Writer's Side is delighted to announce the sale of Hindu-prize shortlisted novelist Amandeep Sandhu's ambitious book on Punjab Journey Through Fautlines: Deciphering Punjab's Disquiet to HarperCollins India at auction. The book will be released around the time of the next state assembly elections.
Ever since the guns fell silent and apparent peace returned to Punjab twenty-five years ago, discontent has grown in the state. This discontent is hidden by the government’s propaganda which claims that Punjab is on the path of unmatched progress. Yet, if you look at sporadic media reports, or under the surface while travelling through the state, the fault lines show up to reveal the glaring loopholes in the narrative of Punjab: the skewed gender ratio, the declining education, the conflict over the separatist ideology, the tussle within the Sikh clergy, escape either through drugs or through emigration, illnesses and suicides after the famed Green Revolution, the politics of the Deras, and so on. All of these indicators tell us that something is not right with the state. In fact, a lot is very wrong in how Punjab has grown after the insurgency.
The government propaganda is, however, omnipresent: on hoardings, on television and news media, on ambulances, in buses, on cycles gifted to the girl child. In fact, it is not even government propaganda. It is the face of one man as the deliverer from all evils—Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal. Now his son Sukhbir Singh Badal is being readied to take on the role. He is the deputy-chief minister and in charge of the Home portfolio and head of the party, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
The book will take a personal but objective look at the state by raising the level of discourse from where is it currently stuck: in rhetoric, in personal aggrandizement, polarization across political parties, ideologies and religion. While telling the stories of the people of Punjab, wherever needed, the book will contextualize the issues and their historical background.