The loud and noisy Punjab-ification of India

RATNA RAO SHEKAR writes from Hyderabad: I am not sure if you have noticed this, but in our country, the higher the decibel level, the easier it is to get noticed. While Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev were in the media glare because of the noise they created and received the government’s attention, Swami Nigamanand died unsung.

Because, unlike the other two, he was protesting quietly against illegal sand mining by the Ganga.

Or, who has paid any attention to Irom Chanu Sharmila who has been fasting  silently for over a decade in the Northeastern most part of the country?

We, as a country, thrive on cacophony and drama irrespective of whether it is a protest or a party, a wedding or a funeral.

So many Indians I know for instance thought the wedding of Prince William and Kate, while being elegant was more funereal than celebratory. They felt let down because the ceremony lacked the band baja of Indian weddings.

Here, we like to celebrate weddings with bonhomie, noise and crackers. The robustness of the Punjabi wedding is a case in point. At one stage, South Indian weddings were dead-serious affairs until the Punjabi wedding (propagated through Hindi films) cast its spell. The mehendi and sangeet with their colourful costumes and over-the-top Bollywood music and dancing is a shining example of how we think a wedding should be conducted.

Not just weddings, but our cinema too is loud.

The quietness of Rashomon is not for us. And a Satyajit Ray film is all right for the festival rounds. The popular choice is the Bollywood film with its gaudy costumes and inane song-and-dance sequences, epitomised by the item number which makes or breaks a movie.

And we love the fact that all this is given to us in the full throttle of Dolby Digital sound which the new multiplexes come equipped with.

Why, even Indian classical music and dance concerts are noisy affairs, whatever sublime levels the musician or dancer may take us to. The majority of us are not moved by the quiet of a Beethoven symphony played in the precincts of a concert hall.

We would rather have the informality of an Indian classical concert, so that we can talk between each rendition, clap spontaneously when a dancer has performed a particularly difficult varnam, or talk across aisles, comparing notes.

Even our family get-togethers, office picnics and outings with friends are characterized by loud jokes and louder games of antakshari, or what is worse these days, the karaoke. To prove that all is well in the family or among colleagues we like to chatter simultaneously and laugh out loud at every Osama or other joke.

How many times has the family member who does not participate in the general revelry, but prefers watching television or reading a book in seclusion, been dragged to be centre stage to cheered up? For Indians, silence is synonymous with social deviance, or worse, depression.

When you come to think of it, our funeral ceremonies too (loaded though they may be with grief of the family) are noisy affairs, too. We are so noisy, we will not let a dead Indian go to his grave in peace and silence!

In this country we have to prove we are not deaf or social psychopaths by turning on television sets full blast, talking loudly on cell phones at public places, and honking during a traffic jam even if everyone can see the cars are not going anywhere.

Most of us are so used to the chaos and noise of India that we feel nervous with the deathly silence of some European countries where we hardly see people, and even the few we do seem to feel no compulsion to talk on cell phones or strike up a conversation with complete strangers.

Even the children in these countries, it would seem, don’t cry too loudly.

I believe we as a nation need a crash course in quiet. But for this, we need to shut off the cacophony created by TV anchors, honking cars, ringing cell phones, politically minded god men and gurus—and learn to listen to that sound of silence.

(Ratna Rao Shekar is the editor of Housecalls, the bimonthly published by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. Her book of short stories, Purple Lotus and Other Stories is forthcoming)

Also read: Not this or that, this and that is the real zeitgeist

Gutter chicken: the Punjab-ification of food

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45 Responses to “The loud and noisy Punjab-ification of India”

  1. Ravishankar Biotechnologist A K Says:

    Great observation

  2. Slogan Murugan Says:

    Maybe. But if you look at recent Hindi films, the noise is all inspired by Tamil and Telugu movies. Dingachaka Ding. So why blame just Punjabis. And there’s no competitor for the Nadaawaram and Mridangam at any wedding yet.

  3. srivaid Says:

    This is a very sensitive topic touched upon by many before. You can argue both sides till hell freezes over not get anywhere, so always worth weighing in with an opinion I guess. :)
    There probably is a common thread to everything that gets bashed about us Indians: lack of punctuality, lack of basic courtesies(I once went for dinner with a cousin who was on the phone for 20 minutes and told me later that he had initiated that non-emergency call he was busy on, and most importantly couldn’t understand why it was rude).
    But then maybe these concepts of punctuality, respect for others’s space, time etc are purely western concepts coming from an individualistic perspective where you are not expected to *fit in*.
    The more you try to adopt and expect those things, the more you *don’t fit in* and the tendency for others to try to get you to *fit in*.
    Nothing wrong as such in either, one of those things about different cultures eh? Some pros, some cons in everything.

  4. Himanshu Rai Says:

    Even the person living in solitude are considered serious and secluded by the society and even family. The appreciation of silence needs a society that thinks and reflects over its action. There is no point of spontaneous actions if it is all madness, rash living and rat race around you..

  5. psankar Says:

    Very nice post.

  6. Nastika Says:

    The author, like an AK47, is spraying bullets all around, instead of point & shoot. Let me tackle the issues one by one:

    1) Anna/Ramdev Vs Nigamanand:

    Anna was fighting for corruption, which is a national cause and he did market at national level. His demand was definite, that to set date for Lokpal bill.
    Nigamanand was fighting to save Ganga (on which even Raj Kapoor made a film too). Ganga has no relevance to East, South & West India. Also his demand was definte.
    What do you mean by save Ganga? Stop using the river? Setup treatment plant? What is it?

    So its not noise. It is the right cause and correct marketing.

    2) William & Kate wedding:

    Few people thought it was quiet. So what? Its their culture. Why should our weddings, be quiet too?

    3) Laugh at jokes

    If you think a joke is a PJ (poor joke), don’t laugh. You don’t have to laugh to make noise.

    4) Extrovert vs Introvert
    Extrovert – need people company for energy. Around 70% of humans are extroverts.
    Introvert – need solitude for energy. Rest of the people are introverts.

    If you are an introvert, and if you feel uncomfortable in people company, you have 2 choices
    a) Avoid people’s company
    b) Learn the tricks of being in people’s company.

    Last thing you must do is to complain.

    5) Crash course on noise or being quiet??

    You sound like a headmaster or a school teacher. What are you going to tell in the course? Ask people to be quiet?

    Suggestion: If you don’t like noise, avoid noise.

    PS: After reading her piece, will I buy book? No. I don’t want to read more cribs.

  7. Gaampa Says:

    Nastika: Superbly said.

  8. Patrick R Braggs Says:

    Point Taken….but Ratna Rao Shekar may not have attended mangalorean and goan catholic weddings…we too do have a Band playing for all our occasions….and dancing is our way of enjoyment.

  9. Parijata Says:

    Too generalized…

    Our music and dance are noisy? One is entitled to one’s opinion, of course, but I think it would be good for the author to attend a proper concert once. Oh, Beethoven is moving, certainly, but so are Hariprasad Chaurasia, Malladi Brothers and hundreds, if not thousands of other musicians.
    Re Irom Sharmila, whatever happens in the NorthEast does not get the attention of mainstream media, which is more obsessed with Aishwarya Rai having a baby. It sucks, but as Nastika said, it is all about marketing.
    “deathly silence of some European countries where we hardly see people, ”
    Probably, this is the reason for less noise in those countries?
    More no. of people => more noise?
    And oh, children of all countries cry loudly. Again, when there are more number of kids crying, the volume is certainly higher. And we really have many children around us, don’t you think?
    I wonder how much noise this post (and the comments :p) generated.

  10. Anurag Murthy Says:

    Can Ratna Rao confirm she likes the mother and sister ‘abuses’ now also allowed by censor from punjabi land – sorry the Prime Minister’s own land.
    Telugu do make a lot of noise in and out. I agree specially when I see Zee Telugu.

  11. Deepak Says:

    @Nastika : superb!!

    The lady seems to be enamored of the west and its silence and sick of India and its noise. Better she relocates to the place she loves more, so let her enjoy her silence in peace and we can enjoy our noise peacefully.

  12. deafa Says:

    let me get this straight, you have to prove you are not deaf by turning up tv full blast, talking loudly,etc?
    are you sure you don’t have a hearing loss? because thats what some people do when they have a hearing loss. (I am deaf)
    but hey, why you need modern technology to make noise? they are too loud

  13. Shrinivas Says:

    I have lived in some of the noisiest parts of India and silent parts of Europe. I would rather live in noisy parts of the world and be sane and jolly among the crowd than lead a life of solitude and plunge deep into depression. As put forth by several others already, we are too many people and even if we whisper, it collectively becomes a big noise.

    Having said that, there are some subtle points I would take from the article (and subsequent comments):

    1. We do let our phones ring and pick them when we are in the concerts (be it Pt.Hariprasad or Beethoven) or movie halls (again no distinction whether we are in a Satyajit Ray movie or a loud Akshay Kumar mother-sister cussing)

    2. We do talk loudly on the phone (partly again because there is so much noise around us that we can’t hear or the other person can’t hear us and partly because of the horrible phone connectivity)

    3. We want to dance at weddings and want the bystanders to watch how we celebrate, fine. We have every right to have fun but let us not block the traffic for our pomp and show

  14. Faldo Says:

    Ratna does make some valid points though some of her comments about loudness may be off the mark. Yes it is true that Bollywood and regional cinema do seem to have a disproportionate influence of Punjabi culture compared to that of other states. That could well be due to a large number of filmmakers and technicians belonging to that region. Some of those things have spilled over into our daily lives. Maybe people like those. There is no disputing this.
    However, linking cacophony and noise to a particular region does not make too much sense. Noise is not exclusive to practices from a particular area. One can find it in traditions the world over. Only, it might not be during weddings. It could be heard at other times such as popular festivals or sports events. It is just that in a heavily populated country this noise gets amplified.

    Regardless, as she rightly points out all of us need to make efforts to reduce the level of noise in our lives if not totally shut it off.

  15. M Says:

    The observation on crying children is totally true. I’ve been living in the US for past 2.5 yrs and can’t recollect a white baby crying. On the contrary its quite common for babies of immigrant parents to rip everyone’s ears with their crying.

    Sometime ago even stand up comedian George Lopez made this ‘decibel’ contrast between US and Latino cultures.

    All this is true but I’m unable to figure out how such a culture gave rise to pop, rock and metal.

  16. Jayasri Says:

    Give me CAcophonix India any day!. For the first few days in the US, it felt like I had moved from a 70 mm colour movie into a B&W s-l-o-w motion picture. Looking out the the window at the airport in my backyard felt like I was watching TV on mute. For a dose of India, I go to Hotbreads, order chaat, and stare unblinkingly at the raucous Bollywood song&dance routine (on mute) , listen to the (muted) Babel of Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and occasional Kannada that other desis who have come there (with the same intent as mine) engage in.

  17. V.VENKATASUBRAMANIAN Says:

    Come the Tamil month of Aadi ie Mid July Mariamman Festivals are celebrated in Temples. Every street has a Mariamman temple. Mariamman songs are played in full blare. They use conical speakers though banned. But who cares. The songs through speakers are played till late night. In addition musical programmes are also conducted. Crackers are burst when the deity is taken along the streets disturbing the still night. It creates great inconvience to Aged people and heart patients staying around the temples.

  18. trumpet wala Says:

    So why is Ratna rao making a big “noise” here?
    Its human nature…you blow your trumpet..you get heard
    she is wrong

  19. Jayashree Says:

    Now it is turn of the Gowda’s! They should be allowed to perish!

  20. shankar Says:

    another self flagellating gora sahib ( or madam in this case ) who finds even indian classical music concerts noisy ! The britishers stopped ruliing us in 1947 & some toadies are still trying to cling on to their so called culture of silence !! If the britishers were still ruling they would have conferred OBEs etc for such shameless chamchagiri.,but teh lady is speaking 64 years too late.

  21. Anurag M Says:

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/indl-goods-/-svs/metals-mining/posco-ropes-in-two-local-firms-for-rs-30k-cr-karnataka-plant/articleshow/9172354.cms

    What even Orissa opposes , we sell it.

  22. Debanish Achom Says:

    Although a generalisation, there is some truth in linking the P word, today’s Bollywood and noise. The answer is in staying sane and being polite as much as one can. Nobody can do anything if certain people are loud by nature. Yes, people of any culture may express themselves and market themselves in any way they like. But sometimes it reaches such a point that the entire show becomes vain and vulgar. That is the real enemy.od and noise. The answer is in staying sane and being polite as much as one can. Nobody can do anything if certain people are loud by nature. Yes, people of any culture may express themselves and market themselves in any way they like. But sometimes it reaches such a point that the entire show becomes vain and vulgar. That is the real enemy.

  23. Abhi Says:

    Article tells half the story that India is noisy.

    Comments tell the other half. Why is it noisy. Because most people do not think its bad to be noisy. They get into obscure cultural relativism and twisted arguments like why is it Okay to be noisy or rather why is it better to be noisy. We are noisy because we like it that way.

    BTW, why bring in Punjab into argument? Perhaps, author get a sense of comfort by blaming it on someone else for what we are?

    I have lived in Rajajinagar for a number of years and lived though Kannada Rajyothsava in Nov and in December (for those who forgot), Mariaman habba, Ganesha chaturthi and some random competing loud speakers (at times 3 in a single road). I have not lived in Punjab, but I do not think it can be any worse.

  24. My3 Says:

    HUH?!?!?! What is with this self-hate and trying to copy some other nation. If the Punjabis are loud and like bright stuff who are we to complain. Here, on the one hand you whine that South Indians are copying the “loud” Punjabis, and in the following sentence you want people to behave like the “silent” Europeans. Looks like the love for white skin and looking to the Europeans for approval is still strong with Indians. You want to see screaming white children? Go to any American grocery store and stand near the candy aisle and watch how they behave. Sheesh.

  25. sanjeeva Says:

    Nastika, well said.

  26. ajatashatru Says:

    Very good article but pretty much generalized. I agree that current Bollywood movies are more of Punjabi movie influenced than a full time Hindi movie with all tussi/mainu/mahi. type of typical Punjabi words. And I see the current generation too drastically affected(good or bad) by that. Though a completely personal choice, today’s girls prefer Punjabi gagra over a south Indian saree for a function.Men prefer Sherwani’s over our traditional Kurta/dhoti, We Bhalle Bhalle over south Indian traditional forms. India is Punjabified, for good or for bad is for an individual to decide.

  27. Manohar Satyanarayan Says:

    I do not think we need to be silent as Europeans. We are loud, we celebrate loudly, sing loudly, whats the big deal? Yes we did not notice swami nigamanand. Thats because our media did not notice him. Media is always after rich and famous. Thats the problem here. Not loud celebratory public of India. In general we have this mindset of ‘Everything western is good’, from the british era. Its time to come out of it :)

  28. Rathna rao Says:

    Well,let’s not forget that Indians are one of the happiest lot in the world even though our per capita income is at the bottom rung..so let’s keep our celebration in moderation.Jai Ho

  29. Adarsh Says:

    Looks like the author is in depression

  30. Sunil Shibad Says:

    The Punjabifiaction of India is a clear and present danger to sanity. Sure I am half Punjabi. But even I wasn’t, the truth is Punjab is full of crude, loudmouth braggarts. For example I know Punjabi very well. But do they bother learning Marathi, Konkani , Gujarati , Bengal or God forbid Tamil? No. What has TV talk show queen Dr Kiran Bedi in reality? Oh Indira Gandhi humored her by paying traffic tickets. But when took command as DGP of Assam could not mange ULFA and quit. Understand the concept of combat leader. How about unsung hero Fazilka girl Meeran Chadda–Borwankar? First women Maharashtra IPS officer. She battled Mumbai underworld. She was JCP of Mumbai Crime Branch. She is now Pune Police Commissioner. How about Julio Riberio? A Khan? Zende? And the what-his–name is name who neutralized Veerapan? All are not even aware. But Indians worship Dr Kiran Bedi as self-styled “Super Cop”. Another self-styled “Super Cop” is K P S Gill. Punjab only have “Super Cops” . Rest are duffers. Do we realize at time of Independence, Indian Air Force was made of Anglo-Indians? INDIAN AIR FORCE 1947 AND AFTER

    ANGLO INDIANS IN THE IAF

    by GROUP CAPTAIN (RETD) KAPIL BHARGAVA ” Maurice Barker was not only the first Anglo-Indian to join IAF but also the community’s first Air Marshal. At last count at least seven others followed him to reach the rank of Air Marshal. In the order of the date of commissioning, they were DG (Dougie) King-Lee, MSD (Mally) Wollen, DA (Dennis) La Fontaine (later Air Chief Marshal, CAS), JW (Johnny) Greene, DJ (Denzil) Keelor, KDK (Keith) Lewis, Sherwin Tully and Mike McMahon (still in service). Rest at: http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/History/1950s/Anglos.html What about Yash Raj Chopra? He now only makes Punjab Tourism TV spots . But all use it as a marketing case study: The Yash Raj effect! I was shocked to know Punjab , India’s richest state , has maximum illegal migrants detained by US . Not say Mizoram, Kerala or Jharkhand . My friend in Punjab said it is full of poverty. I am appalled. @ Manohar Satyanarayan : Since when disturbing the peace is part of India? What about meditation? Gojng to foerst? What are you happy to celebrate when 300 mlion go hungry every day? Sir, you are posting on a US invention. you are typing in English . If you post in Devnagari script say Facebook it is an US invention too. Pride cometh before the all. And should read Martial Race Theory ” The British regarded the ‘martial races’ as valiant and strong but also intellectually challenged, lacking the initiative or leadership qualities to command large troops. They were also regarded as politically subservient or docile to authority. On the one hand it made sure that there was no repeat of the Indian rebellion of 1857 by ensuring there was no unity among the different subjects of the Raj. On the other hand it encouraged a sense of competition among the different ‘races’. According to Dr. Jeffrey Greenhut, “The Martial Race theory had an elegant symmetry. Indians who were intelligent and educated were defined as cowards, while those defined as brave were uneducated and backward.” The Marathas were classified as ‘non-martial’after the 1857 rebellion(in which the Marathas of Kanpur and Jhansi played a key role, blatantly ignoring the military achievements of the Maratha Empire . The South Indian troops who had proved their valour in the battlefields of central and south India were disbanded after 1857 to make way for more martial races. The recruitment of ‘Madrassis’ for infantry only took place during the Second World War when large numbers of troops were required to defend British Empire in the form of a newly raised Madras Regiment. The Nairs of Kerala were initially included in the list, however after the Nairs of Travancore rebelled against the British under Velu Thampi Dalawa, they were recruited in lower . numbers. Indian rebellion of 1857 may have played a role in reinforcing the British belief in ‘martial races’. During this event some Indian troops (known as ‘Sepoys’), particularly in Bengal, mutinied, but the loyal Pathans, Punjabis, Gurkhas, Kumaoni/Kumaunis and Garhwalis did not join the mutiny and fought on the side of the British Army. From then on, this theory was used to the hilt to accelerate recruitment from among these ‘races’, whilst discouraging enlistment of ‘disloyal’ Bengalis and high-caste Hindus who had sided with the rebel army during the war. Some authors, such as Heather Streets, argue that the military authorities puffed up the images of the martial soldiers by writing regimental histories, and by extolling the kilted Scots, kukri-wielding Gurkhas and turbaned Sikhs in numerous paintings. The ‘Martial Race’ theory has also been described as a clever British effort to divide and rule the people of India for their own political ends. ” This in Wikipedai and part of history. Don’t deny the truth. What all defending Punjab are doing for Punjab?

  31. wanderlust Says:

    the author probably has no idea about italians, sicilians and greeks who also count as europeans. they are noisy, loud and their celebrations are also messy, out-of-control and overall, fun.

  32. Sunil Shibad Says:

    @Wnaderlust: Two wrongs don’t make one right. I have friends around the world. First I am half Punjabi. I’m true-blue Mumbai boy. Do explain Punjab si leading foeticide. They now look down to anyone with dark skin as “kali lauti” and “swaa Madrassi ” . They even refuse to allow doctors from Mumbai their to help kid suffering from seizures can for medication compliance. Hai !Hai! Mirgi! . They are leading state in holiday wives. NRIs Punjab puttars dump wives and US are going after them. leading in te bizzare surgery of Hymenoplasty. These are educated Punjab state braggarts Barbaric. Do not rationalize . Loud mouth. Stop it.

    ***

    I will not return calls.

    I will show off.

    I will live beyond my means.

    I will be a pathological liar.

    I will be brash.

    I will be abrasive.

    I will be rude.

    I will be nasty.

    I will make false promises.

    I will serve paneer in 21 different ways when throwing a formal dinner party.

    I will bow down, touch feet and take blessings of all those who are even a year older than me just for the express purpose of collecting loose change.

    I will wear zircons and claim them to be the finest diamonds.

    I will rhyme every other word like whisky shisky and think that I am very witty.

    I will be crassy not classy.

    I will obsess over Bollywood.

    I will worry myself sick if Shah Rukh Khan breaks his toe nail.

    I will stalk Priyanka Chopra when I move to Mumbai.

    I will do my best to produce a Bollywood movie even it wipes out my family’s fortune.

    I will feel that I am stunningly good looking.

    I will equate fair skin with beauty.

    I will try my hand at modeling.

    I will try my hand at acting.

    I will be shallow.

    I will tell one and all that I know the Prime Minister’s pedicurist.

    I will believe that dancing at weddings is more important than finding a cure for cancer.

    I will hire a choreographer to teach me how to dance at weddings.

    I will make a total ass of myself dancing at weddings.

    I will take credit for other people’s work.

    I will look down on people who make less money than me.

    I will mistake kindness for weakness.

    I will have diarrhea of words and constipation of ideas.

    I will speak in an accent which is proprietary to my beloved city and which needs multilingual subtitles
    I will become a rakhi brother to anyone of the female species that rejects me
    I will be a beard sporting, 7-toed woman who will have delusions of being ‘vibed at’ by men
    It is my birthright to pry into my neighbor’s affairs and my neighbors’ neighbors’ too
    It is my consequent birthright to spread rumors based on my scientific interpretation of such prying.
    It is further my birthright to deny that I started said rumor.

    I will hit rock bottom but I will continue to dig deeper.

    I will raise land grabbing to an art form.

    I will bow down to Vaishno Devi, the symbol of woman power, in the morning and womanize in the evening.

    I will be proud of the fact that my city has the highest rape rate in the country.

    I will tease women and it is my moral right to do so.

    I will pull all the right strings to get me out of jail if arrested for eve teasing.

    I will abort my unborn child if I find out through amniocentesis that my child is a girl.

    I will be a dress designer if I am a woman.

    I will be a property dealer if I am a man.

    I will be a wheeler dealer. Period.

    I will claim to be a businessman but will not disclose what exactly my business is.

    I will be a fixer.

    I will be above the law of the land.

    I will subvert the system.

    I will carry at least 9 mobiles on my person at any given time.

    I will do my level best not to think.

    I will stop others from thinking.

    I will shut my brain down.

    I will argue not on facts but because the decibel level of my voice is higher than anyone else’s.

    I will refuse to admit that I am human and can make mistakes.

    I will derisively refer to all those who live South of the Vindhayas as “Madrasis.”

    I will brag about the flyovers, malls and call centers in my city.

    I will conveniently forget that all the flyovers, malls and call centers in my city are built with the help of taxes generated by other parts of India.

    I will not pay my taxes.

    I will try my best to be a thug.

    I am a Delhiite. I am Punjab braggart.

  33. deafa Says:

    Caucasian babies do cry loud (I am one and I have one), we just respond to it quick as possible.

    Here is what we do:
    If the child is crying, we check:
    1. their diaper
    2. see if they are hungry or thirsty
    3. want to be held
    4.something is making them feel uncomfortable like clothing

    We fix it and move on

    If they continue to cry, we:
    1. check if they are ill
    2. check if they are colicky
    3. check for rash or other discomfort issues that can’t be fixed right away

    We take the baby and go home (or doctor)

    If they continue to cry and nothing is wrong then we acknowledge they are trying to get our attention and we let them cry it out and we ignore it. yes, in stores :)

    some cases we have no choice but bring a crying child with us and other don’t care so don’t worry about it, we all do it.

  34. Sunil Shibad Says:

    @deafa Briliant ! We fix it and move on. The problem of Punjab is they are cry babies .Even at age 60. In Transactional Analsysi Parent-Adult-Child ego states, they lack operating Parent ego. I am half Punjabi. They are loud mouths . They are stubborn. They lack discipline. They are childish. If you study Martail Race Theory, after the 1857 Rebellion, British general and scholar, Lieutenant-General Sir George MacMunn oted in his writings “It is only necessary for a feeling to arise that it is impious and disgraceful to serve the British, for the whole of our fabric to tumble like a house of cards without a shot being fired or a sword unsheathed”.[6 To this end, it became British policy to recruit only from those tribes whom they classified as members of the ‘martial races’ and the practice became an integral part of the recruitment manuals for the Army in the British Raj.

    The British regarded the ‘martial races’ as valiant and strong but also intellectually challenged, lacking the initiative or leadership qualities to command large troops. They were also regarded as politically subservient or docile to authority.

    Pathans, Punjabis, Gurkhas, Sikh, Kumaoni/Kumaunis and Garhwalis did not join the 1857 Mutiny and fought on the side of the British Army.

    This is a fact. British Army played Parent ego to Child ego of Punjab.

  35. vasanth Says:

    poor artile. very poor!

  36. kkk Says:

    When will Bollywood’s Punjabi obsession end?
    - NEVER

    Why Bollywood’s obsessed by Punjabi…
    - reason is given below…. (no more explainations :)

    Indian Armed Forces
    Airforce
    • Marshal Arjan Singh, Former Chief Of Indian Air Force.[1], Only Marshal in the History of Indian Air Force
    • Air Chief Marshal Surinder Mehra, Former Chief Of Indian Air Force.
    • Air Chief Marshal Nirmal Chandra Suri, Former Chief Of Indian Air Force.
    • Air Chief Marshal Satish Sareen, Former Chief Of Indian Air Force.
    • Air Chief Marshal Dilbagh Singh, Former Chief Of Indian Air Force.
    • Air Chief Marshal Om Prakash Mehra, Former Chief of Indian Air Force.[2]
    • Harita Kaur Deol, first Indian woman pilot in the Indian Air Force, on a solo flight .
    Army
    • General Deepak Kapoor, Indian Army Chief.
    • General Pran Nath Thapar, Former Indian Army Chief.
    • General Om Prakash Malhotra, Former Indian Army Chief.
    • General Ved Prakash Malik, Former Indian Army Chief.
    • General Nirmal Chander Vij, Former Indian Army Chief.
    • General Joginder Jaswant Singh, Former Indian Army Chief.[3]
    • Lt General Punita Arora, first woman in the Indian Armed Forces to don the second highest rank of Lt General[4] and the first lady to become the Vice-Admiral of Indian Navy.[5]
    • Shabeg Singh
    Navy
    • Admiral S.N Kohli, Former Chief Of Indian Navy
    • Admiral S.M Nanda, Former Chief Of Indian Navy who became famous as The Man who Bombed Karachi.
    Other notables
    • Kiran Bedi – First women IPS officer
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  37. Rajat Mehta Says:

    Please remove the comment:
    kkk Says:15 August 2011 at 9:52 pm.
    It is overly long and verbose … exactly the very loudness that your article so accurately exposes.

    I cannot thank you enough, for articulating the loud madness,
    and the lack of introspection that has high jacked the social space in our society and country.

    Thank you very much for writing this essay. God bless.

  38. Richa Says:

    Coming from an author of Ratna Rao Shekhar stature ,such linear observation of an entire culture speaks of her shallow research and her parochial viewpoint than anything else.she should propagate some social sensitivity in Hyderabad itself before taking on the Punjabis.

  39. born smart Says:

    @Richa
    come on richa. we all here ‘maa behan ek karna’ from manmohan type sardars all the time after booze parties – legal and mandatory in punjab except a handful of them.
    still punjabi women ‘act’ like virgins of all communities in India.

    you cannot remove incest and bad manners from punjabis. can you?

    yes ofcourse you can migrate and become better.

  40. the colonel Says:

    thank you churumuri you’ve brightened my day.

    more power to your pen and bless you that you may never suffer from a “trigger finger”

    ….

  41. the colonel Says:

    RATNA RAO SHEKAR: fauja singh is carrying the olympic torch .

    which madrasi is doing that.

    SO THERE.

    CLAM UP your PREJUDICE

  42. the colonel Says:

    The Great DARA SINGH is no more.

    HE alone has smashed your stupid prejudices with his soft speech and smile.

    and also MANMOHAN SINGH is loud is he.

    Come on shake yourself UP

  43. rajeshwer Says:

    Lady seems to be suffering from some psychological social order (if there is any or this can be attributed to her) . When did you last laugh – previous life or your life must have been full of sadness- no loving parents hearing crying girl as a toddler, not getting food when hungary , always teased by people thru youth . Oh I am so sorry. Much that I would like to take pity and join for awhile, I can not join you because I will start laughing seeing your sad face though in photo looks beautiful and smiling- paradox.Oh my my. WE -THE PUNJABIS – BARBADION KA SHOR MACHATA CHALA GAYA, HAR FIQR KO DHUEN MEIN UDATA CHALA GAYA. We carry our war victories on shoulders with noise. We also laugh full throated on when a girl is born-we the punjabis also dance with joy on the marriage of others . Please dont join any one and make a sullen face on the marriage of your children- if you have any. I could not have stayed comfortably with my partener carrying sadness all along. What a pity . Have good Hyderabadi Boryani with drooped face. I also stay in Hyderabad but I have not met any one of your ilk ever. I want to see how you live your life. Pass th e address please.
    I want to see a cool, dumb ,sad beauty – live. Only animals dont laugh but they do speak -express. Long live in your ivory tower.

  44. Punjabi Pride Says:

    @ Ratnakar Rao Shekar, You just go and read about the silent martyrs(punjabis) because of whom you are living in freedom, 86% of all those who were hanged in India’s freedom struggle were Sikhs(punjabis for you, just go to the kala pani jail in andaman and see for yourself the names, you’ll find 90% punjabis), and regarding being noisy bhagat singh had said that it needs bombs to make the deaf hear, no offences at anyone from south, but I feel its ignorance that fuels misinformed articles like those of yours.

  45. UMan Says:

    Few comments are longer than the article :D

    Punjabification …?, duh what s that.
    We all are singly multiple.

    Categorizing one set of people as a ‘Type’, are you not prejudiced ?
    Punjabis are Loud, Seth log are parasites, Tamilians and Mallus only watch out for each other, Kannada people are lazy, all Marathi people belong to Shiv Sena, all UP and Bihar people are unpolished.

    Can I know what dope you are smoking ?

    OK,.what is the identity of this guy..?
    I am a bangalorean.

    – UMAN

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