Behind every name normally there is some short history or reason. Greeks called
Punjab as Pentapotamia and Punjab derives its name from two Persian words, panj
meaning five and an aab meaning water having reference to the five rivers Jhelum,
Chinab, Ravi, Bias and Sutlej which flow through this region. But actually Punjab
is having six rivers instead of five, but as the Indus was much dreaded by the religious
classes, and was considered the sacred boundary of India to the far west, the ancestors
seem to have disregarded it in giving the region its present name. Analysis of these
rivers is necessary, not only because they form the principal features in the topography
of the province, but because their importance from a military as well as from a
political and mercantile point of view. The most remarkable feature in the topography
of the state is found in its rivers, the feeders of the great Indus, which after
traversing for hundreds of miles in the mountainous regions of the Himalayas, descend
into the plains, fertilizing the soil, and continue their course generally to the
south, until after their confluence with the Indus, the Nile of India, the amalgamated
waters fall into the ocean.
Punjab is a region that encompasses northern India and the East side of Pakistan.
Punjab is bounded on the north by the vast Himalayan ranges, which divide it from
China, Tibet and Kashmir; on the east by the river Jamuna, the North-Western Provinces
and the Chinese Empire; on the south by Sind, the river Sutlej, which separates
it from Bahawalpur, and Rajputana; and on the west by the sulaiman range, which
divides it from Baluchistan, and Afghanistan, which joins the Khaibar. The state
of Punjab is located in North-West of India, blessed with plain and fertile soil
receiving an average annual rainfall of 503 mm. Punjab is divided into 17 districts.
All towns and villages are electrified and well connected. Of the 4.2 million hectares
of fertile land, almost 90% is irrigated by a vast network of tube-wells and canals.
The state also produces 22% of the country's wheat, 9% of rice and 6% of cotton.
Agricultural produce like sugarcane, cotton, oil-seeds, spices, fruits and vegetables,
dairy, poultry and live stock are all available in plenty for processing in agro-based
industries. On the industrial front, Punjab averages a healthy 8% annual growth.
The people represent tremendous marketing opportunities for manufacturers of consumer
and non-consumer goods. There is a potential not only for engineering, electronics,
consumer goods, light and heavy machinery industry but various other categories
as well. With a high level of literacy, the people of the State enjoy the highest
per capita income in India. The Punjabi people are warm, hospitable, pulsating with
energy and progressive. Although Punjabi is the official language, Hindi and English
are widely spoken by one and all. Punjab is the largest surplus State in food grains
and producer of high tech items. Punjab is the wellspring of Indian culture. Traditional
literature the Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Puranas, the Vedas, all take us back
to Punjab. Archaeologists find the earliest evidence of recognizably Indian civilization
in the excavation of Punjab's Harappan sites. The uninterrupted continuity of Indian
culture flows forth from ancient Punjab.
The whole complex of Rigvedic hymns shows them settled in this region from the outset
and considering it their sacred land and original home .The Vedic and the later
Epic periods of the Punjab were socially and culturally the most prolific. The Rig
Veda was composed here. The field of action of the Ramayana is believed to be outside
the Punjab but the tradition maintains that Valmiki composed the Ramayana near the
present Amritsar city and Kaikeyee belonged to this region. The advent of Buddhism
saw Punjab become, more than ever, a cultural crossroad. A few years before the
birth of Buddha (556 BC), the armies of Darius I, king of Persia had swept across
Punjab and made the area a protectorate of Persian Empire. Punjab is a culture of
generous, big hearted people which is devoid of any fanaticism and religious narrow
mindedness of ideology. Being a frontier state war played an important part in the
lives of the people of Punjab. And this region has given India many heroes who offered
their lives during our struggle for Independence. What has been written about is
just a broad canvas of Punjab. Every village of Punjab has some things typical of
the soil. Over the years the success of the green revolution, with large mustard
fields, and kanak da sitta or the grains of wheat, along with the disco culture
has provided a purdah or a covering over the varied tradition of folk music of Punjab.
For any discerning appreciator of music, Punjab provides enough for every occasion
and every season. Culture lives and thrives in Punjab in spite of its stormy past.