In an interaction with the students and faculty at SIAS, author Amandeep Sandhu spoke about his book ‘Panjab-Journeys Through Faultlines’ (2019). ‘Panjab’, a well informed and carefully researched book on the history, geography, society, and economics of the land of the five rivers, is a deeply moving narrative of a journey the author undertook to discover and reconnect with his roots. In this process of learning, he re-introduces us to a land that we have all but forgotten.
Historically and culturally, known as the land of the ten Gurus and for the majestic Golden Temple, Panjab is also recognized for the physical barrier that it provides to safeguard the rest of the country; a land of brave soldiers, a place full of old-world charm. Among other things, it is famous for its spirit of sharing, haunting music, free-spirited dance style, culinary delights, and last but not the least, as the breadbasket of India.
Today, Panjab is also a land steeped in political movements, struggling for religious and caste identities, facing a gender imbalance and an imminent economic, social, and environmental downfall.
‘Panjab’, the book, documents these changes. Amandeep’s book acquaints the readers with the current Panjab, reeling under the after-effects of the three big changes that occurred in the previous century: the Partition of India and Pakistan, the Green Revolution, and the Khalistan non-movement. The book has seen critical, commercial, and emotional success at home and at places with large populations of Indian and Panjabi diaspora.
Amandeep’s talk focused on ‘land’ and its value in an agrarian society like ours. He interwove personal, historical, and societal recollections.