If Justin Trudeau, like the rest of the western world, thinks India is equal to Punjab, why are we shocked, surprised or hassled?
This is the one community that has stepped out into the world & claimed it for its own. It has borne the India flag proudly & made itself seamless with that identity.
This is one community that keeps rising from its own ashes. It suffers the horrors of partition and then rebuilds itself without any victimhood, staking claim not just to self-rehabilitation but to prosperity. This is the community that faces a planned political pogrom and yet doesn’t give in to long-term hatred. This is the community that had a clear, dangerous separatist movement & yet somehow managed to distance itself from the “terrorist” tag.
This is the community, especially its Sikh subset, which is often at the forefront of rescue, relief & other humanitarian activities across the globe at times of natural & man made disasters & crises.
Members of this community fight bravely in our armies, or even in armies they are enlisted into on behalf of the reigning government, they battle from the front lines & lay down their lives with unquestioning loyalty & courage.
This is the community that gave us the green revolution, the ubiquitous salwar kameez, the karva chauth craze, the sinful aloo paraatha & the mad pre wedding sangeet. This is the community that made Karan Johar a millionaire & gave Honey Singh and his ilk an actual career.
This is an assertive, extroverted, cheerful, in your face community that demands that the world sit up & take notice. It dresses loud, sings & dances loud, laughs out loud, eats & drinks loud. This community has a version of popular culture that permeates our film industry, our festivals, our sense of friends & familial bonding, our idea of generous sharing.
Yes we may sit back like highbrow snobs & say, please, there’s much more to India than Punjab. But hey. This is the community that chooses to play on the front foot every single time and rise beyond every adversity with a booming laugh & a narry a care joie de vivre.
I am not Punjabi. Much of my sensibility is not Punjabi. But if today the entire western world thinks that India is “Punjabi By Nature” I am happy to grin & celebrate with them. Balle bloody balle. Good on you guys. More Burrraah to you.