Tribune News Service
Amritsar, November 24
Author Amandeep Sandhu’s first non-fictional book, “Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines”, is a journey of issues and a number of social-political incidents responsible for shaping the current fabric of the state over the years. The book had its Amritsar launch by Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, member, SGPC, Chiranjiv Singh, former Ambassador of India to UNESCO in Paris, and Preeti Gill at Majha House on Sunday.
The discussion, steered by Amandeep Kaur, saw panellists deliberating on aspects of the book, the faulting lines of the state and their take on the issues affecting the lives of past, present and future. Some of the faulty lines include its troubled past, water degradation, education, brain drain, caste system, agrarian crisis, sacrilege incidents, among others.
“I decided to work on the book to fill in the emptiness in me, the hole in my heart. I wanted to know true Punjab, as I had been hearing multiple stories from my parents. But unfortunately, my version of Punjab is different. There is a difference between perception and reality,” said Amandeep Sandhu, who has already authored two books.
It took four years for Sandhu’s research, reportage to come in its present format. He has extensively travelled across the state to understand the perceptions of people on their state and its crises. Commenting on the book, Bibi Kiranjot Kaur said, “It is a beautiful book covering the state, its natives in phases from the ’80s. It is worth reading.”
The author was asked by the moderator, Dr Amandeep Caur, how being an outsider, who has not lived in Punjab, he has been able to understand its problems. The questions focused on the present-day mainstream politics of Punjab too where the author was asked how about the entrenched caste hierarchies, the alpha-male identity of the Punjabi men, how the two major events – Green Revolution and Militancy – wreaked havoc on Punjab.
Chiranjiv Singh, former Ambassador of India to UNESCO in Paris, laid stress on the image of the state in terms of drug abuse, the songs as a tool to represent the modern- day Punjab, the lack of will of the residents to resolve their own issues.
It is important for the people to read and understand the book. The author also spoke on the drug issue, lack of trust as a systemic social reality, and the failure of all the political parties to address the issues of the Punjabi society.
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