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a-punjab.peperonity.net

ੴ INTRODUCTI0N ੴ

Punjab, a region covering a part of Eastern Pakistan & NorthernIndia,and bordered by 5 rivers, has a long
history and strong cultural heritage. The people of the Punjab are called Punjabisand they speak a language
called Punjabi. The three main religions in the area are Sikhism, Hinduism, and Islam. The region has been
invaded and ruled by many different empires and races, including the Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Muslims,
and Mongols. Around the time of the 15th Century, Guru Nanak Dev founded the Sikh religion, which quickly
came to prominence in the region. The 19th Century saw the beginning of British rule, which led to the eme-
rgence of several heroic Punjabi freedom fighters. Finally, the Punjab was split between Pakistan and India
at the end of Britishrule in 1947.
Many races of people and religions made up the cultural heritage of the Punjab. Punjab is the land where
spiritual aspirations arose. This heroic land bore numerous invasions, and after all its suffering, did not
entirely lose its glory and its strength. Here it was that the gentle Nanak preached his marvellouslove for
the world. Here it was that his broad heart opened and his arms outstretched to embrace the whole world.One
of the earliest stone age cultures of South Asia nourished in the Punjab. People generally accept that about
eight centuries before Christ, the Punjab was the most enlightened and the prosperous region in the world.
The Harappa civilization developed in Punjab and its culture spread to Iran, Afghanistan, Balochistan, and
north-western parts of South Asia.The Vedic and Epic period of the Punjab was socially and culturally very
prolific as during this glorious period, the people accelerated in the fields of philosophy and culture. Here
the people composed the Rig Veda and the Upanishads. Further, tradition maintains that Valmiki composed the
Ramayana near the present Amritsar city and Kaikyee belonged to this region. Lord Krishna gave the divine
message of the Gita at Kurukshetra. It was here that people wrote eighteen principal Puranas. The authors of
Vishnu Purana and the Shiv Purano belonged to the central Punjab.
Right from the invasion of Alexander in 326 B.C., the Punjab bore the brunt of incursions and the aggressive
assaults of the hordes from the north.During the gruesome period great kings like Porus, Chandragupta Maurya,
Ashoka and host of other heroes emerged to defend Punjab from the onslaughts.During Mughal rule, there was
lots of conflict, chaos,and political upheavals in the Punjab. Appearance of Guru Nanak (1469-1538) was an
event significant not only for the region but for the whole country. He was the founder of a powerful popular
movement which has left a lasting impression on the history and culture of all of South Asia. Born in the
district of Sheikhupura, he rejected the division of mankind into rigid compartments of orthodox religions
and preached the oneness of humanity, and oneness of God, thus aiming at creating a new order which embra
ced the all pervasive spirit in man. He condemned and ridiculed the false and unnatural notions of high and low
in society, He denounced idolatory and laid stress on meditation for the realization of the Universal self.
British intrution had political, cultural, philosophical and literary consequences in the Punjab.The opening
of a new system of education introduced a new spirit in the life of the Punjabis More people realized the
greatness of Punjabi culture. During the freedom movement,Punjab played a role worthy of its name. Many
heroes emerged from the Punjab such as Lajpat Rai,Ajit Singh, Bhagat Singh, Uddham Singh, Bhal Parmanand
and a host of others.Since independence,life in the Punjab proves to be tragic and traumatic. The partition
resulted in riots and terror which tore up millions of homes and destroyed many lives. The massive exodus
resulting from the newly formed state of Pakistan created problems of uncontrollable dimensions. The Punjabis
trekked in blood and shreds.However, the Punjabi spirit oftenacity and toughness sustained the uprooted
people.The disillusioned people set to work with no self pity to plough fresh fields. They built new
industries and became prominent in sports.Punjabis attained an eminent place incultural, aesthetic, and
literary work, and revived folk art, song, dance and drama. All of this has created aMsense of pride and
climate of involvement in the heritage of the Punjab.


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