ਜਸਪਾਲ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਿੱਧੂ, ਗੁਰਬਚਨ ਸਿੰਘ
ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੇਵਲ ਸਿੰਘ, ਸਾਬਕਾ ਜਥੇਦਾਰ ਤਖ਼ਤ ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਦਮਦਮਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ
ਸ. ਗੁਰਤੇਜ ਸਿੰਘ ਆਈਏਐਸ,
ਡਾ. ਗੁਰਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਸਿੰਘ ਢਿੱਲੋਂ, ਰਿਟਾਇਰਡ ਪ੍ਰੋਫੈਸਰ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਯੂਨੀਵਰਸਟੀ ਚੰਡੀਗੜ੍ਹ
ਪ੍ਰੋਫੈਸਰ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮ ਸਿੰਘ, ਬਰੂਕਸ ਕਾਲਜ ਆਕਸਫੋਰਡ
ਡਾ. ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਸਿੰਘ ਤਾਤਲਾ, ਨਾਮਵਰ ਲੇਖਕ
ਡਾ. ਸਵਰਾਜ ਸਿੰਘ, ਯੂ.ਐੱਸ.ਏ.
ਸ. ਗੁਰਪਰੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ, ਬੁਲਾਰਾ ਕੇਂਦਰੀ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਭਾ ਚੰਡੀਗੜ੍ਹ
ਸ. ਸੁਖਦੇਵ ਸਿੰਘ, ਸੀਨੀਅਰ ਪੱਤਰਕਾਰ
ਸ. ਰਾਜਵਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਬੈਂਸ, ਐਡਵੋਕੇਟ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਅਤੇ ਹਰਿਆਣਾ ਹਾਈ ਕੋਰਟ
ਗੁਰਿੰਦਰ ਅਜ਼ਾਦ, ਫ਼ਿਲਮ ਮੇਕਰ, ਐਕਟੀਵਿਸਟ,
ਸ.ਖੁਸ਼ਹਾਲ ਸਿੰਘ, ਜਰਨਲ ਸਕੱਤਰ ਕੇਂਦਰੀ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਭਾ ਚੰਡੀਗੜ੍ਹ
The Objectives of Jionda Punjab
Ailments afflicting the present-day Indian Punjab are rooted in history. It was the colonial period which uprooted indigenous, stable societies and changed them beyond recognition the world over, pushing them onto the path of so-called modernisation in the 19th century. The linguistic, cultural and material changes European colonial masters brought about in the lives of the colonised people, are now manifesting themselves in the shape of many irreconcilable and unsolvable contradictions.
Similarly, the pluralistic and harmonious society of Punjab underwent cataclysmic changes after the collapse of its native ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s sovereign regime and its replacement by British rule in 1850. Then, Punjab was annexed to a centralised colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent and the British affected many distortions in its cultural and historical identity. Since the new rulers had conquered Punjab from the Sikhs, the latter were systematically subjected to physical, cultural and religious subjugation. The Sikh institutions were weakened by injecting neo-Brahminic ritualism twisting their religious principles and practice.
The second half of 19th century witnessed the rise of Hindu nationalism — a European copycat — in far off places, which travelled to Punjab dividing its society into three conflicting religious communities — Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. A tug-of-war that ensued among them resulted in an irreparable damage to the Punjabi language and culture. Feeling of Punjabiyat was lost forever with Punjabis themselves becoming scapegoats of political manoeuvres hatched by mutually contending Congress, Muslim League, and the Empire in other parts of India.
Ironically, the bloody Partition of Punjab cooked up and planned by the forces located outside was executed on its soil which took a toll of one million lives and uprooting ten million others. Thus, communal swelter fell on overwhelmingly unsuspecting Punjabis literally as “a bolt from the blue”.
The Sikhs emerged as the worst damaged out of Partition and were reduced to an ineffective tiny minority in the Indian context.
Congress leaders who chose Partition, rejecting the other option of a federalised form of government, to retain the united Indian subcontinent, bequeathed their divisive and centralising polity to India after 1947. The Sikhs who had made sacrifices much more than their proportion of the population in the freedom struggle again slipped into an unspoken and unannounced enslavement, surreptitiously enforced on them in the name of democracy. The colonial administration has continued to operate in the form of Indian establishment thereafter. Punjab’s protruding diversity and cultural distinction owing to a unique Sikh identity were the first among others to be smothered to raise a centralised “Indian nation” based on the majority’s ethos and culture. Hence, New Delhi’s hegemonic incursions torpedoed the creation of Punjabi linguistic state and mounted army attack on the Golden Temple while staging a decade-long bloodshed in Punjab.
Since Independence, India’s political tradition has largely been authoritarian, even as it claims of itself as the world’s largest democracy. Paradoxically, the Indian state has perfected the art of “blaming the victims” and projecting political dissidents as “terrorists, anti-national, seditious and so on”. For this purpose, the media has become (in pursuance of its economic interests) a willing tool of the state for spreading misinformation and disinformation with impunity. Like other troubled areas, Punjab has, too, witnessed and experienced a better section of media, enjoying political patronage, engaging in disseminating news packaged in provocative tone and communal in content.
During the 1980s particularly, a larger section of the print and electronic media spewed venom, spread fake news, resorted to rumour-mongering and virtually acted as a vanguard of the repressive forces, unleashed to suppress the people in the state. A long-span of “reign of terror” in Punjab coupled with skewed politicking brought out multiple illnesses like severe agricultural crisis spilling out in shape of farmers’ suicides, demolishing of Punjabi language and culture, instigating corrupt polity, social and moral degeneration, alarming use of drugs by youths and creating of hostile circumstances that force the younger generation to migrate to Europe, US, and other countries. Besides, the Sikh religious institutions are facing assimilating threats from the Hindu majoritarianism.
The media charade in practice has brought about a distorted perception, a muddied vision among most of the people including those claiming to be “educated ones”. A majority have virtually lost the capacity to analyze “what really ails Punjab”, “who are the culprits” and “what future holds for Punjab”.
Against the above background and in the light of above mentioned historical perspective, our portal, Jionda Punjab, will make a humble attempt to present the other side of the picture which rarely finds place in the mainstream media. Treasuring and respecting a broad spectrum of political thoughts and perceptions, the portal will carry views, writings and video clippings of all those who value individuals’ self-respect, believe in equality of human beings in all respects and tend to serve Punjab and participatory democracy here.
Web portal Jionda Punjab has been conceived to present a platform for incisive ideas, advanced thoughts and depth studies on issues relating to the Sikhs, their scripture, traditions and predicaments flowing from what Sikhs perceive themselves as being “stateless people”. We will also endevour to place on this platform those well-written articles which convey philosophical insights and wider political implications. We will, thus, attempt to make it a venue of intellecual interaction while shutting doors on hackneyed ideas and trite discussions weaved around personalities and events of yore.
We will welcome articles from activists, journalists and writers as well as from readers on issues relating to Punjab, Sikhs and politics which are of a concern to Indians. We will, however, publish those write-ups which are well-written, concise, offer a unique perspective and carry an appeal to the readers. The write-ups should be under 1000 words.
We, representing a non-profit organisation, are averse to carry any revenue-earning advertisement that tend to impinge on our freedom of expression in any way. Hence, we will not be in a position to pay remuneration for published articles.
Since we do not have editorial staff for editing submissions, please send us final drafts of your work. But we do not guarantee that we will publish all the articles we receive.
Please send all submissions as plain text within the body of an email – you can also attach the article.
Please include your name and contact information. We will not publish an article without a proper introductory paragraph. Also give your e-mail address for reader response and a low resolution copyrighted image can be published with the article.
For active discussion, the writers and readers are requested to participate in the commentary forums. You can submit your articles to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with bold indication with word SUBMISSION at the top.
We will also recarry articles already published elsewhere with due credit to the original publisher.