition were resettled in Delhi and other towns of North India.
Punjab-the land of five rivers. In the Vedic Era, Punjab was called "Sapat Sindu". This means the land of the seven rivers- the Sindu, Jehlum, Ravi, Chenab, Beas, Satluj, and Yamuna. The Mughals persionised its name by calling it "Punj-Aab" or the land of the five rivers-excludingSindhu and Yamuna. Punj means five and aab means water, so Punjab means -the land of five rivers. These rivers that run through Punjab, originate from the various lakes in the Himalayas.
The rich fertile land of Punjab lured many invaders to come galloping on horse backs, loot, plunder and go back. The punjabis developed into strong and sturdy people who coined an appropriate phrase for themselves-"Eat, Drink and be Merry" the rest Ahmed Shah Abdali will carry!