Rich in culture but politically neglected, the Puadh region now hopes that it will finally have its due

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PUNJAB IS popularly known to be divided into three regions – Majha, Doaba and Malwa – with rivers defining their borders. But that is not the whole geographical history of Punjab, because there is more than that. Another separate area exists, but it is widely considered to be part of the Malwa region, although it is quite different from Malwa in its dialect as well as in its culture. The Puadh region (Powadh / Poorva-Adh, the eastern half of Punjab) has never been mentioned much in current conversations as the entire area south of the Sutlej is assumed to be Malwa. Now suddenly there has been a conversation about this region, and the reason behind it is the new Chief Minister of Punjab, Charanjit Singh Channi, who is from this region.

Famous Puadhi writer Dr Gurmit Singh Baidwan, author of a well-known book titled “Rang Puadh de”, and whose poems and stories were part of the primary and middle class curriculum of the Punjab School Education Board, said that 35% dialect in Gurbani (Guru Granth Sahib), is in Puadhi language, as is “Vahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Vaheguru ji Ki Fateh”, which is a Khalsa greeting used by the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh at the time of the manifestation of the Khalsa in 1699.

Dr Baidwan said that due to the lack of development and political representation, Puadh has not been promoted as the top three regions of the state. “What we must grant to this area are informal state archives,” he added.

Where is the Puadh region located?
Experts say that in Punjab, the area south of Sutlej is considered the Malwa region, the largest region of the state, but this is not the case as Puadh is located south of Sutlej, between the Sutlej and Ghaggar rivers. The region has its own Puadhi language with more Hindi words.

Experts said that because most of the Puadh region is part of districts considered to be part of the Malwa region, it is generally considered to be Malwa only, but the distinct dialect and culture of Puadh must be kept.
Geographically, the Puadh region starts from Ropar district in Punjab and spans various parts of Mohali, Fatehgarh Sahib, Sangrur, Malerkotla, Ludhiana and Patiala, as well as Chandigarh. Experts said 22 villages in the Puadh region were uprooted to carve up Chandigarh and Mohali.

Various writers from the Puadh region have stated that before the reorganization of the Punjab in 1966, Puadh was part of the Ambala district of present-day Haryana, because of which the Puadh region is not limited to the Punjab and s ‘extends to other states, including Haryana and parts of Himachal Pradesh. after 1966. Previously, Haryana and several parts of Himachal were part of the undivided Punjab.

In Punjab, Puadh region covers Ropar, Mohali, Kurali and Kharar of Mohali district, Amloh, Morinda and Sirhind of Fatehgarh Sahib district, Rajpura, Patiala town of Patiala district, part of Doraha and Samrala regions in the district of Ludhiana, Malerkotla, as well as eastern parts of Sangrur.
In Haryana, parts of Ambala, Panchkula, Yamunanagar and Kaithal districts, as well as parts of Sirmaur and Solan districts of Himachal are part of Puadh.

Language, culture and people
Bhupinder Matauria, retired government official, writer and lyricist, who wrote a book titled “Puadh ke Gharatan ka Atta”, said: “Our language and culture are different from Malwa. There were hardly any farmer suicides in our Puadh until a few years ago, and there were also no people begging in the streets, ”he said, adding that things were about to change.

“To protect our distinct identity, we launched the ‘International Puadhi Manch’ to promote Puadhi culture. We have raised the issues of the Puadh region at different stages, that it should be respected like the other three regions of the state in government records and even on the Punjab map officially, but these politicians are responsible for not not promote Puadh. Now we have high hopes because the new CM is from Puadh, ”he said.

“Puadh has been a very green area from the start and there were a lot of mango orchards here. People grew wheat and sugar cane here and there was a lot of trade between Malwa and Puadh. Mangoes from here were once delivered to distant places. As we grew older, each of our meals would include mangoes, ”he added.
There are a dozen seasonal rivers and nullahs in the Puadh area, making it a fairly green area, Matauria said.

Dr Baidwan said that Chandigarh was carved out of 22 villages in Puadh, but not a single place in Chandigarh was named after Puadh.

“Our language is Punjabi, but several Hindi words are used there, which makes the Puadhi (Punjabi) language different from the Punjabi language of the three regions of the state. Although we are considered part of Malwa, we prefer to wear “kurta and pajamas” while in the rural belt of Malwa most of the chadara (drape-like fabric) are wrapped and their style of wearing the “turla style” turban. “(In old Punjab) was very different from the turban style of Puadh,” said Jasbir Singh Shantpuri, a resident of Shatpuri village in the Puadh region of Ropar.

“All of Punjab’s chief ministers were from its most politically dominant region, Malwa, except one who was from Majha. But with the current incumbent, it is the first who is a Punjabi but not from the region of Majha, Doaba and Malwa, but from Puadh, ”said Shantpuri.

“There is so much excitement among the people here. Yesterday all types of newspapers were sold on newspaper stalls in Morinda, which I saw after almost three decades. This first happened when Beant Singh became Punjab CM in 1992, ”he added.

Lakhmir Singh Liddar, a retired army officer from the Purkhali area in Ropar, said: “Ours was a very backward area at first, but due to its proximity to Chandigarh our current generations are now educated. and work in large companies. However, there is still a lot to work on, such as basic education, health and communication facilities in our region. “

Dr Suman Preet Virk, Head of Punjabi Linguistics and Lexicography Department, Punjabi University, Patiala, said Puadhi is a highly respected language and Punjabi is spoken in the Majha, Malwa and Doaba regions of the state. . “Even Bhasha Vibhagh (Punjab language department) has ‘Puadh Kosh’ (vocabulary) with Pothohari Kosh. The Pothohari region is no longer part of our side, but by the time of Partition a large number of people had come from the Pothohari region in western Punjab (now Pakistan).

The people of the Puadh region have their own rituals which are different from Malwa. Due to the lack of proper representation from here, this area could not be popularized like the other three regions, Dr Virk said.

Dr Baidwan said that a department should be dedicated to the Puadh region at the University of Punjab Chandigarh, University of Punjabi Patiala, as both are located in the region. Several renowned writers from the region promote the Puadhi language and culture through their writings, songs and even films. “It hurts when we tell people that we are from Puadh, and they don’t know where it is,” he added.
The elders have said that senseless urbanization has created a concrete jungle in the once green area of ​​Puadh.


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