The Red Line That Divides Punjabby DEAN PRAETORIOUS
This is like a modern Great Wall of China.
The bright orange line on the photo (see top right), which was taken from the International Space Station, isn't photoshopped or cleverly highlighted to show an otherwise indiscernable line.
It's an actual line of lights separating a hostile border.
It's the border that divides, inter alia, the land called Punjab which straddles between India and Pakistan, and clearly shows just how divided these two nations are.
From NASA's Earth Observatory:
A striking feature is the line of lights, with a distinctly orange hue, snaking across the center of the image. It appears to be more continuous and brighter than most highways in the view. This is the fenced and floodlit border zone between India and Pakistan. The fence is designed to discourage smuggling and arms trafficking.
The photo also holds another little treat, an aura high above the Earth that seems to curve perfectly with the planet's edge. This glow is created by radiation hitting the Earth's atmosphere, according to the Earth Observatory.
The photo itself was taken with a Nikon D3S digital camera using a 16mm lens and is a bit blurry because of a one second shutter-speed that allowed for additional light absorption.
[Courtesy: Huffington Post. Edited for sikhchic.com]
September 7, 2011
Conversation about this article
1: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), September 07, 2011, 3:48 PM.
Every single day we deal with the fallout of a Punjab divided 63 years ago ... Where 175+ million, mostly uneducated Muslim and Hindus, are plotting to come to the west to escape from abject poverty but not their respective ideologies of militancy, terror and criminality of every description. Yet the same Punjab has produced the most extraordinary humans who follow the teachings of Guru Nanak and are at the other end of the spectrum.
2: Manwinder Grewal (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada), September 07, 2011, 7:47 PM.
I would say that it is unfortunate for such a lovely land to have been destroyed by politics. But such is the way of life in those parts. I would say there are millions of people (of all religions) that can't get rid of their ideas of ignorance. It is true that we Sikhs have been greatly privileged with greats such as Guru Nanak and Bhagat Kabir and many, many others. But I would say that Muslims and Hindus both have also had great teachers from Punjab as well. There's always hope that something good will emanate to solve the current mess.
3: Harinder (Uttar Pradesh, India), September 08, 2011, 2:20 AM.
The British, Gandhi and Jinnah are responsible for this line.
4: Harpreet Singh (Delhi, India), September 08, 2011, 12:42 PM.
Two of the saddest happenings in Punjab history in the post-Guru period have been, first, the treachery of the Dogras and the consequent defeat of the great Sikh kingdom, and second, the Partition of Punjab in 1947 and the tragedy that enveloped it. Really, if Sikh forces had won the Anglo-Sikh wars, what would have been the situation today? Or if Punjabis had been allowed to live honourably in an undivided Punjab. What happens to ordinary people to induce them to commit big atrocities on innocents, like in 1947 - and then again in 1984?
5: Paramjit Singh Grewal (Auckland, New Zealand), September 16, 2011, 4:15 AM.
Although there is a "red line" border, the Punjabi language is common to both sides of the border. Both sides have moved on with their lives.
6: Jamil Mirza (Lahore, Punjab), February 09, 2012, 10:52 AM.
Dear Harinder Singh ji: The British, Gandhi and Jinnah are responsible for this line. But what about Master Tara Singh who raised the kirpan in front of the Punjab Assembly? What was the role of the Hindu newspapers 'Daily Milap" and "Purtap" during those days. What was the role of the Mountbattens in all of this?