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PUNJAB PCS

Location of Punjab-Consequences in History(Punjab PCS 2020)

The physical features of the Punjab have exercised a great influence on its history.

Syed Mohammad Latif says: “placed as it is by Nature in a locality which gives it a crowning

position and serving as the gateway to India, every invader from the North has, by its

possession, sought the road to fame, “

 

1.It is through the passes in the Suleiman and Kirthar

ranges – the Passes of Khyber, Gomal, Tochi and zbolan that all the invaders, from

Alexander to Shah Zaman, entered India.

2.The Punjab, whose boundaries in ancient and

medieval times extended right up to the passes, therefore, played the role of a gateway to

India and it was here – in its plains – that the initial and decisive battles were fought by the

Punjabis to check the invaders from entering the interior of their country.

Thus,

situated as it is, the brunt of the attack of most foreign invaders for thousands of years was

borne by the Punjab, it was many times that its cities and towns were burnt, looted and

plundered its inhabitants were massacred and its monuments destroyed.

 

History clearly illustrates how the Punjab bore the brunt of the attacks of differ

invaders.

1.When the Aryans advanced to occupy the Punjab, certain “Daysus” – the aborigines

of the Punjab gave a tough fight to them.

  1. A little later, the Persians invaded India under

Cyrus and Darius, and again the Punjab bore the fury of their attacks and was eventually

annexed to the Persian Empire the contemporaneous sources tell us that it formed the

twentieth satrapy’ of the Persian Empire and it used to pay “360”. Talents of gold dust as

tribute to the Persian Emperor.

3.Similarly, when Alexander invaded India, the brave Punjabis under Pous and other

tribal chiefs bore the brunt of the attack. They fought so well that the Greeks lost confidence

and despite Alexander’s stirring appeals to his soldiers, the latter refused to cross the Beas.

 

This shows how, because of its geographical situation, the Punjab suffered heavy losses in

men and money while fighting against the Greeks, whereas the rest of India continued to live

her life of splendid isolation and soon forgot the passing of the ‘Macedonian Storm’.

 

4.Later on, when the Scythains and the Huns invaded India, the Punjab again suffered

most and the rest of India remained as calm as ever.

5.In the eight century, when the Arabs

invaded India through Sind, they realized their mistake. They felt that they had not entered

India through the proper gateway. The Turks then learnt a lesson from the Arabs and they,

therefore, invaded the Punjab first. Though the brunt of the attack of Mahmud of Ghazni was

borne by the whole of northern India, yet it was the Punjab which, for more than one

hundred and fifty years, remained under the heels of the Ghaznavis, whereas the rest of

Indian recovered its independence immediately after the death of Mahmud.

Later on the

Turkish rules of Delhi – Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Ghori, Qutub-ud-din Aibek and

lltutmish – made the Punjab the base of their war –like operations and conquered the rest of

India.

6.It was also because of its geographical position. i.e. the Punjab lying on the regular

track of the invaders from the north-west- that it, suffered most heavily when the foreign

hordes under Targhi, Timur, Nadir Shah and Ahmed Shah Durrani looted and plundered

India.

Thus, we see that Nature has placed the Punjab in such a geographical position that in

the various periods of the India history, it has either “served as a bulwark to India against all

the invasions from the north and west’ or ‘served as a base of warlike operations for

conquests beyond its classic rivers.”

 

7.It is also because of its situation that when the British started to conquer India, the

Punjab was the last to be conquered. The British had not entered India through its old land-

routes, but through new sea-routes. They had first occupied the towns on the Eastern and the

Western coasts of India and had then conquered Bengal. The Punjab, being situated in the

extreme north-west, was naturally the last to be conquered.

 

8.The Punjab rivers have also played an important part in the history of our country.

a.Sometimes, they served as boundaries of Subahs and Sarkars, As in the time of the Mughals.

b.Besides, of these rivers were often used ‘as means of defence and especially during rains they

served as great barriers to the invaders. It was only on account of this reason that he invaders

generally followed a more northerly route to Delhi just below the hills where the rivers were

narrow and the work of bridge – building was easier.

9.Besides, it is because of the physical features of the Punjab that most of the decisive

battles or the Indian history have been fought on the vast plains of the Punjab, stretching from

the Satluj to the Jamuna. The Punjabis always first tried to check the invaders in the north-

western portion of their land but,

It is why the most decisive battles of India – those of Thanesar, Kurukshetra, Tarain, Sirhind and Panipat – were fought

in this portion of the Punjab plains.

 

10.They physical features of the Punjab have influenced its history in another way also.

The Punjab consists of rich and fertile plains. If it had been and arid land like Sind, very few

invaders would have thought of attacking and occupying it over and over again. The riches,

the fertility and the good climate of the Punjab had always wetted the rapacity of the invaders

and, consequently, they repeated their invasions with greater frequency, till they became the

masters of it.

Being at the gateway of India, the Punjabis have always kept themselves armed. They

are gate-keepers of India and the gate-keepers must be strong and armed to be able to check

the undesirable intruders. It is, thus because of the peculiar geographical position that the

people of the Punjab are so virile and warlike. They know their responsibility fully well. On

their strength and unity depends the welfare of India. Nature commands them to check the

enemy at the gate of which they are the gate-keepers. They know their duty. They have

acquitted themselves well in the past; they are at prepared for the defence of their motherland.

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