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Rename Punjab to Khalistan?


Should the Sikh majority Punjab be renamed?  

9 members have voted

  1. 1.

    • Yes. The article is right about the name Punjab, it should be renamed to Khalistan
    • Yes. The article is right about the name Punjab, but not the name Khalistan
    • No. I think Punjab should still be known as Punjab

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Punjab is now a defunct and meaningless name: It no longer exists

Time to recognize & rename the Sikh homeland as Khalistan

Punjab, as everyone who is familiar with some history of the region should know, is a combination of two Persian words (Panj & Aab) and gives the meaning of "Land of 5 Rivers" in reference to the five tributary rivers of the Indus which flow through the region. However, what is not so well known is that it wasn’t actually the Persians who gave the Punjab its name, nor was it the Punjab's indigenous people. It was the Mughals. The Mughals were the first rulers to officially use the term Punjab (or Panjab) as the name for the region that lay between the Indus and the Yamuna. Specifically, it was during the reign of Akbar that the word Punjab was most likely popularized and Akbar's court is also credited with having given the Punjab's various 'Do-Aabs' (Also words of Persian origin) their present names. The Punjab therefore, its definition and identity, is a product and relic of the Mughal empire.

This is a fact which surprisingly is not known by many "Punjabis". Or perhaps, these facts are well known but are deliberately overlooked and kept quiet on as they crush the very foundations upon which the chauvinism of "Punjabi pride" and flawed concept of the so-called "Punjabi nation" are built upon. In any case, they are simple facts which cannot be denied by any serious person.

So, Punjab is not the name of a nation or of a people but is a name coined by foreign Persian-speaking invaders in reference to the major geographical features of the region, i.e. the rivers Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej. Now, fast-forward to the 21st century and this land of five rivers no longer exists as a politically united entity. What’s more, the people who defined and gave this region its name no longer exist either. Actually, they disappeared from the scene hundreds of years back.

What then, is the logic behind the continued use of this name "Punjab" as a name for the Sikh homeland? A territory which is not a land of five rivers, does not have a native Persian-speaking population, and in which it’s indigenous and majority Sikh people are not descended from people of Turko-Mongol (Mughal) or Persian stock.

The absurdity of continuing to identify the Sikh homeland as "Punjab" presents an interesting contradiction in Sikh collective thought. For the Sikhs, it is clear that they cannot ever depict the Mughals in a positive light as the Mughals had committed heinous crimes and atrocities against them. So why then champion a foreign name given to the Sikhs native homeland by these very same rulers who had not only occupied by force the land which had belonged to the ancestors of the Sikhs but who had also waged war against the Sikhs very own Gurus?

There is then the fact that the Sikh majority Punjab state in India is not a land of five rivers. Only three rivers pass through it. So once again what is the purpose of having the territory named as Punjab? Isn’t this not a complete joke? To have a land in which only three rivers pass through it known as a "land of five rivers" by using a word of Persian origin?

A phone conversation with a Naga had sparked off this questioning behind the logic of continuing to identify the Sikh homeland as Punjab. Getting confused over references to the "Sikh nation of Punjab" the Naga gentlemen quite rightly asked isn’t the Sikh nation known as Khalistan, and if we could use the word Khalistan so that everyone could be clear on what was actually being discussed. He gave the example of confusions over the name of his own homeland. To the Nagas, their homeland of "Nagalim" is the word used to describe all of the Naga dominated and inhabited areas of their region; or what they call, "the traditional Naga homeland". Then there is the Indian state of "Nagaland" which is nothing but an Indian creation and only a tiny fraction of Nagalim. Not surprisingly, the Nagas reject both the boundaries and the name of Nagaland as these are artificial and have been enforced upon them by the Indians. His insistence that the correct terminology of “Nagalim†and “Khalistan†be used in reference to the Naga and Sikh nations was wholly correct on his part, and for which he is owed a word of thanks.

The names of nations and territories should reflect either the identity of its people or of its defining geographical characteristics. But this is not the case with the Sikh homeland. The name Punjab neither reflects the identity of the people nor does it reflect the geographical features of the territory. Some years back after his return to India the long time advocate of Sikh independence, Dr Jagjit Singh Chauhan, suggested that the Punjab state be renamed to Khalistan. Although the word Khalistan has become tainted over the years and made almost synonymous with “terrorism†due the propaganda machinery of the Indian government and media, the name Khalistan is in fact a true representation and definition of the Sikh homeland. Much more so than the Mughal name Punjab is as ever since the collapse of the Mughal empire and later with the partition of the Punjab between two new countries, the name Punjab, in relation to the Sikh homeland, is now completely meaningless and defunct.

Since the creation of modern India in 1947 there have been numerous examples in which foreign imposed names have been reverted back to their indigenous names or given new identities in the language of the local people. The United Provinces became Uttar Pradesh, Madras became Chennai, Bombay became Mumbai, Calcutta became Kolkata and most recently Assam has been reverted back to Asom. Taking all of these and the many more examples into account isn’t it then high time that the Sikhs also got rid of the now defunct and meaningless name Punjab which was given to the region by foreigners and rename their territory to Khalistan?

When Assam can be renamed back to its historical name of Asom after its indigenous Ahom dynasty which had ruled Asom as an independent kingdom for hundreds of years it is then a perfectly legitimate demand for Sikhs to push for the renaming of Punjab to Khalistan; a name and identity which reflects the demographics and aspirations of the Sikh nation and does not continue on an outdated relic left behind by the Sikhs one time nemesis, the Mughal emperors.

A. Soni

London, UK


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You cannot change the name and expect the core of the state to change. The corruption will not leave because of a name change. Sure you can change the name of the State, what then??

Change must occur from within starting from the people who live there and govern the state, not A. Soni living in London, UK.

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Khalistan will not just be the few Zilas we have left. For it to be called Khalistan it will have to include atleast Haryana and Himachal Pardesh.

Let us be realistic now and obviously india will not just hand that over when asked to.

I'm sure we'll fight india for it. Seriusly though I think we have a better chance winning it in a good kabaddi match then in actual arsenal confrontation. Not due to the lack of heart, but lack of man power and more so lack of Unity. Also with the lack of support from other world nations who do recoganize this struggle as just.

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Khalistan, i disagree with.. however the istan of the khalsa,, well khalsa is 96 krori chakravarti.. :) akaal purakh fauj..

we got the man power, we got the weapons, we got everything we need, and every step the khalsa takes is its isthan.. the problem is not the division of boundaries by a nation state.. the problem is the lack of khalsa within the sikh religious nation.

Taking amrit, or calling for a seperate land does not make anyone a khalsa, that war is continuous and its a fight we all run from. Its the fight within ourselves. If Baba Nanak wanted Khalistan he wouldnt have gone on udhasis all over the globe.

I do however respect the original desire for khalistan. I can sympathise with the call for the sikh state back in 1920s and during partition. However I also feel that the secularisation of India based on european Enlightment models of nationalism, is the cause of conflict and problem we experience today. And that the partition brought with it a call for the Sikhs to model themselves on this alien form of nationalism. It is here where the early sikh elite (SGPC, Akali Dal etc) failed the panth, then again who can blame them, it was simply the way they had been brought up and educated.

Also by changing the name of Punjab, you effectively enforce the boundaries drawn up by the Indira Ghandi congress back in 1970s, at the moment Punjab, is a state not divided, but a state united across two countries. Maybe we need to change our view on what Punjab is, and stop seeing the partition drawn borders as the ultimate truth.

And finally, the Khalsa is not a punjabi phenomina, sure the punjab houses many of the important sikh history and shrines, and is the birth location of the faith.. but what does that mean in relation to a universal faith, which cares not for religious affiliation nevermind national.

Thats my 2 khalistani dollars:)

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If das is not mistaken first time term Khalistan was used in the British era by Arya Samji Brahmin Bhai Paramanada,who was from the family of Bhai Matidas.

Das could say that better name will be Singhsthan ie land of Singhs or lion.

Well Punjab is Farsi name and Kalistan is Aribic Khalis and Turkish Stan name.

We better try to make all Hindus as Singhs and let Hindustan be Singhsthan.

We must not forget to take support of Hindus who are baout 45% if we have to remane Punjab.

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I'm sure it will not be long before the sikhs are no longer a majority in this little place anyway - if current trends of immigration and birth rates continue for a few years.

What then ? change the name to Bhayastan . . ?

. . . or chop it in half and get all the 'sikhs' into one side so that they have majority (for another few years)

President Sodhi, don't make Mr Vijay. . .'We better try to make all Hindus as Singhs' . . .deep Singh as your cheif Diplomat whatever you do.

But on a serious note, his idea seems the most realistic option of you ever acheiving the dream

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Guest Javanmard

This is why Sikhs are unable to progress: the majority hasn't broken the false idols of nationalism, tribalism and cate. It is the same old tale: the cult of the blood and land over that of the spirit and soul. Why limit ourselves to that tiny bit of land, destined to be a desert anyway thanks to aggressive over-farming, when instead we could turn the world into Khalsa Raj?But I guess this seems an impossible dream for a community in which most members deem their blood to be so sacred that they discriminate against those who are not so "pure". I let you guess who else in history had an obession with blood and land, or rather Blut und Boden...

Guru Gobind Singh fought so many battles but didn't conquer a single ounce of land. Even the so-called Sikh kingdoms were in facting kingdoms led by Sikhs not Sikh nation-states. Guru Gobind Singh's empire is an empire of the soul, running after blood and land is running after idols that won't save you.

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Guru Gobind SIngh Jee fought for Dharm, righteousness, human rights. Baba Banda Singh onwards Sikhs fought for land so they can also practice Dharm, righteousness prevailed, human rights was protected, it was a sort of Ram Rajya. Under the lands ruled by Sikhs cow slaughter was illegal, honour of women were safe, forcible religious conversions was forbidden, maybe that is why Sikhs constituted less than 10% of the population in the lands they ruled majority of which was Muslim and Hindu.

Sikhs during the partition needed a separate nation state simply because the Congress was not trustworthy to keep their word made to the Sikhs. If a Sikh nation state were to have been created in 1947 then the following would not have happened:

-Punjabi language would not have been denied it’s due status. It would have been the national language of east Punjab (Punjab, Haryana, Himachal, Chandigarh).

-Punjab’s river waters would not have been stolen away from Punjab and given to other states for free.

-Although Bhakra Dam is Punjabi with Punjabi water, but all the electricity it produces goes to Delhi and not Punjab. Further Delhi gets that electricity for free while Punjab has to BUY its fossil fuel to produce it's electricity. This also causes a lot of pollution.

-The theft of Punjabi land which was given for free to Haryana and Himachal Pardesh even though large parts of Haryana and practically all of Himachal Pardesh is Punjabi speaking.

-Punjab is the only state in India that has to share a capital i.e. Chandigarh with another state(Haryana). Furthermore, Chandigarh doesn’t belong to Punjab or Haryana, it is a union territory that belongs to the center. So Punjab doesn’t even have a capital it can call it’s own!

And I'm not even going to mention the horrors of 78-84 onwards which are comparable to some South American dictatorship because the above given reasons are good enough reason for why we should have had a nation state way back in 1947.

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We're not going to get Khalistan. And never would, if the Sikhs were to have Khalistan then we would have had long agoo during Guru Gobind Singh Ji's time.

That doesn't really make sense. Just because we did not posses something 300 years ago does not neccessarily mean we will not posses it in the future.

During Guru Gobind Singh Jee's period we did not have Raj because Guru Gobind SIngh Jee did not fight for one. A few years later Sikhs under the command of Baba Banda SIngh Bahadur did establish an independent nationhood, though it was short lived. Then again during the misl period Sikhs established themselves as masters of Punjab which was the forerunner of the Sikh state during Maharaja Ranjit Singh period.

Sikhs lost their Raj after the Anglo-Sikh wars. But we had our chance during 1940's when a Sikh state was being offered, but unfortunately Sikh leadership was not up to the task and declined thinking their rights would be protected by the Congress party.

Personally I do not like the name “Khalistanâ€. It sounds too Islamic. That is why I chose the third option “No. I think Punjab should still be known as Punjab†even though I believe in a Sikh state. But right now Sikh parchar is needed more than a separate Sikh state. We have over 20 million Sikhs worldwide, but barely a million follow Sikh way of life.

Go to Punjab and you will hardly Sikh youth in Khalsa sroop. Everyone is Mona or trim their beards and most of the time when you see Sikh youths in full Sikh sroop you find out from further enquiry that they are either professional kirtanis or granthis. So right now Parchar is needed more than any geographical or political entity IMHO.

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Guest Javanmard

Banda Vairagi betrayed Guru Gobind Singh and killed thousands of innocent Muslim men, women and children. He was rejected by Mata Sundari and Mata Sahib Devan and Akali Baba Binod Singh disasscociated himself from him.

As an amritdhari Singh I follow the commands of my mother, Mata Sahib Devan, not the heretical innovations of Banda Bairagi, ex-tantrik yogi, who imposed vegetarianism on others, killed innocents, introduced "Fateh Darshan" and wore red as his bana.

I am totally for a Pan-Panjabi state within the realm of a Pan-South Asian union of states with Lahore as its capital, where Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs live together.

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Banda Vairagi betrayed Guru Gobind Singh and killed thousands of innocent Muslim men, women and children. He was rejected by Mata Sundari and Mata Sahib Devan and Akali Baba Binod Singh disasscociated himself from him.

As an amritdhari Singh I follow the commands of my mother, Mata Sahib Devan, not the heretical innovations of Banda Bairagi, ex-tantrik yogi, who imposed vegetarianism on others, killed innocents, introduced "Fateh Darshan" and wore red as his bana.

I am totally for a Pan-Panjabi state within the realm of a Pan-South Asian union of states with Lahore as its capital, where Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs live together.

First Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawalay and now Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. First of all, contemporary Muslim accounts should always be taken with a pinch of salt because they tend to over exaggerate events to make themselves look like victims while trying to make Baba Jee as a villain, same thing was done to Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawalay in the 80s. History should be read with a sense of balance and not with a pre determined POV.

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur was not an enemy of Muslims. In fact, thousands of Muslims are said to have enlisted in his army who had full freedom to practice their faith, some say even as many as 10,000 Muslims fought in Baba Banda Singh’s army. If he had killed so many Muslims as contemporary Islamic accounts seem to claim then why were thousands of Muslims fighting in his army?

Baba Jee was a Jyot Vigaasi Singh Soorma and the way he became a Shaheed is proof of it.

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I've read persian accounts of 'bandas' attacks, he killed women who were especting babies. Now, singh47, u must also know that even sikh itaastic granths talk of banda being a rebel, going away from the panth, starting his own thing, wearing red bana, hardcore vege (wouldnt even eat onions), started fateh darshan like javanmard said, and claimed he was guroo.

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not the heretical innovations of Banda Bairagi, ex-tantrik yogi,

So what? You were a Catholic and are now are a self professed ‘Nirmala’ who has very strong leanings to towards Shia Islam.

Mod's Note: =EDITED= 'Personal Attacks are not welcomed in this forum'

who imposed vegetarianism on others,

I don’t want to get into the meat debate, but most Amritdharis outthere do believe in Vagetarianism as principle of Gurmat.

killed innocents,

Prove it using non-Islamic but contemporary sources.

introduced "Fateh Darshan" and wore red as his bana.

Mod's Note: =EDITED= 'Personal Attacks are not welcomed in this forum'

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Guest Javanmard

I am glad you have pictures of me. Just a little thing I wish to add: the bhagwa dastar (given to me by Sant Sher Singh of Patiala) was worn when I gave a talk at a Sikh society on Sikh cultural heritage. For the Ashura procession I always wear dark blue.

You stick to Banda Vairagi, I stick to Mata Sahib Devan.Let's leave it to that!

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Guys, lets get real debate of Khalistan on the table instead of personal attacks. Everyone knows this site will not tolerate any personal attacks regardless whosoever is coming from.

I have read javanmard's view on khalistan on Sikhe.com. I am just quoting his views on khalistan from the website sikhe.com.

Some very good points to ponder upon regarding khalistan below:

1. the term panth has a religious meaning not


2. there is no underlying unity of language among

SIkhs. Even before the conversions of European people

to Sikhi there were many Sindhi, Bihari, Maharashtrian

and Bengali Sikhs who do not share the same language

as Panjabi Sikhs

3. Guru Gobind Singh never used the word qaum to

designate the Sikh community. He used to qualify the

Brar section of the Jats.

4. The Sikh community is made of different ethnic

groups which is precisely what makes its beauty as it

is an all-embrassing religious tradition.

5. Sikhi is above nationhood and is universal.

Nationhood would imply that one has to be born a Sikh

which of course is a blatant lie. Sikhi is the path of

discipleship and this has nothing to do with ethnicity

or nation.

6. Sikhs in France should not argue their case as an

"ethnic group" as they are more likely to loose their

case by doing so. The French constitution does not

recognise ethnic groups or any other nation within its

territory. For French law French Sikhs are French and

practise Sikhism, they are part of the French nation

ONLY! The only way for French SIkhs to have their

rights recognised is to argue their case within the

limits of the laws on laicite as established in 1911

by Jules Ferry and coordinate their action with other

religious communities.

7. To say that Sikhi is a nation is condemning it to a

sure death. As French Paul Valery says: Nations and

civilisations are mortal! Nations come and go, some

appear other dissapear: is that waht you want for


8. The concept of nationhood appeared quite late in

Europe and emerged at the end of the 18th century.

Nationalism has led to two major world wars as well as

many civil wars throughout the world: is that what you

want for Sikhi?


Other user replying to lalleshvari post:

Sikhi is above nation, ethnicity, colour. It is

universal and all-embrassing!

Are you not confusing Sikh nation with Jatt nation?

And isn't the whole Khalistan issue a demand for



Respond back:


1. I am aware of the history of Khalistan and I do know

that non-Jatts have participated in that project but

fact is that this is mainly a Jatt dream.

2.The fact that India and Pakistan fell to the cancer

of nationalism does not mean we Sikhs should fall in

the same trap. Azad Panjab was a much more logical

solution and Sikh leadership should have fought for


3. As Nihang Hari Singh once said: I am a soldier of

Akal Purakh only and I do not belong to any nation,

government or state. And as a Sant once told me: Guru

Gobind Singh faught all his life but he never

conquered an ounce of land. His struggle was above

petty issues of nationalism.

4. Like Romain Rolland I believe that nationalism of

any kind is an idol and I do not believe in idols!

5. I do think though that Akal Takht needs Vatican

status so that Sikh perspectives can be represented on

the international scene. This would avoid SIkh affairs

to be depending on Panjab politics as they are now.

but that's another issue...

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oooooh scary..

Anyhoooo, I think both javanmard and singh47, have provided great arguments, its a pity that singh47 has no idea about how to reference a book. which is obviously not Sri Gur Sarbloh, and its a pity javanmard has to start shouting blasphemy at every cok up that occurs...

Enough people make up rules, and bend rules, and enough ppl believe they actually doing it without bad intentions, yet they all accuse everyone else of having some crazy anti panthic reasonings behind their actions.

Singh47 if your referencing anything from within another source, do not ever think it is accurate, specifiy bla bla as cited in bla blas book..

If you have access to a sarbloh manuscript then please share its location so that the panth can have darshan of such a parataan swaroop, as I have no knowledge of any existing..

Stop accusing each other of changing bani and crap like that, just discuss inform and argue like men.. :D If javanmard wants to leave then bruv feel free to leave without having to make a scene, its a forum not a jail.. people are free to come and go as they please, if one persons arogance is enough to make you get up and go, then so be it.

Akaaal to all, and is anyone else freaked out by this 666 revelation on today.. the 6th.. of the 6th.... 06... !

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