The web of roots represented in the word ‘Singh’ that every Sikh man would once proudly use as part of his name, may have lost its significance, primarily because the community’s relationship with the lands where they had once made a glorious history, was severed in the partition of 1947. However, across Pakistan, I could not help but still notice the names of countless villages with ‘Singh’ appellations, a vivid reminder of the past when these lands were vastly populated by Sikhs. Some of the names of the villages are Nathey Khalsa, Kot Nanka Singh, Kot Arjan Singh, Gaggan Singh Wala, Gajjan Singh Wala, Bur Singh Wala, Gurmukh Singh Wala, Kot Bulga Singh, Kot Mulla Singh, Kot Ganga Singh, Burj Ram Singh, Attari Karam Singh, Jodh Singh Wala, Ganda Singh Wala, Qila Jawind Singh, Qila Jiwan Singh, Qila Mian Singh, Qila Didar Singh, Batala Jhanda Singh, etc.
While driving in Depalpur district, we stopped at a roadside signboard of the village, Qila Jawind Singh!
The roots will indeed find us, as they seemed to have found the reader of my book, and aroused him to proudly reclaim the intangible aspect of his own being!
Photographed in Jan 2017, during the research for the book “THE QUEST CONTINUES: LOST HERITAGE The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan”