Planning your elective—Punjab
Carmen Basu gives the lowdown on how to minimise risks when travelling to this fascinating province, which is part of two countries
- By: Carmen Basu
Punjab is an Indo-Iranian word and means “the land of five rivers.” The Punjab once lay at the crossroads of the great civilisations of the world according to its population, because historically the area west of the Punjab was under the sphere of influence of the Persians, the east was the heartland of the Indian civilisation, the south was governed by Arabian princes, and the north was under Turko-Mongolian rule.
Now there are no longer five rivers but only three, as a result of the 1947 partition. The partition separated the Indian subcontinent into three countries, predominantly on the basis of religion. Islam centred around Pakistan and Bangladesh, while India became the seat of Hinduism. The Punjab is now divided into the province of Punjab in Pakistan and the states of Punjab and Harayana in India. The old Punjabi capital, Lahore, became segregated off to the Pakistani side, and India