What are the surnames of Punjabis

panorama : They all bear the name Singh

DELHI. Farmer Kirpal has achieved something, like so many of his fellow believers, always according to the motto: Whoever God's eye rests comfortably, he is fine. He would be a fool if he did not prove to those around him that this was true. " The next thing we do is marry off our daughter. There's a really big party, "he enthuses," and then we'll buy a car. "Sikhs are big on spending and they enjoy life. Outside, in front of the house, the bazaar is noisy Five or six years ago it would have been dead silence at this time. Taran Taran was considered the most dangerous district of Punjab, the center of terrorism. So it was a question of being home at three o'clock and not showing up before nine But now Kirpal Singh is packing for his departure at five in the morning.

The Singhs, like three million other Sikhs from India and all over the world, are traveling to Anandpur Sahib, the "City of Happiness" this week. Because in the small town in the north of Punjab, the last guru of the Sikhs, Gobind Singh, On April 16, 1699 the combative Khalsa Panth, the "community of the pure" was founded. Since then, all Sikhs have borne the name Singh ("the lion"). It was the last guru who three hundred years ago established the loose community as the "chosen people of God." "welded together to form a sworn, warlike community against the persecution of the Sikhs.

The Sikhs make up only two percent of the Indian population, 20 million, but they have made their state, the Punjab the third richest in India, after Delhi and Goa, through sheer racketeering, as the guru has ordered, and those who have not yet become The middle class, like Kirpal Singh, or even a millionaire like Avtar Singh, who has long since said goodbye to the rice and wheat of his ancestors and has entered the far more lucrative flower business, is pedaling his way up the cycle rickshaw, like Mohan Singh, who has at least got it to a permanent house and is now pushing out the roof repairs that are actually due, because he too wants to go to Anandpur Sahib with his wife and child, for the 300th anniversary.

The little holy nest, hopelessly overwhelmed by the influx of three million believers, has dressed up mightily for the occasion: triumphal arches, memorials, but also shopping centers and a sports center, it all cost 200 million marks. The government's self-portrayal scolds the opposition , couldn't all that money have been spent more sensibly? One would have. Because not everyone is doing well in Punjab, even if every tenth house has a refrigerator and a scooter. The "Green Revolution" has drained the soil, the miracle yields are declining, the water table is falling by ten centimeters Year and the infrastructure is so bad that the long-awaited foreign investors prefer to settle elsewhere. The state itself only gives the Punjab two percent of its investments. Afraid of being close to Pakistan? Afraid of a new wave of terror?

It was precisely the growing army of relatively well-educated but unemployed youth that overran the Bhindranwales terrorist gangs in droves in the 1980s. Its mixture of religious renewal and nationalism had an irresistible attraction. The uprising cost tens of thousands of dead: heavily armed fighters, who holed up in the Golden Temple, Indira Gandhi, who stormed it in 1984 and who a few months later was murdered in revenge by her own Sikh bodyguard, who pogroms against the Sikhs throughout northern India, which then followed. 25,000 people disappeared it is still from the years 1993/94, when the security forces rolled down the last remnants of the insurrection movement without regard to law and democracy.

That is why the Sikhs wanted to leave their highest sanctuary, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, shot as it was, as a memorial, but now, for the triple century, it has been rebuilt in all its glory, the buildings around the saint shining white Lake and tons of gold on the roofs. 4,000 artisans have worked here for five years, tens of thousands have helped them with the voluntary work that is mandatory for Sikhs.

But although they have all helped to restore the Golden Temple to its former glory, the future of the Sikhs is cast as a shadow: In the great pull of Hinduism and the temptations of Western lifestyles, they are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their own identity Their constantly quarreling politicians also fail to create new perspectives and jobs for a growing army of educated young unemployed people. "For 300 years God's chosen people have lived up to their name," says Kushwant Singh, India's best-known Sikh author. "But I'm not sure it will stay that way."

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