Punjabi Hindus are a linguistic, geographic, and religious ethnic group primarily from the state of Punjab in Northern India. While Punjabi Hindus are mostly found in India, they have their roots in the wider Punjab region, a region that is split between India and Pakistan. In India's Punjab state, Punjabi Hindus make up approximately 38.5% of the state's population, and are a majority in the Doaba region of Punjab.
|Punjabi and its dialects, Sanskrit (liturgical), Hindi, and English|
|Related ethnic groups|
Punjabi Hindu sectsEdit
Prominent Indian nationalists from Punjab, such as Lala Lajpat Rai, belonged to the Arya Samaj sect and were active in propagating its message. During the early part of the 20th century, the Samaj and organisations inspired by it, such as Jat Pat Todak Mandal, were active in campaigning against caste discrimination. Other activities in which the Samaj engaged included campaigning for the acceptance of widow remarriage and women's education.
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Most Hindus in Punjab follow Sanatani Hinduism. Hinduism in Punjab, as in many other parts of India, has adapted over time and has become a synthesis of culture and history. It centres on using Dharma to purify the soul (Atman) and to connect with a greater "eternal energy" (Paramātmā). Hindus do this while acknowledging the concept of Brahman or "external energy", which is metaphysically believed to be the single binding energy behind the diversity that exists in the universe. In Punjab, like in many other regions of Northern India, Hindus revere ancient texts that narrate stories of deities (Devas and Devis) that had reached their highest Paramātmā. Deities in Hinduism are honoured for their roles in ancient Indian history, as they were the upholders of the principles of Dharma in the past. Hindus believe that an Ishvara (supreme) Bhagavan (God) manifests itself through these Devas and Devis. Major deities worshiped include Rama and Sita from the Ramayana, Krishna and Radha from the Mahabharata, as well as the Trimurti and Tridevi of Shiva and Parvati, Vishnu and Lakshmi, and Brahma and Sarasvati, along with other prominent deities such as Durga Mataji, Ganesha and Hanuman.
As Hindus believe that Dharma is universal and evolves with time, many Hindus also value other spiritual paths and religious traditions. They believe that any traditions that are equally able to nurture one's Atman should be accepted and taught. Hinduism itself encourages any being to reach their own self realization in their own unique way either through Bhagavan or through devotion to their own personal Ishvara Bhagavan.
Udasi is a religious sect of ascetic sadhus centred in northern India. The Udasis were key interpreters of the Sikh philosophy and the custodians of important Sikh shrines until the Akali movement. They brought many converts into the Sikh fold during the 18th and the early 19th centuries. However, their religious practices border on a syncretism of Sikhism and Hinduism. When the Singh Sabha, dominated by Khalsa Sikhs, redefined the Sikh identity in the early 20th century, the Udasi mahants were expelled from the Sikh shrines. Since then, the Udasis have increasingly regarded themselves as Hindus rather than Sikhs.
Punjabi Hindus suffered a great deal due to the Partition of India in 1947. This split the former British province of Punjab between the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan. The mostly Muslim western part of the province became Pakistan's Punjab province; the mostly Sikh and Hindu eastern part became India's East Punjab state (later divided into the new states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh). Many Hindus and Sikhs lived in the west, and many Muslims lived in the east, and the fears of all such minorities were so great that the Partition saw many people displaced and much intercommunal violence. Some have described the violence in Punjab as a retributive genocide.
The newly formed governments had not anticipated, and were completely unequipped for, a two-way migration of such staggering magnitude, and massive violence and slaughter occurred on both sides of the new India-Pakistan border. Estimates of the number of deaths vary, with low estimates at 200,000 and high estimates at 2,000,000. The worst case of violence among all regions is concluded to have taken place in Punjab. Virtually no Muslim survived in East Punjab (except in Malerkotla) and virtually no Hindu or Sikh survived in West Punjab, except Rahim Yar Khan District and districts like Bahawalpur.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rahim_Yar_Khan_District
Punjabi Suba and trifurcation of PunjabEdit
After Partition, Sikh leaders and political parties demanded a "Punjabi Suba" (Punjabi Province) where Punjabi language written in the Sikh Gurumukhi script would be the language of the state in North India.
Although Punjabi Hindus speak Punjabi as their first language, at the instigation of the Arya Samaj they stated Hindi as their mother tongue in the censuses of 1951 and 1961. As a result, some areas of the erstwhile East Punjab state where Punjabi Hindus formed the majority became part of the newly created states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. This made Punjab a Sikh-majority state in India.
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The number of casualties remains a matter of dispute, with figures being claimed that range from 200,000 to 2 million victims.
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