This book is an interesting account of people and religion about which so much was not known to me. The author has divided the book into three parts and seventeen chapters. He has used a simple, flowing language making the facts sound like a story and pulling the reader in. The book talks about how the land of seven rivers (yes, seven) gets its name as Pentopotamia or Panj-ab. He also talks about the geography of the state, the shape, the boundaries, the rivers and the mountains. The author has also talked about the landscape, the climate, the seasons and the flora- fauna of the state. The book then talks about the various, people and the how the language was developed and then about Chandigarh and Panipat. The author goes on to tell about the Sikhs- who they are and also the reasons why Sikhism is a unique religion and why the Sikhs are a special community. The author talks about Guru Nanak and his ‘Shish’ disciplines which became Sikhs and the roots of Sikhism. Then there is the relationship between the Hindus and the Sikhs. The author goes on to talk about how the Sikh order changed from peaceful one to a militant organization under the last Guru and then about the Nirankaris. The author talks about the partition, Sikh politics, the riots of 1984 and the aftermath. And then he talks about the well known Punjabis. I liked the book and felt that it was an eye opener.
If you're someone who loves reading about culture and history combined this book is for you. Don't miss it!
Punjab, Punjabis & Punjabiyat is a communicative book about the land, it's people and their persona. Punjab's history from its name, to the rulers that influenced the life of their subjects, religion, culture and politics are articulated with great excellence.
The origin of Sikhism and it's changing nature along with the influence of other Sufi saints take a significant part of the book.The barbaric Mughal rule affected a peaceful Sikh religion to turn to a martial sect unfailing to give up on it's foundations but also ready to raise weapons for protection from the unethical ways of the enemy. All was well till Akbar, the Mughal emperor ruled the country post his death things became difficult for followers of the Sikh and Hindu religion leading to continuous changes in Sikhism itself.
The book talks about Punjabi way of living, Punjabi folk and literature which is mainly that of the 10 Sikh Gurus and their contemporaries. Much later in it's history did the land have some great writers, Nanak Singh being the most famous and highly read. Amritsar- the holiest destination of the Sikhs and many Hindus gets a beautiful description which makes it's history clear and relevant to those dangling in confusion.
All I wished for was that, the poems/quotes and couplets written by the famous poets and writers were written in their original Punjabi/Urdu language words using English language and then had their translation and meanings described. This would not only let the rhymes stay but also create a deeper impact on the reader as poems and couplets composed from this part of the land are emotionally moving and profound by all means.
Khushwant Singh's early life and life post- partition along with some worth mentioning experiences make the reader peep into unfamiliar abyss of an unfamiliar lifetime. He unfiltered writing makes us see what has to be seen "as it is" with no preconceived notions about him and his life in Punjab.
Good book but repetition/ Reproduction of the book, The Sikhs, already written by Khushwant Singh long ago. Elaboration over 12 months(incidentally 2 months May and Dec are not included) is written eloquently like 12 mah written by many punjabi scholars in past as well.