Punjab and Aryavarta

Vishal Agarwal vishalagarwal at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu May 27 02:49:50 UTC 1999

The list members might be interested in learning how the different
communities of Punjab view each other in modern times. First, let us not
forget, that before the British introduced large scale irrigation in Western
Punjab (in Pakistan), that area was largely desert/forested and had a
predominant Muslim population (except for districts of Central Punjab like
Lahore, Silakot and some places further south like Multan). The Muslims of
these regions were called 'Jumglees'(barbarians) by the Hindus/Sikhs. Even
the Hindu minority of Jhang, Campbellpur and adjoining regions was looked
down upon by the Hindus of the Doaba. These districts no longer have Hindus
left (about 16000 lost their lives in 1947 and those who could flee were
settled at Rohtak--including some relatives of my In laws)but even today,
old Punjabi ladies say--"She is bound to be quarrlesome since she is from
Jhang." The Multanis (eg. Malik, Kampani, some Aroras)  were a subculture
within Punjab and spoke a language called 'Multani' (closely linked to

At present however, Western Punjab is densely populated and supports a
population of 75 million.
When irrigation was introduced, numerous Sikhs (and a few Hindus) moved to
the districts of Layallpur, Sheikhupura, Sargodha etc. and they never mixed
with the local Muslims. The Hindus-Sikhs of the following districts were
highly regarded for their culture (and the Punjabi spoken by them is the
standard Punjabi)- Jallandhar, Ludhiana, Gurdaspur, Lahore, Amritsar.

As of today, some Punjabi Banias (like my mother's side) still regard the
Punjabi Kshatriyas (called Khatris --Koli, Kapoor, Bhatia,Chawla, Kundra,
Nindra etc.) as too garish, loud. Amongst Sikhs, those of Amritsar, parts of
Gurdaspur, Faridkot, Jallandhar and Ludhiana (the Doaba-Majha-Majitha
region) are considered more sophisticated and the Punjabi is considered
better than those of say Ropar, Patiala, Sangrur etc.

Of course all the Hindus-Sikhs of W. Punjab are now in India and such
internal distinctions are rapidly vanmishing. Infact, the Punjabis outside
Punjab are rapdily abandoning Punjabi and adopting Hindi. It is not uncommon
to find Punjabi households in Delhi where not a single child can speak the
tongue (in my generation, I am the only one who can speak chaste Punjabi.
The skill was developed consiously).


----Original Message Follows----
From: Paul Kekai Manansala <kekai at JPS.NET>
Subject: Re: Punjab and Aryavarta
Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 22:36:11 -0700

Swaminathan Madhuresan wrote:
 > When the Vedic Aryans moved further East into modern U.P., Aryavarta
 > gets defined. Which Sanskrit texts downgrade the present Punjab area
 > (Pakistan, India) as the land of Mlecchas and Non-Aryans? Is it in Manu?
 > What about Puranas? Did this occur after Hunas, Shakas etc., invaded
 > the Punjab and West India?

Even in the Rgveda, much of the Punjab was 'Dasa' territory. The 'Aryan'
land is around modern Haryana, the same region later inhabited by the
Kurus of the Mahabharata.

Paul Kekai Manansala

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