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What the Punjabi language is doing to bridge the gap between India and Pakistan

Professor of political science at the University of Stockholm, Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed recently spent time in India. Both sides of the conflict in Punjab are detailed in his book, The Punjab: Bloodied, Partitioned, and Cleansed. He discussed the history of Partition and its implications for modern-day Pakistan and India in his classes and conversations with students and faculty. Punjab was the region most hit by the Partition of India, losing the most people and resources along with the shared history, customs, culture, and language that bound them together.

As I listened to him, I wondered what may be the polar opposite of this, something that might usher in a period of revitalization for Punjab. The people on both sides of Punjab miss the old Punjabiyat way of life. Yet there is little reason for optimism given the current state of affairs.
There are flames, both little and large, all throughout the two nations. Both nations’ governments are dangerously lopsided instead of working toward a more ideal federal structure in which states, regions, and ethnic groups may live in harmony. Do such exemptions allow for meaningful engagement in 21st century society? Cooperation, commerce, and engagement can make both countries strong, which is what Dr. Ahmed emphasized.

Others, however, are stuck in their prejudicial and defeatist ways of speaking, despite the fact that many sane individuals think that such a process may be launched. Most people everywhere would vote for peace, economic success, and a high quality of life if they were encouraged to do so by their political leaders. However, people are frequently duped into thinking differently due to the callous maintenance of animosity and prejudice across groups.

However, there is still hope that we might discover new paths to revitalization and health. A great culture’s ethos is not simply extinguished. The development of technology has opened up channels for people to make global contacts. There has been a recent explosion of online communities dedicated to celebrating and preserving the rich cultural heritage of Punjab by highlighting commonalities in areas like as history, language, folklore, literature, music, and more. Scholars, singers, and authors took part in these online sessions during the epidemic to discuss recent events in Punjab and the Punjabi diaspora.

Harjap Singh

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